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julianburke 01-29-2018 08:59 AM

Rca tk40a
Speaking about Television City in LA, it was a CBS facility and we all know how CBS hated RCA especially in the 50's. However CBS in 1954 purchased 25 RCA TK40's of which about half went to LA. This was a early run of "A" models.

Ed Reitan who worked for CBS had one of these cameras of which I bought from the ETF auction.

My question here is does anyone know how long it was used there or when it was retired? Is anyone out there still familiar with it or operated it? If it wasn't for Ed, it probably would have been destroyed.

It is well known that if CBS purchased any cameras, they would usually paint them blue and take off any RCA emblems with the B&W cameras. Mine of course has no RCA regalia and the holes in the side covers are appearing to have been professionally "studded" on the backside and painted flat black to hint RCA did this as it looks to have been done by RCA. The flat black paint on the inside covers appears original from the factory or else a terrific in house job at CBS. The outside is the usual silver color like all other TK40 or 41's. There are two small holes still there that held the CBS eye logos on both sides.

Lytle Hoover who is an expert on this subject, was with RCA in the purchasing department and didn't come onto the RCA scene until much later and doesn't have any documentation on these early color cameras as such. He was only able to tell me that mine being serial number 508 that it was the eighth one in line of the 25, with production dates and other info lost. Unfortunately, he was "bushwacked" while gathering/compiling such info when without any notice all of his file cabinets were taken out and destroyed. This was when GE purchased RCA and wanted no part of any historical data from RCA. Also, sadly he was keeping tabs on a new old stock (complete) TK41 chain which he wanted to go to the RCA museum and unfortunately it was snuck out along with much other equipment, taken out to a metal recycling company and sledge hammered in several of $100,000 lots. This begs the question, "what was GE thinking"??

Steve D. 01-29-2018 01:51 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Julian, Here's yours truly standing behind an RCA TK-40A. Photo taken at Ed Reitan's Westwood, Ca. apt. Ed stated this camera was used at CBS TV City here in Hollywood starting in 1954. The camera has the vented viewfinder as introduced in later TK-40 production cameras. This camera was shipped to the ETF for auction following Ed's passing. Also the TK-40's doing a "color girl" test at CBS TV City.

-Steve D.

bozey45 02-12-2018 01:27 PM

TK 40, 40 A Info
The Facebook page Eyes of a Generation may have answers about these RCA model color cameras as to their history.

julianburke 02-13-2018 07:33 AM

You may think I'm not aware of that website--My good friend Bobby Ellerbee authored it. I'm looking for someone who worked there at CBS or with Ed Reitan.
I have been collecting cameras since 1972 and early RCA color is my speciality. Thanks!

Telecolor 3007 02-13-2018 09:18 AM

@ julianburke : what studio and proffessional cameras do you have in your collection?

julianburke 02-14-2018 09:01 PM

Among many others, I have a almost complete collection of all RCA cameras both color and B&W ending with the last model TK47.

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