Early Television Foundation
The Foundation and Museum
About the Foundation
The Early Television Foundation was founded by Steve McVoy. As a teenager he worked in a television repair shop after school, and sometimes worked on 1940's sets such as the RCA 630. In 1999 he sold his cable television business, was looking for something to do with his time, and decided to collect early television receivers.
At that time he was unaware that television existed before World War Two. However, shortly after deciding on his new hobby, a RCA TRK-12 appeared on Ebay. He bought it and restored it. Over the next year he met many of the collectors in the United States. Most were very willing to show him their collections, but their sets were in their basements or attics where they were difficult to see.
As his collection grew, he began to run out of space to display it. He then came up with the idea of starting a museum; so that he would have a place to put his growing collection, and so that the public could easily view the collection.
The funding for the Foundation and Museum comes primarily from four sources: donations, proceeds from our annual convention, sale of duplicate items donated to the museum, and contributions from the McVoy family. We are a 501 (c) (3) non profit private foundation, so contributions to the foundation may be tax deductible.
The museum is a non-profit foundation, and depends on contributions for its funding. Please consider becoming a Member of the Museum.
Acquisitions and Equipment Donations
The foundation hopes to expand its collection of early television equipment. If you have receivers or camera equipment from the mechanical, prewar, or immediate postwar eras that you are interested in selling, please contact us.
We are particularly interested in the following:
American and British scanning disk sets
American and British pre-1945 electronic sets
Unusual 1946-49 Sets
Experimental and 15 inch color sets
We will, of course, accept donations of equipment. Since we are a not for profit corporation, donations may qualify for federal or state tax deductions.
About the Museum
The Early Television Museum is located at the beginning of the Heritage Rail Trail bike and hiking path that connects to another park a few miles away. Eventually the trail will be extended to a total length of about 30 miles.
Over 150 TV sets are on display in a 4200 square foot area. Displays include mechanical TVs from the 1920s and 30s; pre-1945 British sets from 1936-39; pre-1945 American sets from 1939-41; postwar sets from1945-58; and early color sets from 1953-57. Many of these sets are working.
The Dave Johnson collection of early television picture tubes is also on display, along with early TV studio equipment.
We also have a working 60 line flying spot scanner TV camera. Visitors can see their friends as they would have appeared on mechanical television in 1930.
Some of the prewar, rare postwar, and early color sets can be operated by visitors using pushbuttons located throughout the museum:
A portion of the new 2200 square foot postwar display area.