Bulova Series 1430 Yeoman Accutron Transistor Radio

Submitted by neetstuf-4-u on February 14, 2022 - 6:01pm

Here is a first for me. Bulova clear back "Yeoman" (series 1430) pocket sized transistor radio with lined leather case.. In the original packaging with papers and Bulova 9V battery. Note that the box is marked "Ebony, C" - black body with clear back. The paperwork is undated, but bears a zone number address, indicating it is pre-1963. The Accutron was introduced in I believe Nov. of 1960. The 1430 series radio is the only example of a Bulova radio I find online bearing the tuning fork logo. This would appear to date this radio to the same time frame as the original Accutron. As I understand it, the original Spaceviews were display models, but interest was so high that jewelers converted Accutrons to Spaceviews and Bulova started producing them as models for sale.

After extensive searching using every conceivable combination of words, I found one other example of this clear back, one all black and one all white. The only other clear back radios I find are Regency TR-1, the first transistor radio commercially produced (Oct.1954). These appear to be rare, and were display models for jewelry stores to show the "high tech" workings. Bulova was right behind Regency, and produced an identical radio branded as Bulova with a solid back. It's unclear at this point, but Regency may have  produced these for Bulova.

Since Bulova was producing (sub-contracting) transistor radios in the mid 1950's to mid 1960's without calling attention to the early model electronics, the logical explanation for a clear back post 1960, pre-1963 along with the tuning fork logo would be a compliment to the Spaceview jewelers display. These new fangled radios were still a bit of a curiosity and expensive toys in the early 60's with the majority sold out of jewelry stores.

This radio is back marked "Made under Bulova engineering supervision in Japan" This kit is like new with some wear to the box and the original earphone is missing. For what it's worth, the seller I bought this from said he had owned it 30 years and had never seen another either. His thoughts were akin to mine - it's a salesman sample of sorts for store display. He lives 160 miles from Bulova headquarters.....

I would appreciate any comments or thoughts on this. Anybody got any ideas?









Geoff Baker
Posted February 14, 2022 - 9:21pm

Bulova made dozens and dozens of radios, as well as electric shavers. I really doubt the rarity other than it being a very nicely preserved old stock model. The 'sales samples' I've seen did not contain the whole kit of paperwork and other ephemera. In terms of a tie into Accutron I doubt it it as there is no advertising to support the theory. I'd say you picked up a nice old stock transistor radio.