Postwar American Television
Transvision was formed in 1945 by Herb Suesholtz. Suesholtz was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn in 1914. In 1935 he received a degree in chemical engineering from Cooper Union. During the war years he worked for RCA as a lead engineer developing CRTs for radar systems on American navel vessels.
In 1945 he founded Lectrovision, a company that made CRTs. A year later he became general manager of Transvision, a company that made one of the first postwar kit TV sets, a 7 inch model. This set used an electrostatic deflection 7EP4 made by Lectrovision. The next year Transvision introduced 10 and 12 inch kits. These sets used magnetic deflection tubes. A short while later they introduced a 15 inch model. With all of these sets you could buy a separate cabinet, with many styles available. Sightmaster, located in New York City, sold sets using Transvision chassis. It is unclear if the companies had common ownership, or if Sightmaster simply purchased chassis from Transvision.
. Transvision also sold a variety of accessories for television, including antennas, magnifiers, and test equipment.
Transvision continued to sell kit sets through at least 1962.
In the early 50s, Transvision became a supplier of TV sets for hotels, motels and hospitals. In an article in the August 29, 1953 issue of Billboard Transvision claimed to have 5000 sets in 400 motels and hotels. The sets designed for hospitals had wired remote controls.
It is interesting to note that no Transvision sets of any kind from the 50s or 60s are known to have survived.
In July 1962 Baruch-Foster Company bought bought a majority of the stock of Transvision. After its purchase, Baruch-Foster elected a majority of directors of Transvision. In September, the directors removed Suesholtz as president, apparently because of the operating losses sustained. Suesholtz remained as a director and began an arbitration proceeding over his right to remain as president, evidently basing his claim on an employment contract between him and Transvision.
In January of 1963 Pacotronics bought the shares owned by Baruch-Foster and took control of the company. It is not known whether Transvision continued in the television business after this.
Suesholtz died in 2006. His obituary mentions that Transvision established a CRT manufacturing plant in Cuba in the 50s which was nationalized when Castro took control of the country. Thanks to Joe and Cassandra Lake for much of this information.
Filene's Department Store, late 40s.
Here is a story from Walter Froehlich, W2WIQ (a Ham since 1947), describing how he assembled Transvision sets and sold them:
Transvision sets in our collection: