Gloated a Sears, Roebuck & Co. executive: "We've caught the whole radio-phonograph business with its pants down."

Sears got into gloating position by putting a revolutionary gadget on the market last week: a table-model radio-phonograph containing a wire recorder. The recorder gobbles up radio programs, phonograph records, children's talk and business conferences on a spool of steel wire, can play them back immediately. The wire can be electrically erased, re-used indefinitely.

But the real eye-opener was the price:

$169.50. Sears's big worry was to keep up with demand. With only 5,000 sets on hand and production at only 150 a day, Sears...

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