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Early Color Television

Westinghouse H840CK15

(click on picture for high resolution image)

This set was the first color set for sale, in March of 1954. It was priced at $1,295. Westinghouse ran a full page ad in the New York Times introducing the set, for sale at 60 stores in New York. Not one of the stores reported a single sale. Here is an email with recollections of one of the sets. Here is the service manual and the Westinghouse Color Television Service School, courtesy of Ingo Kubbe.

We have acquired a second Westinghouse 15 inch color set. This one appears to be a prototype for the H840CK15.

Consumer Reports reviewed the new Westinghouse in their April, 1954 issue. They concluded:

CU is as optimistic as the next man about the future of color television. But on the the basis of the evidence at hand, it appears that only an inveterate (and well-heeled) experimenter should let the advertisements seduce him into being "among the very first" to own a color TV set.

In April the price was cut to $1,110 after only 30 sets had been sold. Only 500 were built, and most were never sold, because there was very little programming in color at the time, and the set was expensive and temperamental. This is one of only a few of these sets still in existence. Here is a web page with a list of these sets. Radio & Television News tested the set and wrote about it in an editorial in June.

We have finished the restoration of two of these sets. Both cabinets have been restored to their original condition. One set will remain with us, while the other will be placed in a museum in the Northeast.

A picture from the screen