View Full Version : WHY...are there so FEW tv's..from the late '60's -to mid-80's STILL AROUND?


rca2000
04-04-2016, 12:40 AM
It seems that most of the time we find an old tv-- we have a BETTER chance--of it being from the late '40's to early '60's..than from the mid-60's to the mid '80's. I do NOT understand WHY this is the case. 60+ YO tv sets should be MUCH harder to find than one 35 or so YO...but that is often NOT the case. Take Admiral for example. Most ANY ad for one...will be for an admiral from about 1948-55 or so, MAYBE early 1960's.. Almost NEVER for one newer--even though they SHOULD be around. Example--Admiral 1973 M20 7 tube hybrid..I have only seen ONE..35 years ago...not ONE since then...but have a FEW late 1940's admiral BW sets..

Or philco sets. Not real hard to find those early 1950's philc split chassis sets, or late 1940's philco sets (EXCEPT.for a few..like the 48-700 or 50-701/702. HARD to find..) are easy to find...but NEWER ones--like maybe late 60's philco BW sets or early '70's SS philco sets..? RARE !!

WHY is this? WHY.. was it EASIER for me to find a CTC 5 set--TWO of them in fact--than ANY of the late '70's RCA direct address sets? I STILL can't get hold of ONE of those..


Or Sylvanias. Sylvania sets are rare altogether...but I CANNOT find a 1971-72 EO-1 or EO- 2 set--that SS one with the early varactor tuner..to SAVE MY LIFE..but that 1948 syl set with the RF HV supp;y--I had one and have sen another one.

WHY IS THIS?????

Electronic M
04-04-2016, 01:28 AM
Part of it is cabinet quality. Newer sets tended to be particle board, fake wood, plastic or metal, and did not have the 'it is still a fine piece of furniture' excuse to keep it when the repair man eventually advised a newer set would be cheaper than a repair.

Part of it is weight (the newer ones tended to be lighter and easier to bring to the curb).

Many of the newer sets were cheaper and less reliable so the owners felt less committed and saw them as junk faster. Also tech changed a lot then, and sets got really cheap (and repair started drying up) by the time many were acting up.

A good portion of cabinet styles then were less timeless than earlier models and would wear out their welcome after redecorating.

sampson159
04-04-2016, 09:18 AM
other than zeniths,i often wondered about that too.we had the largest sylvania dealer in the country.they sold 10 sylvanias to 1 other brand.everyone had a sylvania here.where are they?you will find a chromacolor 2 occasionally but thats about it.

MRX37
04-04-2016, 09:48 AM
Huh. I regularly found 70's to 80's TV's up until the digital switchover when i stopped looking for them.

CoogarXR
04-04-2016, 10:37 AM
It's probably about value too. People spent a lot of money on those old TVs, and they probably still worked when they upgraded to color or whatever. The BW TV got moved up to the attic or whatever, since "I paid so much for it, and it still works". Then TVs got cheaper and cheaper, and people just put them on the curb when they upgraded. Meanwhile that old BW is still up in the attic, forgotten... That's my theory anyway ;)

That's kinda the logic with my old NEC flat-CRT PC monitor. I paid a ton for it (around $400 IIRC), and it just sits in the closet now that I upgraded to LED. CRT PC monitors are just about worthless, but I refuse to throw it away since I paid so much for it, lol.

RetroHacker
04-04-2016, 11:01 AM
I see them around from time to time, but - yeah - they're fairly rare. I think it's part the relative quality of the sets - a 1971 Sylvania probably wouldn't work if you found it now, and it probably broke down in 1986. And in 1986, if your 15 year old TV broke, you wouldn't bother to get it fixed, you'd just by a new solid state one. And the other part - there is no value in keeping it. It's not a piece of furniture. It's not made of wood, it doesn't serve a purpose - it's just a metal box with a screen in it that no longer works as a television. You tossed it then and there. It wasn't a huge investment when it was new - you used it and got your money's worth out of it, it broke, you replaced it.

