Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

 

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 hotels:

Popular Science, August 1947

Tradiovision also 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 channel.
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., Asbury Park.

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

Sweep unit

Projection unit

Mirror

Plastic screens were held on using rubber bands, to tension the screens.

Inside screen

Outside screen

The screen frame installed