Radio Shack was founded in Boston by brothers Theodore and Milton Deutschmann in 1921. Aimed at the growing field of amateur/ham radio, they opened a storefront and mail order business and named it after the common nickname for the location of a ship’s radio equipment. The first catalog was published in 1939, and by the 1950s the company was selling it’s own branded products.
It grew and expanded stores until the 60s when it went nearly bankrupt. It was bought for a mere $300,000 by the CEO of Tandy Corporation in 1962. Tandy continued to own and operate the Radio Shack stores until it’s spectacular spiral into bankruptcy in 2015, filing for Chapter 11 in February. Along the way, the firm was responsible for some of the most influential tech of the 70s and 80s, including the TRS-80 computer and countless parts, wire, radio gear, and more sold over the years to hobbyists.