The large consoles stick around because they are furniture. As much as we all hate the "projects" that involve gutting a vintage TV and turning it into a bar or a bookcase - I think that idea is what kept a lot of these things alive. "Well, this set isn't useful as a TV any more, but, hey - it's a nice cabinet, I'll put it in the basement, maybe later I'll gut it and make a cabinet out of it". Unfortunately, I find several TV cabinets where someone gutted it, and then never made that bar out of it... If only they had been slightly lazier, the electronics might still be in there.

-Ian

WISCOJIM
04-04-2016, 11:19 AM
There are lots of TVs from that era still around. You must be looking in the wrong places. Older TVs (pre-1970 or so) are advertised in the Craigslist antiques, collectibles, and electronics categories because people feel they are worth something. Most newer sets are considered junk, and actually cost money in most places to dispose. You'll find them in the "free" category. Even all the local estate sale business here either offer them for free, or will even pay you to take them.

Here's a big bunch here in Wisconsin (Craigslist - Free category), just waiting for anyone to pick over...

http://madison.craigslist.org/zip/5501962914.html

.

radiotvnut
04-04-2016, 12:14 PM
In my area, I rarely ever find anything older than the mid '90's. Sometimes, I'll see a gutted '60's TV cabinet at an estate sale; but, never the whole TV anymore.

What amazes me is that up until the early 2000's, Zenith from the '60's and '70's were common as dirt around here. Then, it was like someone flipped a switch and they all disappeared.

A few years ago, I ran an ad in the paper, looking for vintage TV's with knobs. I got all kinds of calls; but, they were mostly from people wanting to sell their 2001 19" Orion. The only two TV's that I got from that ad was a beat up late '70's 19" Zenith B&W (that I later gave to a friend for parts) and an early '80's 19" Hitachi pushbutton set (that I probably sold for $20). Once in a blue moon, I'll see a 13" or 19" set from the '80's at the thrift store; but, our thrift stores are still proud of their TV's and have no problem asking $25-$40 for used TV's. I'm sorry; but, I currently have a 20" TV/DVD combo from 2004 that I can't even get a lousy $20 for. I'm not paying them $25+ for an '80's knob tuned 13" portable.

jr_tech
04-04-2016, 12:47 PM
It's probably about value too. People spent a lot of money on those old TVs, and they probably still worked when they upgraded to color or whatever. The BW TV got moved up to the attic or whatever, since "I paid so much for it, and it still works". Then TVs got cheaper and cheaper, and people just put them on the curb when they upgraded. Meanwhile that old BW is still up in the attic, forgotten... That's my theory.

Add to the mony aspect perhaps a little nostalga... In most cases a 40s or 50s set was the first TV in a family, an expensive very big event, and was sometimes passed down to the children when they married, as *their* first TV. I bet that many first family's TVs are found in the attics or basements of children of original owners. After that with the exception of that first color set, which was also an expensive big event, TVs became just commodity items, of no perceived lasting value to many people.

jr

Kevin Kuehn
04-04-2016, 12:48 PM
I wonder if a lot of those vintage sets didn't get disposed of by the dealer when they sold a new set. People realized they had no resale value at that time, so they worked a deal with the sales person to have it taken away. Or the dealer might have pretended to offer a trade in allowance.

Bill R
04-04-2016, 01:15 PM
You also have to remember that the people that bought those tv's in the 40's and 50's were of a generation thet lived through the depression and WWII. They grew up being taught to not throw anything away. Often they kept sets going long after their normal life span. They would even then keep it because, well you never know when someone might need it. By the time the 60's and 70's rolled around the generation had changed and we were not as attached to our stuff and it was easier to throw it out. We had to have the latest and greatest.

sampson159
04-04-2016, 08:56 PM
a local television station had a contest here in central ohio.looking for the oldest set used as a daily watcher.the winner was an elderly couple with a early solid state sylvania gt matic console.crt was replaced in the early 80s and still going strong.i tried to contact them to buy it because the prize was a 55 inch samsung smart set.never got a reply.there were a few chromacolor IIs and space commands.a few sylvania consoles from the early eighties with some rca s from the same era.the winner had a perfect cabinet and the picture was like new.

zeno
04-05-2016, 09:07 AM
A lot of it is changes in movement. Used to be houses passed
down the family. When my ancestor fulfilled his contract
( indentured ) in 1650 he stayed & many generations stayed
within 2 towns, up to 2003 for me. The last few generations
have been constantly on the move. So Grand Ma's attic is
a rarity now. Our town was a school town. young people moved
in, put the kids through HS then quickly move away due to
very high taxes. Everything gets junked. The stuff that went
to the dump was unreal. I put kilo bucks in my pocket picking
& selling stuff. Some weeks you could make more at the
dump that 40 hrs fixin TV's. Thanks for being wasteful yuppies !!!

