I’ve been hearing a lot of noises lately about Radio Shack and Best Buy hooking up, so what better time to mention Radio Shack Catalogs at http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/. This site is an online archive of Radio Shack catalogs from 1939 to 2005.
The front page has a number of catalog-related menu items — there are general catalogs, computer catalogs, and “other”; along with the catalog links there’s history, forums, and — seriously — over 100 Radio Shack commercials, dating back to 1970.
But I’m here for the catalogs, so — going to the main catalog section there are spaces for every year catalogs were produced from 1939 to 2003, and only three — 1946, 1947, and 1948 — are missing. Each catalog has a large and small format that’s presented in a Flash-based “flip book.” (If you don’t know whether to view the large or small, check out the instructions. I have a pretty big monitor the large was a little too tall.) The catalogs were wonderfully easy to browse and loaded quickly.
The computer catalogs don’t go back as far, as you might expect, but this site still has them from 1977 to 1992. There’s also a set of miscellaneous computer catalogs from Radio Shack and a few issues of “Answers” magazine. The miscellaneous catalogs section was an unexpected treat; items included a Christmas catalog from the 1950s (Radio Shack used to seriously sell some vinyl) and the 1977 sale catalog (so groovy!)
If you’re any kind of computer nut you could spend hours here wallowing in nostalgia. But if somehow it’s not enough for you, there’s a link list of other Radio Shack-related sites. I think I’ll stay here, browsing through the catalogs…