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Old 03-06-2018, 09:34 AM
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AlanInSitges AlanInSitges is offline
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American TVs overseas

Back in the 50s and 60s, some American manufacturers evidently either exported, or manufactured in joint venture, sets in Europe. I'm in Spain and looking at picking up and restoring some interesting sets from this era (I don't know anything about the European sets which are mostly Philips and German brands, so looking for the American stuff I'm familiar with) so I've been searching around online and have come across a few familiar brands for sale locally:

Here is a GE that looks pretty familiar branded "Spanish General Electric":


And a Sylvania that most definitely does not look familiar:


An Emerson that looks suspiciously like that GE:


How about a Sylvania B&W console with a cataract?


Or a Zenith console with no legs?


And here's another Emerson that looks like it's probably not of US origin:


Does anyone know anything about sets like this? I'd be interested to know if they did this all over the world or if Spain was a unique market for them.

I tracked down some info on Zenith and it appears they had a joint venture with a company called Televesa that built a factory and actually made $ervice$aver-era sets here in Barcelona, though they are hard to find for sale today.

I also found a copy of an old ad from the early 60s featuring a line drawing of one of those bug-eyed Sylvanias calling it "Sylvania EXPORT" and boasting the best American technology. But those are just so bizarre-looking I can't imagine Batavia had anything to do with it.

I may buy one or two of these; some have been for sale for years and it doesn't seem like there is a lot available in the Spanish market. It's worth noting that most of these sellers have evidently been smoking crack for years, convinced that they have priceless antiques. That legless Zenith up there is priced at "firm" 500€. :O

I just missed out on a late-50's Admiral that went for a relative song just up the road. I'll keep searching for interesting sets here, and I wonder if US makes were similarly sold in other nearby countries. I may need to go to France or Italy or Germany to find a better selection.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:53 PM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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IIRC, Emerson had a plant in Italy, Admiral had a plant in numerous countries, possibly just final assembly operation using some US sourced parts. Philco had several foreign plants and a big presence in Britain.
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:29 PM
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dishdude dishdude is offline
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That GEE logo is something else!
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:12 PM
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AlanInSitges AlanInSitges is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dishdude View Post
That GEE logo is something else!
Yeah I didn't catch that until after I posted! Check this out:

It appears they were building picture tubes in Madrid, and it seems there is still a dormant company based on Bilbao.
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:44 PM
zeno zeno is offline
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Zenith used to make kits that were assembled in other countries.
Usually some local parts were used to make "content" regulations.
Argentina was one place. I also heard Zenith was the best seller in Israel.
Keep an eye opened around our old bases, I bet you will find a
lot there.

73
Zeno
LFOD !
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:31 PM
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MadMan MadMan is offline
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I like how the last Emerson literally says 'Export Model.'

And how GE just added an extra E to their logo.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:28 PM
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wa2ise wa2ise is offline
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Back in the late 1970's I interviewed for an electrical engineering job at Sylvania near Buffalo NY. One thing they were working on was color TVs that had PAL and soundcarrier modifications, to sell to American military personnel in Europe. Didn't get the job, but a year later I did get a job at RCA's Princeton R&D labs.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:02 PM
kramden66 kramden66 is offline
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That Emerson looks like it has Westinghouse style knobs.
Lover sylvania console , I even like the other sylvania
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:51 AM
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dr.ido dr.ido is offline
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Somewhere I've got a GE B&W portable that was assembled under license here in Australia that's a direct copy of the USA model even down to being a 110V set in a 240V country. They were supplied with an external 240V to 110V stepdown transformer - no room to put inside the set.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:08 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa2ise View Post
Back in the late 1970's I interviewed for an electrical engineering job at Sylvania near Buffalo NY. One thing they were working on was color TVs that had PAL and soundcarrier modifications, to sell to American military personnel in Europe. Didn't get the job, but a year later I did get a job at RCA's Princeton R&D labs.
At one time, Motorola made a Quasar II model for US personnel in Germany.
IIRC, the big difference was the big color board that those models used. They only built them a short time until the TV business was sold.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:29 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.ido View Post
Somewhere I've got a GE B&W portable that was assembled under license here in Australia that's a direct copy of the USA model even down to being a 110V set in a 240V country. They were supplied with an external 240V to 110V stepdown transformer - no room to put inside the set.
I remember seeing an export model GE 12" portable in the "C" line service manual, CA 1966. It was referred as a CCIR set.
It also had higher value power supply electrolytics for 50 cycle service.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:45 PM
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Jeffhs Jeffhs is offline
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That Zenith console with no legs also doesn't have a UHF tuner, as there is a huge blank area below the VHF tuner where the UHF one would be on sets made for US NTSC. I thought since many European countries' TV stations are on UHF channels, any TV sold in those countries would be required by law to have UHF tuning capability, not unlike the all-channel law passed in the US in mid-1964. Britain comes to mind. I think many if not most of their TV stations were and still are on UHF, unless the frequencies were realigned recently for digital TV as they were in the US.

BTW, I saw that "GEE" logo, and immediately began to wonder about it. Was this a misprint of a GE CRT label, or was it someone's idea of a joke? I wonder what GE in Schenectady had to say about that.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:34 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffhs View Post
That Zenith console with no legs also doesn't have a UHF tuner, as there is a huge blank area below the VHF tuner where the UHF one would be on sets made for US NTSC. I thought since many European countries' TV stations are on UHF channels, any TV sold in those countries would be required by law to have UHF tuning capability, not unlike the all-channel law passed in the US in mid-1964. Britain comes to mind. I think many if not most of their TV stations were and still are on UHF, unless the frequencies were realigned recently for digital TV as they were in the US.

BTW, I saw that "GEE" logo, and immediately began to wonder about it. Was this a misprint of a GE CRT label, or was it someone's idea of a joke? I wonder what GE in Schenectady had to say about that.
I worked for a firm that made spot-welding equipment. They built a machine for General Electric Espanel. I saw a document that was from them and the logo was the same with the extra E. Looked different 55 years ago.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:33 PM
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AlanInSitges AlanInSitges is offline
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General Eléctrica Española still exists here, making locomotives. At least on paper.

I found a lightly trafficked Spanish forum for TV repair and learned a bit more from them. Most of these sets were CCIR models built either in the US or Spain, but the US models were shipped without tubes in order to comply with customs percentages etc., and give the local manufacturers a chance to sell some tubes (see the locally-made CRT above).
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