From Aaron Luis Levinson:
> 1. Thank you so much for that truly unique story. You are I'm afraid
> one of the
> few people who could tell the whole story of this curio. But the $64K
> Do you still have one?
> 2. The Philco story is indeed a sad one but it dovetails perfectly into
> why the US car industry itself almost died when faced with the ruthless
> innovation and higher standards of our Japanese competitors. <snip>
I hope the other listers find at least a little interest in my responses.
Since Aaron Levinson posted his response on the list, I decided to do the
1. Regarding #1, I never owned either a hip pocket record or the player
(which, if I recall correctly, had a tone arm long enough to handle 12" LPs,
but, as I said, had a tiny platter). The moment I saw what Philco was up to,
as ballyhooed in the company newsrag, my reaction was disbelief. Although I
had long before (at age 4, so it must be genetic) been bitten by the
collector's bug, I just couldn't see throwing any kind of money at such an
2. Regarding #2, it's funny that you should mention cars. Being a division
of the Ford Motor Company, Philco and its employees were treated every year
to an on-site preview of the new-model-year cars that Ford produced. I think
it was in 1971 when I sat down in a by-then-HUGE Thunderbird and looked into
the rearview mirror. All I could see was a wide but very narrow slit of a
rear window, through which I could hardly see a thing. Without thinking, I
exclaimed out loud "This is terrible!". Suddenly, a very agitated Ford
employee came running from behind the car saying, "What do you mean? What do
you mean?" Since he had to ask, it's obvious that there was a complete
disconnect between Dearborn and the rest of the world.
The rest (and there's a lot of that!) is history.