Before the iPod: the Portable Stereo Cart

by hookedonhouses on February 28, 2008


Dark Roasted Blend asks: “Now, do you appreciate your iPod more? In the 50s you had to carry the CART with you, wherever you went.”

You know I love me some retro, so I got a little crazy with excitement when I found this photo via bb-blog. The homemaker looks more excited and proud about her portable stereo than she does her Christmas dinner.

See that big black box on the top of the cart? That’s what we used to call a record player, kids! (And I admit I’m old enough to have one in my basement, along with several wooden crates full of records that I’m unable to part with.)


Now, I’m not old enough to have one of these in my basement, so I have no way to explain what, exactly, it’s doing on the hood of a car. Any thoughts?

Seriously, though, how fun is this pink clock radio from the ’50s? They really liked the pink, didn’t they? Remember the pink 50s kitchen I showed you in Retro Kitchens? This would’ve been perfect for that room.

To see more fab photos of retro radios and stereos, go to Dark Roasted Blend.

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DAK February 28, 2008 at 11:45 am

Can you imagine jogging pulling that cart along behind you? It would increase your workout, that’s for sure!

hookedonhouses February 28, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Yeah, and think of all the extension cords you’d be dragging with you! (Where _are_ the cords in this pic, I wonder? I assume it wasn’t all running on batteries?)

irishsof February 28, 2008 at 1:47 pm

These are great! Reminds me of two brief stories I’ll share:

In 2000, my partner and I had this beat-up old Toyota I inherited that had the dial radio. His youngest sister got in the car one day and pointed to it and said, “What is that?” She had never seen a dial radio!

His nieces at that same time were around 9 and 10, and they had been to their grandparents’ house, and told him that they had a great time playing with “these great big CDs that Meemaw has!”. These were, of course, LPs.

hookedonhouses February 28, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Irishof–that’s too funny! Reminds me of when we drove our nephews somewhere in our old car (back in the 90s) that had roll-up windows instead of automatic, and they were fascinated. “But how do you get the windows to go up and down?” They loved playing with the “crank.”

They even told their parents we had a “cool new thing” in our car and wanted to know why theirs didn’t have cranks for the windows.

I’m sure we could really blow their minds and show them some of the great big CDs we’ve got stored in the basement!

Class of 56 February 28, 2008 at 7:53 pm

The photo was taken because the camera back then had no flash and they had to go outside to have enough light. And, DAK, the thing was NOT, I repeat, NOT a portable. All exercise had to be jumping jacks or push ups so you could stay in one place.

Kayjay February 28, 2008 at 8:20 pm

In the 50’s I had a pink clock radio that sat in my bookcase headboard which awoke me with music every morning. It was sooo cool!

TraceyB February 29, 2008 at 5:12 pm

That stereo cart thing is too funny. Cracked me up! I hope she didn’t try to pull it around while it was playing a record.

Car Audio King July 25, 2008 at 5:24 am

Wow, could you imagine showing up to the gym pulling a record player! lol. The picture is to funny, I cant wait to share it with my friends.

Mari Adkins August 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm

That clock radio from the 50s, we had one of those. My grandmother’s was blue, and she kept it on the head of her bed until something like 1982. LOL I think it finally just gave up and died.

Jane December 5, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Housewives didn’t have (time)to jog. They got enough exercise running after the kids, doing their own housework, carrying heavy wicker baskets of laundry back and forth to the clothesline, pushing the vacuum cleaner, mopping and waxing the linoleum floor …

BTW, that kitchen looks more like the one I grew up with than any of the other “50s” ones I’ve seen online so far–except our countertops were red and our linoleum was dark green.

Sheila September 18, 2009 at 7:05 am

Can any of you ladies imagine cooking dressed up and in “heels”? Funny thing though, in the day of modern technology, we work “longer” hours, life is way more hectic and lifes core values have changed dramatically. Nice and refreshing to see this picture and know there were more wholesome days.

Donna September 18, 2009 at 8:54 am

“Is it only me or do I see a “Stepford Wife” thing going on here”??? That cart would be cute in the garden, but I don’t remember those carts being that cute… We had them for the TVs too and after a while they would start to collapse from the weight of the TV…
How about the little yellow center disks(I’m sure they had a name?), that went into the center of our 45 records? The new generations don’t have a CLUE what they are…

BeenJammin September 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I KNOW this clock/radio. My mom had one when I was a kid. It ran off electricity or batteries (took like a dozen D cells). I’ve been trying to find another without success for years.

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