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Early Electronic Television


(click on picture for high resolution image)

Screen Size 5 inch
Year Made 1939
Quantity Manufactured 587
Original Cost $199
Number Still in Existence See Pre-1945 Database
Cabinet Original Finish
Chassis Restored

The TT-5 was RCA's least expensive set in 1939. It is a vision-only set, requiring an external radio to receive the sound. It has a 5 channel tuner and a 5 inch screen. The cabinet and chassis are in excellent condition. Here are technical information, Rider technical information, advertising literature and information on TV sound for this set. Here is the RCA Dealer Sheet, courtesy of Eric Coon.

We have learned something of the history of this set. It was purchased by an engineer in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1968 he "restored" it for the 1968 25th  anniversary of the Sarnoff Research Labs. Unfortunately, his restoration involved substantial modification of the original circuits  After his death, the set was sold to a collector. 

This is a photo of the RCA assembly line, showing the TT-5 being built, taken for the 1939 book Magic Dials, which described RCA's introduction of television.

A postcard from 1940

RCA 16T3 radio, made in 1939 and having a TV audio input connection for use with the TT-5 television receiver

Popular Mechanics, August 1939

Dealer display