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We'll miss those gizmos

Millennials, don't bother reading this.

For you over-30 types (okay, maybe 40) who lean toward tech-geekiness though, don't you feel a little wistful about RadioShack?


RadioShack catalogue covers from 1965 (L) and 2002 (R).
Source: RadioShack Catalogs
RadioShack catalogue covers from 1965 (L) and 2002 (R).

Remember "hi-fi"? How about crystal radio sets? Breaker, breaker, CB radios anyone? Realistic receivers? Yep, they litter RadioShack's history, along with countless other all-weather radios, red LED calculators, and hard-plastic AA-battery walkie-talkies. And don't forget the first mass market personal computer (TRS-80), lovingly called the "Trash Eighty."

Now it looks like RadioShack's days, at least as a standalone entity, are coming to an end. The company, which has been struggling financially for quite some time, filed for bankruptcy Thursday. Some stores will live on, but with a distinctly Sprint flavor.

And so the 94-year-old RadioShack, at least the one we Boomers and some Gen-Xers grew up with, will be gone forever. That's happened to plenty of retailers. All that remains of F.W. Woolworth Co. is Foot Locker, after all.


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Or, if they don't manage to morph, they go away completely, like Circuit City, Levitz Furniture, Montgomery Ward's, to name just a few.

There's plenty of reasons for those retailers not to be there anymore: Competition, changing tastes, the Internet. But that doesn't mean they didn't play a significant part in history or to some extent, people's lives.