In 1941, the American company Zenith introduced the Trans Oceanic, a multi-band shortwave travel radio that preceded a whole series of high-quality world band receivers. In the 1970s, Zenith missed the boat of the transition to the era of digital shortwave receivers and production was discontinued.
After the turmoil of the economic depression, the company quickly got back on its feet. After the polar explorer McMillen had already carried a Zenith portable radio on his expeditions in 1925, he was given a prototype of a multi-band receiver in 1941, which Zenith had been developing since 1939 and which was distinguished by superior performance.
Like its successors, the „Trans Oceanic“ was equipped not only with the mediumwave range but also with five spread shortwave broadcast bands from 49 - 16 m. The set had a telecopic antenna, a built-in mediumwave loop antenna and the „Wave Magnet“ (a short-wave loop antenna that could be operated remotely) and the four tone switches of the „Radio Organ“ to influence the sound. The superhet 7G605 with an RF amplifier stage and seven tuned circuits was equipped with battery tubes and could also be powered with 117 V mains voltage.
During the war years, the image of a bomber adorned the loudspeaker fabric, the receiver was appreciated by its owners in all theatres of war, it reliably conveyed news from home. In 1946, it was replaced by the 8G005, the commercially very successful G500, which was sold from 1949, was based on miniature tubes.
One of the most widespread Zenith sets was the H500, sold after 1951, still equipped with a round frequency dial. Instead of the 49 m band, two shortwave ranges were now available, 2-4 and 4-8 MHz, also covering the tropical bands.
The H600, which followed in 1953, came with a horizontal dial and was Zenith's last tube-equipped world band receiver.
With the Trans Oceanic Royal 1000, the era of transistor world band radios began in 1957, the horizontal turret tuner gave it a completely different look. After the Royal 3000, which was released in 1963 and which for the first time covered the FM broadcast band. The Royal 7000 completed the series of solid state Trans Oceanic sets in 1969, it was capable of CW and SSB reception with a BFO.
With the R 7000, which was introduced in 1978 and produced until 1981, and which followed a similar concept as the Sony Earth Orbiter with its transverse turret tuner and fine tuning. Zenith missed to keep up with the future: the competitors from Germany and especially from Japan could deliver world band radios with digital frequency display and then even PLL synthesized stes at a comparable price - the era of the Trans Oceanic and with it, the era of American made travel receivers came to an end.
From 1941/42, Zenith focused on frequency modulation in the FM broadcast band, soon Zenith supplied the corresponding receivers and was involved in the development of stereo in the FM band. From 1948, the first television receivers were developed and Zenith was one of the most important and innovative American television manufacturers for decades, until the company was taken over by the Koranic LG Electronics in 1999.