Thursday, July 15, 2010

Antique Televisions

The earliest antique televisions commercially manufactured TV set were made by RCA (Radio Corporation of America). RCA was a major player in the development of television for commercial purposes. David Sarnoff, then chairman of RCA spent a fortune trying to convince the world that RCA invented the first television set. Of course, RCA did not really invent the TV. Britain�s John Baird invented the first working mechanical scanning TV in 1926 and the American inventor Philo Farnsworth invented the first working electronic scanning TV in 1927.

There are still a lot of antique televisions still around some of the sets actually still are in working condition. The picture on the right is of the first antique televisions manufactured after world war two in 1946. There were 17,000 of these sets built. As you can see from the picture this was a handsome piece of furniture that would look nice in any living room.

1946 RCA Model 621 TS

Another antique televisions is this third production set manufactured by RCA was the 721 TS model. It has a 10" CRT black and white viewing screen. It has very a very nice hand worked wooden cabinet. This was a table top set. They furniture manufactures didn�t stat making stands for specific models until the 1950s. As you can see there is a program playing on the screen in the picture at the right.

1947 RCA Model 721 TS

In 1950 RCA made the Model 2T51 "The Shelby" It was the first antique televisions to be given a name instead of just a number. The picture shows a restored set that has been refinished and refurbished to bring it into working condition. It had an enormous 12 inch CRT viewing screen.

1950 RCA Shelby

This antique televisions was the first production color TV. Again it was made by RCA. It was designated as Model# 21-CD-8865 Chassis CTC-7C and called "The Anderson". It has a 21 inch CRT viewing screen. As you can see in the picture on the right, this was a floor model TV. The viewing screen is really too low for comfortable viewing if you are sitting in easy chair.


These antique televisions show the humble beginnings that the TV set had. The interesting thing is that after the color set was introduced, the basic appearance of the TV set did not significantly change until the introduction of LCD sets in the 1990s because as long as there were based on the CRT, they could be changed radically. Antique televisions can be found occasionly on ebay for sale.

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