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 Post subject: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 19, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
Was just reading in the November 1947 Radio & Television Retailing a news blurb saying that in the first quarter of 1948 RCA would deliver 10,000 of their TVs consisting of the 621TS, 630TS, 641TK and 648PTK to distributors.

I've found adverts for all but the 641TK... Why is that???

Judging from the model number, that ought to be a TV with AM/FM? radio and maybe phonograph.... Why no adverts?

The January 1948 issue has a big 8 page spread on RCA where they show a 641TV

Are they the same???

Thanks,
Robert


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RCA 641TV.JPG
RCA 641TV.JPG [ 149.49 KiB | Viewed 904 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 19, 2017 5:10 pm 
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The early TV museum has one

http://www.earlytelevision.org/rca_641.html

Scroll down for ad

http://www.earlytelevision.org/rca_postwar_ads.html

Also radio museum has some info

https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/rca_641tv641_t.html


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 19, 2017 6:43 pm 
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The 641TK is referenced in the Nov 1946 issue of Radio & TV Retailing at a price of $750.
The next year the 641TV is listed at $795. This model number appears in commercial ads.
It appears that anything with 641T is really the same thing, or nearly identical.
Indeed, it is questionable if any sets were actually made with the 641TK designation.
=====
Ron


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 19, 2017 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
TK, TK, TK...

I'm not seeing that in the references you gave...

TV & TS yes.... but not the originally announced 641TK

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 19, 2017 6:59 pm 
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I didn't actually see the Nov. 1946 issue, and am only repeating something from the RadioMuseum site.
=====
Ron


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 20, 2017 7:54 am 
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Why would they be delivering these 1946 model sets in the first quarter of 1948? 1947 yes but 48?


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 20, 2017 1:05 pm 
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It is only speculation but as I look at the announced production quantities of 10,000 units in a quarter in late 1947 makes me think they were still definitely in a retooling / ramp-up mode. If you listen to a lot of Old Time Radio like I do, you will be aware of the many, many post-war shortages. They might have had the 630 chassis design done in early '46 but getting production quantities of parts was probably not easy even for a big company.

I know there were shortages of furniture grade plywood for deluxe consoles. There were shortages of phenolic resins for Bakelite... This is where you see Philco and other companies trying to make cheap table model cabinets from Masonite hardboard. They worked but the labor & time required to assemble the parts could not compete with molding Bakelite, etc. IF you could get it....

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Sat 21, 2017 9:05 pm 
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I recall seeing a sales brochure from 1948 that still showed the 630TS available. We might think that certain sets were available only one year, but it's possible that they were still being produced in conjunction with the new models.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Sun 22, 2017 3:48 am 
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I think the real question is: was the 641TK ever produced? The only references we have found to this model were from the same magazine. It won't change the world, one way or the other. But, I find trivia interesting.
======
Ron


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Sun 22, 2017 12:18 pm 
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TahoeTV wrote:
I think the real question is: was the 641TK ever produced? The only references we have found to this model were from the same magazine. It won't change the world, one way or the other. But, I find trivia interesting.
======
Ron

I too love trivia like. I was like you with the 621TS. I HAD to know the whole story!
I wouldn't think of the 641"TK" as some kind of different model. I believe it was either a type-o or a pre-production designation that was later changed. I looked in period ads I have and they all designate the 10" 630-type combination radio/TV/phono as the model 641TV.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Sun 22, 2017 5:38 pm 
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I have had mine since the 1970's and it's a 641TV. I agree that information may have been a typo or somewhere along the line they changed the model number before the sets went into production.

Mine came from an RCA dealer who had it since new, apparently the factory distributors were told to put one of those in the showroom of the larger RCA dealers across the country, but it was a difficult model to sell because of the price and size. Many of the early sets languished on dealers sales floors for far too long. Even in the major cities TV sales didn't skyrocket in the late 40's.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 23, 2017 12:22 am 
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According to documents in the RCA archive at the Hagley Museum, "TK" was the 1945-46 designation for a console direct view TV with Radio. They may have assumed low demand and not produced any or, if produced, sold few. I spent several days there this summer going through the archive collection just out of curiosity. Although there were some production records, I did not find any that broke down the early TV product line by model numbers.

