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Vintage televisions, anyone? Post pics here!

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by airgrabber666, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. I bought this set from my repair tech. who did a complete re-cap on it. We had the chassis out and I was amazed at the complex, cramped look of the components from underneath! The set plays very well now with lots of contrast. Intereseting story about early version! The good news about the bakelite cabinet on this model is that, with a little elbow grease, they can be buffed up to a like-new gloss. The bad news is they have many weak points and are usually found cracked to some degree. Even this one had a minor one that I sured up with JB Weld from the underside. Here is shot of the set working, but the camera washed out the picture a lot.
    1948 GE 800.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  2. Wow, what a beauty! How and where you find these beauties is beyond me. I have searched and can never seem to find something reasonably priced and/or in good condition. Or for that matter something pre-sixties or pre-seventies.
  3. Thank you. The secret to finding these sets is to get into contact with local collectors. Check out local radio/TV collector clubs/publications. You can find them right on the 'net. You may be suprised to connect with a collector right in your own neighborhood who might part with a set or two. I have been in the hobby since I was a teen and have connected with a few local collectors/repairman who have scads of these sets piled high. Trying to find one of these early TV's at antique shops/shows/malls, estate/garage sales, flea markets, ect. is VERY tough although not impossible. Now is the time to aquire one of these pre-1950 sets as the rarer ones are approaching pre-war prices. An example is the 1946 RCA Victor 621TS that I posted. There are less than 100 reported in existance and they often sell for around $2,000. Many others though can be aquired for about $350 in clean, complete condition. Remember too that having these sets pain-stakingly fixed by a proffessional will nearly double the price of an "as-found" set.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  4. It's also helpful to either live in or have easy access to an area that actually *had* television before 1950 -- which limits the area to a few major cities and their suburbs. Most of the country didn't get TV until after the station-licensing freeze was lifted in 1952, and you'll be very very unlikely to find early television sets in such areas. We didn't have TV here until late 1953, and I've never seen a pre-1954 set in the wild: I actually own one of the first TV sets to be purchased in my home town, a 1954-model RCA Victor. My only pre-1950 set was acquired from someone who acquired it from someone out of state.
  5. Thank you for the tips and information. Now all I need to do is to find a local collector willing to part ways with a gem or two. :D
  6. How would I go about discovering such information?
  7. List of American TV stations as of 1950.

    No new TV licenses were issued between 1949 and 1952, as the Federal Communications Commission reevaluated its table of channel assignments to ensure that future stations would not cause unnecessary interference.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  8. For anyone who is really interested in radio/TV collecting, I would suggest registering on this site, browsing the forums, and asking questions. It is an invaluable source of information on the hobby.
  9. 1956 RCA Victor 8-PT-7032.JPG I'm more into '30's and '40's items, but I couldn't pass up this small TV. It'a an 8" 1956 RCA Victor model 8PT-7032. It's the first US made compact TV and it's all hand wired! The CRT is encased in the sets electronics. It's not a set for the beginner TV restorer to tackle. The set is also RCA's first small screen TV since their '46 621TS (see my earlier post for a pic). It has a hidden control panel door at the top left, built-in rabbit ear antenna's and a large carrying handle atop. It's all metal with a textured durable paint job and a very '50's tri-pod swivel base (up and down only). It came in red, gray, white, and mine, black.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  10. 1956 Admiral T-102.JPG .......how about a tomato red 10" '56 Admiral! A bit unusual to find as a solid color. They're more often two-toned.
    It's all original with a restored chassis.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  11. Foxer55

    Foxer55 A-List Customer

    Around 1970 a friend of mine bought a Heath Kit TV kit. It was a rather large screen and color. Took him a couple of months to complete the project but it was a nice set and lasted him for many years as I recall.

  12. I just picked up the "Model-T" of early TV's, the famous 1946 RCA 630TS. It was the first true mass-produced TV set. These sets are heavy, quality sets that display a very good picture!
    1946 RCA Victor 630TS.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  13. THAT'S the one I would love to own. You do see them for sale fairly often, so I have hopes.
  14. 630s are quality sets -- everything's extremely overbuilt inside -- and they're much bigger than they look. They weigh well over a hundred pounds, so a sturdy table is absolutely essential.

    I searched for one for years, and finally gave up -- they didn't exist in Maine, because we didn't have TV here until 1953, and I'd be scared to death to try and ship one.
  15. Yes, these sets are fairly plentiful, but finding a premium condition original can be tough. They are large at 25x15x19, and heavy at 95lbs., but they have such an aura of quality about them. When elec. restored they never fail to impress. Crisp, clear, steady pictures can be expected.
    When watching these historic sets, you can just picture a roomfull of people surrounding it laughing at Milton Berle on "The Texaco Star Theater"!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013
  16. The seller could be asking more, but many people don't even know about the exsistence of this rare TV-only console version of the 630. It's as rare as some pre-war sets. I've seen two of these sets for sale in my 30 years of collecting. Many more buyers obviously opted for the combination model 641 TV/radio/phono. They are far more plentiful, but not nearly as stylish.
  17. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco A-List Customer

    Can you still use the old TV sets? Is there a way to hook a vcr into to show the old show somehow?

  18. All you need is a matching transformer -- less than $5 at Radio Shack. Attach it to the antenna terminals of the set, attach the output cable from the VCR to the other end, and you're all set. You can attach a DVD player to the audio-video terminals of the VCR and play materials from that as well. If you have analog cable TV, or digital cable with an analog converter box, you can attch that to the cable-in terminal of the VCR and use that as well.
  19. If I may add a little more to that I would say that the results you get from different sources is often a mixed bag on the real early sets. Sometimes DVD's will play beautifully, sometimes you will have an annoying background buzz in the audio. Sometimes a VHS tape will work fine, sometimes (many times) it will show a sharp bending at the top of the screen and/or an unstable picture. There are so many variables. I most often use a DVD and get satisfactory results. Of course you will need to make contrast/fine tuning adjustments to get optimum results. I know someone who uses an "Agile Modulator" to actually broadcast videos to his vintage TV's. You can get these on Ebay I'm told. These seem to work very well, and you can actually use
    your old rabbit ears! They have a decent broadcasting range anyway. I've seen these working and vintage TV's seem to like them!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2013

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