Tons of other reasons too.

73 Zeno:smoke:

andy
04-05-2016, 01:38 PM
My experience is that tube color sets were far less reliable than the earlier B&W sets that were most common until the mid 60's. I'm sure a lot of those B&W sets stayed around as a second set (not getting used much) after the main TV was replaced with color.

Most of these tube color sets would have broken down by the 80's and were just replaced since they were 15-20 years old. Even 20 years ago it was rare to see a properly working tube color set if it was used regularly. Even the ones that still worked looked absolutely awful next to a modern solid state TV since they had various minor problems and were invariably out of adjustment.

70's to early 80's solid state TVs held up well and are commonly still working well decades later. I still see them at estate sales (far more 70's sets than 60's sets).

Radiotronman
04-14-2016, 08:55 AM
I was just reading this thread when my neighbor asked me if I wanted this 1968 Westunghiuse JetLine tv. I don't usually see any, but I just got this one!

rpm1200
04-14-2016, 12:29 PM
Nice Westinghouse :thmbsp:

wa2ise
04-14-2016, 02:16 PM
Part of it is cabinet quality. Newer sets tended to be particle board, fake wood, plastic or metal, and did not have the 'it is still a fine piece of furniture' excuse to keep it when the repair man eventually advised a newer set would be cheaper than a repair.



Too bad that the manufacturers didn't sell cabinets and sell TV set chassises and CRTs (as one unit) that could be inserted in the above cabinets. And do that later on when the customer wants to replace or upgrade the TV. You'd get a new TV and still have the cabinet that matches the rest of the room.

I don't think the marketing model would work that well, though...

old_tv_nut
04-14-2016, 03:12 PM
Too bad that the manufacturers didn't sell cabinets and sell TV set chassises and CRTs (as one unit) that could be inserted in the above cabinets. And do that later on when the customer wants to replace or upgrade the TV. You'd get a new TV and still have the cabinet that matches the rest of the room.

I don't think the marketing model would work that well, though...

Yeah - much more money was made on the cabinet of a big set than on the guts, especially after makers semi-automated the woodworking and starting using molded plastic instead of wood for details. They would rather try to sell a whole new console than a chassis. Of course, there were a number of people who kept the old non-functioning console and put their new table model set on top of it, so the new console sale didn't always happen.

wa2ise
04-14-2016, 07:23 PM
A downside of a standard cabinet for TVs: Some aquarium maker might make tanks that would fit... :nono:

Dave A
04-14-2016, 07:49 PM
Radio Craftsmen did the cabinet/chassis thing. My dad bought a RC chrome-plated 17" chassis/CRT in 1953 or so to get Chicago television before Rockford was on the air. The set had no speaker attached but had terminals on the back for your speaker. It arrived and he set it on the dining room table and scratched it. I think that was a factor in my parents divorce 7 years later. The cabinet was purchased separately and possibly in Rockford which still had the remnants of its furniture manufacturing history. I picked up the same chassis/CRT...all shiny and restored...and am now looking for a cabinet. Blonde is best to keep family history alive.

truetone36
04-14-2016, 07:57 PM
I see quite a few 60's-80's TVs around here. In the last week I've dragged home three color consoles. A Sylvania GT Matic from the early to mid 70's, a Silvertone from '66 or so, and a Curtis Mathes fron the same time.

sampson159
04-14-2016, 08:06 PM
truetone,bring that gt matic to the etf!

rca2000
04-14-2016, 08:20 PM
If it is an EO-1 or EO-2 set..I WILL be interested..

