Jun 11, 2010

SCR-536 Walkie Talkie : World's First Modern Handheld Radio

The SCR-536 is often considered the first of modern hand held, self-contained, "handie talkie" two-way radios. It was developed in 1940 by a team led by Don Mitchell, chief engineer for Galvin Manufacturing (now Motorola) and was the first true hand-held unit to see widespread use. By July 1941, it was in mass production. In November 1942, the SCR-536 received coverage in the amateur radio magazine QST.

It appeared on the cover as well as in Signal Corps advertising, and was featured as part of an article on the Signal Corps. “Smallest field unit of the Signal Corps,” a photo caption read, “it is not much larger or heavier than a conventional handset.” It was carried among the first waves to hit Omaha Beach at Normandy in June, 1944. Every rifle company of the U.S. 29th Infantry division had six; one for each of three rifle platoons, two for the weapons platoon, and one for the company CO.

The Germans were deeply impressed by the SCR-536 and the SCR-300 after capturing several units in Sicily. By war’s end, 130,000 of the units had been manufactured by Motorola.

Today the SCR-536 is often restored and operated by vintage amateur radio enthusiasts and military radio collectors


  1. great info Vipin nice to see the oldest handy and the latest handy in once place. by the way the ANR models are available in eBay at times.


  2. Does it use EF86 vacuum tubes as a transmitting tube?

  3. Heya¡­my very first comment on your site. ,I have been reading your blog for a while and thought I would completely pop in and drop a friendly note. . It is great

    stuff indeed. I also wanted to ask..is there a way to subscribe to your site via email?

    Walkie Talkies in India

  4. Hi! I have two-way radio (walkie Talkies). It was given to me by my American friend as my gift last year December. I am in Bahrain and I’m afraid to use it because anytime I switch on ON, I always picked-up cross-line signal and heard voices from different people who are using walkie talkies.
    I’m really afraid and maybe the local authority traced my signal and catch me and send me to the jail.
    Is there any problem with me? What should I do? Do I need to registered it to authorize local agent/government? Please advice. Thanks