Building Televisions in the 1950’s

film of old tv manufacture in the 1950s

I stumbled across this on YouTube the other day and thought it was a great look into how TVs were manufactured in the 1950’s.

These are American TVs with the huge cabinets they used to have which were slightly different to the UK market. Other than the really early sets, TVs for the UK market weren’t huge items of furniture.

The level of testing and checking that went into building each set was incredible and not something you would do in today’s build it and ship as fast as possible culture. The cost must have been enormous.

Mind you, compared to these old TVs that were crammed full of electronics and mechanical parts such as the turret tuners modern sets don’t have much in them to test.

Interesting that in the video it shows somebody using a wire wrap tool to attach wires to posts on the PCB. I used to repair old valve and early transistor / valve hybrid TV sets back when I was a teenager for fun and I don’t remember seeing wires that were wire wrapped, everything was soldered.

When I say repair, it was more a case of rummaging through my box of TV valves and swapping them around until the TV started working. In those days there were a couple of monthly magazines such as ‘Television’ that had information about how to repair different faults with different TV’s.

Those magazines were like a paper version of YouTube but without the comments!

As a side note, if you disconnected the vertical deflection scan coils that were on the neck of the TV tube and connected them up to the speaker output of an amplifier the TV worked like an oscilloscope with a fixed timebase so the music produced squiggles on the screen. Those experiments stopped after I got a nasty electric shock!