An RCA-Victor mirror-lid television and radio console, type TRK120, 441-line, 1939,'The World's Fair TV',

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Lot 667W
An RCA-Victor mirror-lid television and radio console,
type TRK120, 441-line, 1939,'The World's Fair TV',

Sold for £ 4,800 (US$ 6,427) inc. premium
An RCA-Victor mirror-lid television and radio console,
type TRK120, 441-line, 1939,'The World's Fair TV',
12-inch screen with white mask, horizontal radio dial mounted vertically with green and white transfer scale and push-button station select, vision and function knobs in brown Bakelite, three-quarter width mirror in the lid, in three-tone burr walnut, beech and ebonised veneered cabinet, with breakfront profile with the central panel flanked by triple louvered moulding, lower speaker bars, on block feet - 40in. (102cm) high

Footnotes

  • Literature:
    TV is King, M. B-L, 1994, p. 23,

    Original price circa $600.

    Originally released for the World's Fair in 1939, this 12-inch screen version was joined on the RCA trade-stand by the 5 and 9-inch models, named TRK 5 and TRK 9.

    After circuit revisions and minor cabinet alterations, only the 9 and 12-inch versions were re-released in 1940, and renamed TRK 90 and TRK 120.

    After research, it appears that no more than 120 American-made pre-war sets are left in existence today.

    M.B-L comments: "The TRK 12 was featured centre stage by RCA at the World’s Fair in 1939 where RCA launched the first public television service in the USA. It has been known ever since as 'The World’s Fair TV set'.

    I wrongly wrote in TV is King that this was the TRK 120 dated 1940 but it is actually the earlier TRK 12. The difference is in the style of the case. The TRK 12 has two broad feet at the base with a gap inbetween. The TRK 120 has a continuous front base without the gap. I acquired this set from Arnold Chase who at the time owned the largest collection of Pre-war American television in the USA (his collection was subsequently sold To the MZTV museum in Canada). He owned about hald a dozen TRK 12s and 120s and asked which one I wanted. I replied 'the most original and untouched'. There are more TRK12 and TRK 120 televisions surviving than any other US pre-war television models, but very few indeed are in this condition. Apart from electrical modifications which can occur to any television set over the years, the TRKs appear to be infected with 'auto-destructive' plastic panels surrounding radio and the push button select panel which have literally disintegrated. American collectors will know exactly what I mean!"
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