Early Television
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Early Electronic Television

RCA TRK-12/120

Early Television

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Screen Size 12 inch
Year Made 1939-40
Quantity Manufactured 1779
Original Cost $600
Number Still in Existence See Early Electronic Database
Cabinet Reinished
Chassis Restored


1945 modification RCA Begins Conversion of Television Sets
1946 Article in Radio and Television News RCA Service Company card
Fifth chassis RCA's assembly line
Instruction card Technical information
Invoice (courtesy of Dave Abramson) TRK-12 in an airplane
Magazine advertisements TRK-12s in hospitals during WW2
Owner's manual TRK-12 on the bench
Popular Mechanics article Unusual set using a TRK-12 cabinet
Projection version Valentine Day card
RCA Dealer Sheet (courtesy of Eric Coon)  

The TRK-12 was introduced, along with 3 other less expensive sets, at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. The TRK-12 cost $600, more than the cost of a modest car at the time. The picture tube was mounted vertically, with a mirror in the cabinet lid, because it was so long that, if mounted horizontally, the cabinet would have been almost three feet deep. Here is the

The set had four chassis: one for the television circuits, one for the television power supply, one for the radio and one for the radio power supply.

RCA's service manual for this set described how the set should be viewed:

The location of the receiver should take into consideration the viewing by the whole family group plus a party of friends. A minimum viewing distance from the screen to the first row of chairs might be on the average two to four feet...Seating might be arranged as follows: first row 3 chairs; second row 4 chairs; third row 5 chairs

The TRK-12 has a socket on the rear to allow connection of an external phonograph, such as the RCA model R-100.

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