Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

 

Early Electronic Television

RCA TRK-9

(click on picture for high resolution image)

Screen Size 9 inch
Year Made 1939
Quantity Manufactured 453
Original Cost $450
Number Still in Existence See Pre-1945 Database
Cabinet Refinished
Chassis Restored

The TRK-9 was introduced in 1939, together with the TT-5, TRK-5, and TRK-12. This set is a direct view 9 inch receiver, with an AM/SW radio receiver. The cabinet is in fair condition, with some veneer missing. The chassis are in good condition, with only a small amount of rust. It now displays a crisp, clear picture, probably the best of any pre-1945 set we have restored.

Technical information
Advertising literature
Owners manual
RCA Begins Conversion of Television Sets
RCA Dealer Sheet (courtesy of Eric Coon)

While restoring this set we noticed a service tag with the name John McDermott on it. We knew the set originally came from Newburgh, New York, where RCA conducted a marketing test of its TV sets in 1939. Newburgh was considered ideal, since it was close to New York, but isolated from that market. RCA did extensive advertising, lowered prices and offered installment purchase plans in an attempt to sell sets.

As part of the campaign, RCA published a brochure with testimonials for their sets. One of the people quoted was John McDermott. This TRK-9 was in McDermott's Bar in downtown Newburgh, then in the McDermott's home, and finally in a shed behind the house, where it was discovered by a collector in the 1980s.

The TRK-9 has a socket on the rear to allow connection of an external phonograph, such as the RCA model R-100.

 

Rear view of the set. On top is the CRT, then the radio chassis, television chassis, and on the bottom left the radio power supply. The TV power supply chassis is on the bottom right.