Check Out This Vintage 1950s RCA Color Television Camera

Vintage 1950s RCA Color Television Camera

The RCA TK-40/41 is considered to be the first color television camera. It began production in late 1953 and was produced in greater quantity in 1954. This particular camera (MI-40534) was made in 1954 and bought by WBAP (later KXAS) of Fort Worth, the first television station in Texas (debuted in 1948). Outfitted with three lenses, it is a live pick-up camera used to separate a color image into its primary red, blue, and green component images and convert them into signals required for the RCA color television system.

Beginning with The Colgate Comedy Hour on November 22, 1953 these cameras were in wide use at TV networks and affiliate studios, as well as independent TV production facilities through the 1960s. Notice the sweet CBS period logo, which actually hasn’t changed that much, and a smaller red RCA logo.

Here’s another image of the same camera, with all sorts of camera guts on display. I think I see big transistors or capacitors, or whatever they are. What do I know, I can barely operate my remote control.

Vintage 1950s RCA Color Television Camera

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