Tag: RCA

Auction Finds: Vintage Cragstan RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck

Auction Finds: Vintage Cragstan RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck

Auction Finds, Games & Toys
I would so love to own one of these vintage tin beauties -- it's a battery-powered RCA-NBC Mobile Color TV Truck from Cragstan. I've included multiple shots here because there's a lot of great detail here. Based on the NBC logo used, I'd date this at around the late 1950s. Here's a few pics with the original box. Love the vintage '50s color scheme. Great detail on the cameraman, and of course there's the classic RCA "His Master's Voice" logo on the side. On the right side we have the original peacock logo, circa late '50s. I wonder what's going on behind the blinds? For more auction finds, click here.
Check Out This Vintage 1950s RCA Color Television Camera

Check Out This Vintage 1950s RCA Color Television Camera

Auction Finds
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 muc
Ads from the Open Road, Volume 1

Ads from the Open Road, Volume 1

Retrotisements
I don't really pay much attention to billboard advertisements while I'm driving, unless it's something fairly snappy or unique. And as much as I'd like to romanticize old billboard ads, I think the medium as a whole has been fairly bereft of great ideas. And if you think about it, it makes sense. You're only going to see a billboard ad clearly for what, four or five seconds? So it's all about economy of ideas and design. Anything too complicated and you either lose a driver's interest or cause a 20-car pileup. Neither is good for business. I'm not holding this group of classic billboard ads up as the best ever, but I think you'll enjoy them nonetheless. These are all courtesy the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections advertising series. I can't decide which part of...
Album cover of the week: Mobius (Cedar Walton)

Album cover of the week: Mobius (Cedar Walton)

Album Cover of the Week, Music
The recent death of French artist Jean Giraud -- aka Moebius -- was the inspiration for this week's album cover selection. It's Cedar Walton's Mobius, released on RCA Records (APL1-1009) in 1975. The album notes pretty much give away the inspiration for the title: "Mobius, which is the theoretical shape of the infinite universe, makes use of the most modern recording techniques and synthesizers. We mastered and mixed so that it's hotter than the competition, which should help radio play and in-store demonstration." Technically the correct spelling would be Möbius, but I'm not sure how jazz/funk fans in 1975 would've reacted to seeing an umlaut in an album title. But they'd probably get past it hearing hot tracks like "Road Island Red." Unfortunately I do not know who illust
Album cover of the week: Paranoid

Album cover of the week: Paranoid

Album Cover of the Week, Music
Is there anything left to say about the music on Black Sabbath's Paranoid?  It, even more than their debut album from earlier in 1970, pretty much became the template for heavy metal.  "Iron Man," "War Pigs," and "Electric Funeral" are some of the most essential songs of all-time.  But man, what's up with that cover? So the background on this weird dude is this - Sabbath originally wanted to call the album War Pigs, and that's what the guy in the Day-Glo outfit, sword, and shield is supposed to be.  Vertigo, the band's label, was uncomfortable with that title since the Vietnam War was going on and they didn't want to offend people.  I guess they figured a lot of pro-war types were Sabbath fans too? So anyway, they switched the title to match the second song on the record, "Parano
View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 5 of 7

View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 5 of 7

Ephemera
This is a shot of the RCA Laboratories building in Camden, NJ. I know there's a lot of history for RCA and this particular location, but to be perfectly honest I can't stop focusing on the parking lot full of sweet, sweet cars. Of particular note is that lovely red and white Buick wagon in the foreground. Sadly, my knowledge of old cars (or new cars for that matter) is lacking so I can't really tell what other models are in this picture. Any guesses?