Here is an excerpt from the TV portion of the model designation document. Interesting that the examples shown were "5" series that were not produced. For example, 530TS became 630TS as the first number in the model was the last number of the model year. The table shows the description, the "current" designation. "current" example, "new" designation, then "new" example.


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RCA 1946 Model Designations-c.jpg
RCA 1946 Model Designations-c.jpg [ 134.87 KiB | Viewed 645 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 23, 2017 1:02 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
Interesting chart, and based upon that a 641 could never have been a TK designation because it also includes a phonograph (actually a changer).

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Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 23, 2017 1:28 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
Thanks! for the chart... I think I can call my PowerPoint slides for RCA 'done' and move on.

All the best,
Robert


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 23, 2017 3:47 am 
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Tim wrote:
According to documents in the RCA archive at the Hagley Museum, "TK" was the 1945-46 designation for a console direct view TV with Radio. They may have assumed low demand and not produced any or, if produced, sold few. I spent several days there this summer going through the archive collection just out of curiosity. Although there were some production records, I did not find any that broke down the early TV product line by model numbers.

Here is an excerpt from the TV portion of the model designation document. Interesting that the examples shown were "5" series that were not produced. For example, 530TS became 630TS as the first number in the model was the last number of the model year. The table shows the description, the "current" designation. "current" example, "new" designation, then "new" example.

That is a very interesting listing! Another clue that the 621TS might have been a complete post-war model. It seems in '45 a "517TT" was proposed as a sight-only television attachment as was available in the pre-war days as the TT-5. It must've been quickly decided to make it a sight and sound set with a larger 7" CRT. I believe this photo shows an early production 621TS as it was being morphed from the TT-5 into the 621TS with Zworykin looking at it:
Image
PS - the TV only console below also seems to be an early production proposal for what would be the very different looking 630TCS


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 23, 2017 4:07 am 
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Actually, the price was more than $795 according to the ad. The fine print is difficult to read but it looks like there is a Federal excise tax added, as well as some other owner? fee. Can anyone read those numbers and figure out what the real price to the consumer was? Don't forget, they would also have needed to install a rooftop antenna in most locations. This combination could easily have set the consumer back $1000 or more.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Mon 23, 2017 9:01 pm 
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Mr. Detrola wrote:
Actually, the price was more than $795 according to the ad. The fine print is difficult to read but it looks like there is a Federal excise tax added, as well as some other owner? fee. Can anyone read those numbers and figure out what the real price to the consumer was? Don't forget, they would also have needed to install a rooftop antenna in most locations. This combination could easily have set the consumer back $1000 or more.


Dennis,

As the ad states $795.00 + $23.70 fed. tax + $79.00 owner's policy. Total: $897.70. I assume the owner's policy is a service contract.

-Steve D.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 24, 2017 1:01 am 
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CT-100 Guy wrote:
Mr. Detrola wrote:
Actually, the price was more than $795 according to the ad. The fine print is difficult to read but it looks like there is a Federal excise tax added, as well as some other owner? fee. Can anyone read those numbers and figure out what the real price to the consumer was? Don't forget, they would also have needed to install a rooftop antenna in most locations. This combination could easily have set the consumer back $1000 or more.


Dennis,

As the ad states $795.00 + $23.70 fed. tax + $79.00 owner's policy. Total: $897.70. I assume the owner's policy is a service contract.

-Steve D.


Good golly, that's almost $12,000 in today's money! I'm sure it's possible to find a TV that costs that much today but I don't imagine there'd be many sold.

I find it very interesting that the dollar amount that run-of-the-mill televisions sell for hasn't changed much in my lifetime (1948 to present). What other product can claim that sort of record, I wonder?

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 Post subject: Re: RCA 641TK - why no photographs on Google?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 24, 2017 2:30 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
You could have bought a new Ford or Chevrolet for just a few hundred dollars more. No doubt the extremely high prices of the TV's of that era hurt sales, since even the most curious people may not have been able to spend that amount if they were also paying for housing and a car.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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