The History of CB Radios: From the 1970s Craze to Today’s Modern Uses

Citizens Band (CB) radios were first introduced in the United States in the 1940s and were primarily used by businesses and truckers for communication purposes. However, it was not until the 1970s that CB radios became a cultural phenomenon and an important part of popular culture. From the 1970s craze to today’s modern uses, CB radios have come a long way.


1970s Craze

The 1970s marked the height of the CB radio craze, with millions of people using the radios to communicate with each other. CB radios were popular because they provided a way for people to communicate with others who were not within shouting distance. CB radios were also relatively inexpensive and easy to use, making them accessible to people from all walks of life.

During the 1970s, CB radios were used for a variety of purposes, including communication between truckers on the road and between individuals in their cars. CB radios were also used by hobbyists who enjoyed talking to other radio enthusiasts around the country. In addition, CB radios were often used by emergency responders and law enforcement officials as a way to communicate during emergencies and disasters.

During the height of popularity in the 1970s, demand for these radios skyrocketed. People all over the country wanted to get their hands on a CB radio so they could communicate with others on the airwaves. This led to the opening of many CB shops that specialized in selling and repairing these radios. The popularity during this time was truly remarkable, and it solidified their place in popular culture for years to come.

Decline in Popularity


While CB radios were incredibly popular in the 1970s, their popularity began to decline in the 1980s. One of the reasons for this decline was the introduction of cellular phones, which provided a more reliable and convenient way for people to communicate with each other. In addition, many states began to pass laws that restricted the use, particularly for non-emergency purposes.

Despite the decline in popularity, CB radios continued to be used by truckers and other professionals who needed a way to communicate while on the road. 

Modern Uses

Today, CB radios continue to be used by truckers, emergency responders, and hobbyists. However, their uses have expanded to include a variety of other applications as well. For example, they are often used by outdoor enthusiasts such as hikers and campers as a way to communicate with each other while in remote locations. CB radios are also used by off-road enthusiasts such as four-wheel drive enthusiasts and ATV riders as a way to stay in touch while exploring remote areas.

CB radios have also seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, particularly among preppers and survivalists who believe that CB radios are an important tool to have in case of an emergency or disaster. In fact, the popularity lived so great that many people would search for “CB shops near me” to find a store that could help them get set up with a radio of their own. CB radios are often included in emergency preparedness kits and are viewed as an essential communication tool in emergency situations.


From their humble beginnings in the 1940s to the height of their popularity in the 1970s, CB radios have played an important role in communication and popular culture. While their popularity has declined over the years, CB radios continue to be used by a variety of professionals, hobbyists, and enthusiasts. Today, CB radios are more versatile than ever and are used for a wide range of applications, from off-roading to emergency preparedness.

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