As a boy, I was fascinated with the design of everyday things – the choices made that affected their looks and how they worked. When we’d leave somebody’s house I’d spend the car ride home telling my parents about the Kelvinator refrigerator, the Hotpoint stove, and the Setchell-Carlson television I saw in the home. I asked them why some refrigerators had a freezer on the top, some on the bottom, and some on the side. I puzzled aloud over how older appliances had rounded edges while modern ones had square corners. I gave lectures about the advantages of placing a TV’s channel-selector knob on the side versus on the front. It’s good thing I sat in the back seat where I couldn’t see my parents rolling their eyes.
Fast forward to my young adult life. When I got my first apartment, its kitchen featured a Tappan stove from the early 1950s. I brought the 1960s black-and-white RCA console TV of my childhood with me, even though it hadn’t worked in years. I had a working 1946 Philco table radio that I listened to every morning over breakfast. And somebody gave me a 1949 Bendix console radio and phonograph that still sort of worked. All but the Bendix are gone now.
If I had money and space I’d have a home full of old appliances, radios, and televisions. Fortunately, I get to live vicariously through this gentleman. He goes by drh4683 on YouTube.
I get this guy. When I was a boy, my parents were sure I was headed toward a career in engineering because I liked figuring out how things worked. I could hardly keep my fingers off anything with buttons or knobs. My great grandmother’s TV was straight out of the 1950s, and behind this panel right at kid height were about a million knobs. Whenever we visited, if I was left alone with that TV I turned as many of them as I could before being discovered. This almost certainly caused her to utter choice words when she settled in that night to watch Gunsmoke. Also, I ruined my grandfather’s new clock radio by turning one apparently important knob past its stop point. Grandma asked me many times if I did it, even years later, but I didn’t have the guts to admit it. When Grandpa got a CB radio in the late 1970s, Grandma took me aside and said, “Jimmy, now, if you turn that knob,” pointing to the one labeled SQUELCH, “it will explode!” It was several years before I figured out that was a scam.
But back to this collector. He takes his vintage extremely seriously. Check out a video he shot last Christmas of his living room. Suddenly, it’s 1965!
Most of what this fellow posts on YouTube involves showing off items, mostly televisions, in his collection after he has restored them. This is a typical video. The Muppets make a special appearance.
At this point, my life is full of hobbies – roads, writing, photography, and old cameras. Thankfully, my old-camera collection takes up way less space than an old-TV collection! So to satisfy my old-electronics desires, I’ll just wait eagerly for the next video from drh4683.
I like vintage TV programs, too. See everything I’ve written about them.
Last updated on 15 March 2020 by Jim Grey