If newer maybe not. I HAVE and EO-3 set already..

truetone36
04-14-2016, 08:57 PM
I haven't opened it up to see which chassis it is. I also have a lead on a early 70's Sylvania B/W portable set in a shed at a friend's place. I' love to come to the ETF but I don't have a way to Ohio right now. If I could get there there's a early 50's Motorola combo I'd be bidding on.

Sandy G
04-14-2016, 09:59 PM
Another thing I think is-The 1st generation of TVs were that indefinable SOMETHING called "Cute", & as such, were kept long after they were viable products. My 1st "Collector" TV, a '48 7" Admiral Bakelite, was in the garage of the old lady who owned it, It had belonged to her father, who sold & repaired radios, & owned the only "Moving Picture" place in town. I brought it home, cleaned it up, but this was in the early 90s, B4 the internet or this hobby had really taken off, & I finally sent it off to be worked on later. But EVERYBODY who saw it kept going on & on about how "Cute" it was, You GOTTA get it working !

sampson159
04-14-2016, 10:13 PM
i was thinking of rca2000 for the sylvania.i have one myself.try to get there,you will have a blast!

truetone36
06-17-2016, 06:17 PM
Since I last posted, I haven't seen any 60's to 80's sets but one, a Panasonic upright console with the storage compartment on the bottom which is from the mid 80's. Of course I have it in my living room now. the only other vintage set I've found is a '53 Admiral 21" console with doors which works as found but could use a little TLC. I'd like to find a 19' RCA with power tuning from 1976 or so as I used to have one years ago and I always liked that set.

slatton86
07-03-2016, 05:05 PM
Yeah - much more money was made on the cabinet of a big set than on the guts, especially after makers semi-automated the woodworking and starting using molded plastic instead of wood for details. They would rather try to sell a whole new console than a chassis. Of course, there were a number of people who kept the old non-functioning console and put their new table model set on top of it, so the new console sale didn't always happen.

I have a post on here about a GE B&W console, it currently has a 50" LCD sitting on top of it in my brother in-law's living room, where I am storing it until I get around to it.

zeno
07-04-2016, 10:48 AM
I was just reading this thread when my neighbor asked me if I wanted this 1968 Westunghiuse JetLine tv. I don't usually see any, but I just got this one!
A historic set. First with instant on. There is a commercial for
it on Utube. Came in both tube & solid state models.

73 Zeno:smoke:

Telecolor 3007
07-07-2016, 05:34 AM
Old = valuble. Ha, in Romania people dumped a lot of old magazines and almanachs (in which you could find very intresting stuff from the old days) and now some people they are selling them with very big prices. Same with some very early tv's... shees, it's very hard to find in Romania some tv sets.

Other motive: some older sets tend not be that big, so they aren't so bothering when you need space.

Telecolor 3007
02-12-2017, 07:19 PM
Maybe it's also because some old sets where long lasting so people just kept 'em as an back-up set.
And I do agree with the part of desing. Some old sets where nice looking.

Captainclock
02-19-2017, 03:13 PM
Around where I live there's hardly any vintage TVs left to be found let alone antique TVs it used to be about 15-20 years ago you could find console TVs from the 1970s and 1980s at Goodwill and Salvation Army near me and even Tabletop models from that time period.
You could even find ones from the 1960s even if you're lucky enough and it was still working well enough for them to not toss them.

But now with hardly anyone including the thrift stores near me not taking TVs unless they are Flat Panels that are in working order or in their original boxes never opened, the area where I live is pretty much dried up as far as vintage or antique TVs go.

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon an early 1960s vintage Philco Townhouse 19" B & W TV at the local antique shop for $15 about a year ago that wasn't gutted.
Then came across an early 1980s Montgomery Wards 9" Color TV that still works minus its original power cord at the Goodwill I work at in the salvage bin along with a late 1960s Sony 9" B & W TV with the regular Turret Style tuners that the full sized TVs have and the Continuous UHF Tuner (sadly enough they cut the original cord off so I had to wire a new one on to the old Sony) but it still works albeit its a little darker than I would of liked it to of been.

So yeah I think around me anyways Vintage and antique TVs are becoming a thing of the past literally and figuratively.