Postwar American Television
Tradiovision Model 13
(click on picture for high resolution image)
(1949 - 5 inch projection tube)
Tradiovision made three projection models, this one with a 3 x 4 foot screen,
the model 14, with a 2 x 3 foot screen, and the model 9, which had the
equipment in a rack and had a standalone projection unit. The sets used identical
projection systems based on the 5TP4 and optics developed by RCA.
Because of the large screen size, the picture on this set was extremely
dim. These sets were sold primarily to bars and clubs. They also made two direct view models, the D150 and D255.
Our set was purchased by Nick Fink in 1950. It was used in Nick Fink's
bar in Comstock Park, Michigan (near Grand Rapids) for several years before being removed
from service and placed in storage. We purchased the set from Dennis
Fink, Nick's grandson. WOOD-TV, channel 8, came on the air in Grand
Rapids in August of 1949. Here are the advertising materials testimonial letters, and schematic diagrams that came with
the set. Here are photos of materials from a Tradiovision dealer.
Tradio was also a manufacturer and supplier of coin operated radios for
Popular Science, August 1947
made several direct view home receivers in the
late 40s and early 50s. Here is some more information from Lud Sibley:
Sams shows four folders with their
direct-view sets, all conventional consoles for their day:
T-20A, Folder 133-14, 5-51 – 16GP4 tube, separate sound IF
T-20E, Folder 165-17A, 4-52 – tube unspecified
T-1720 / C-2420 / CD-2020, Folder 173-14, 7-52 – 20CP4 tube,
still separate sound IF
T-1853, Folder 200-10, 4-53 – 20CP4 tube, now intercarrier
sound, still obsolete 21-MHz IF
I have a listing of military test equipment, including the
AN/USM-38 pulse oscilloscope for radar maintenance. Navy
bought ‘em for $750 each. Has prominent italic “Trad” logo
on the nameplate. Claimed to equal their PO-400 civilian
‘scope. Typical early-‘50s design. The tube is a 3WP1, which
Du Mont registered in 10-52, so that helps set the vintage.
Going to the Institute of Radio Engineers directories
(“thank you, Pete Grave”), which combined a list of members
with a manufacturers’ catalog:
1950, 1951 – No listing or ad
1953 – Full-page ad for test gear: RF
step attenuators, the VS-500 variable-frequency power
generator (6-foot rack) producing 50-3000 Hz; SG-25 HF-VHF
signal generator, PP-180 variable regulated lab power supply
giving 180-360 V, SW-12 standing-wave indicator for UHF lab
measurements. No ‘scopes.
1954 – 1/3 page on the AT-120 RF step attenuator
1955 – 1/3 page on the SG-25, AT-120; adds CS-120 6- or
12-position coaxial switches for UHF use and CM-300 crystal
detector mount for UHF lab use.
1956 – 2/3 page. Says the SG-25 “is” the military AN/URM-25D
HF-VHF signal generator, the SG-26 “is” the AN/URM-26B UHF
generator, adds the RT-500 (AN/TRM-1) receiver-transmitter
test set for LF-HF-VHF use, cites the PO-400 ‘scope. and
lists the AT-120, CM-200, and CM-300 crystal mounts.
1957 – Not available here
1958 – Same as 1956 (uh-oh – a static product line. Not good
in the electronics biz). Cites George Trad as a contact for
potential sales reps (Aha! That’s where the name
originated!). Company name is Trad Electronics Corporation.
1959, 50 – Same ad
1961, 62 – No listing or ad
All listed addresses for the company are 1001 First Ave.,
George Trad was not an IRE member, so no help from the
member part of the directory.
I suppose these guys started out in the bright new world of
television, got their head handed to them in the competitive
environment of the early ‘50s, and turned to defense work.
RF unit, with channel selector
Rear of RF unit
Back, with covers on
Back, with covers off
Power supply and speaker
Plastic screens were held on using rubber bands, to tension the
The screen frame installed