Sunday, September 21, 2008

RCA 730TV1 (1947)

At first when I looked at the artifact grid and saw the picture of my artifact I though to myself, "What in the world is that?" After clicking my image and doing some research I found out that my artifact is actually a television/radio that was designed in 1947. I felt to better understand this tv I needed to know how the tv itself came about. The first television sets date back to 1939, however it wasn't until the mid 1940's that televisons were affordable enough to purchase. By 1947 there were 98 commercial stations and hundreds of thousands of sets being sold. The sets back then were not like they are today. Most of them had picture screens that were 10-15 inches across, were set into heavy cabinets or pieces of wood and the picture was only displayed in black and white (until 1954). That brings me to my artifact, the RCA model 730TV1. This televison/radio combo was considered a big screen in 1947! It is actually so large that when purchased it was delivered to the home, assembled in two pieces and then the owners were taught how to use the set. The 730TV1 displays a 10" screen, but is also equipped with an AM/FM radio to the right of the screen, multi-speed turntable below and 12" speaker. The set itself is made of mahogany with beautiful walnut veneer doors that open up to display the dials and knobs for the radio and television. It's hard to imagine that our grandparents probably watched the news on one of these many years ago.

Compare: In comparison the Victor II Humpback phonograph is similar in few ways. My artifact as well as the Humpback phonograph were both produced in the 1900's. Before television people were informed through radio and listened to music through the phonograph for entertainment. As far as design both the Victor II Humpback phonograph and the RCA 730TV1 were made of wood-the RCA TV was made mostly of mahogany while the phonograph was made of quartersawed oak. The Victor II posesses a 10" turntable and the 730TV1 also has a turntable.

Contrast: Unlike the RCA 730TV1 which is a device, the Fire Screen is a piece of art and really has not other purpose but delight and being pleasing to the eye. The Fire Screen was designed in 1891 where the TV1 was designed in 1947. The materials used in the Fire Screen are copper and brass where the RCA 730TV1 used more organic materials. As far as construction the RCA 730TV1 is bulky, and bottom heavy. However, the Fire Screen is delicate, and more top heavy looking.

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