Zenith Handcrafted TVs (Apr, 1965)

This ad pretty much sums up why there are no more American television manufacturers. They are actually advertising the fact that they don’t use circuit boards and that all of their electronics are hand assembled!

BUILT BETTER… to last longer!

Every Zenith portable TV is Handcrafted —built better to last longer. There are no printed circuits. No production shortcuts. Every connection is carefully handwired. This kind of dedication to quality has made Zenith America’s largest selling TV. It is one of the important reasons why Zenith TV gives you finer performance. Fewer service problems. Greater operating dependability. And a sharper, clearer picture, year after year. Don’t settle for less than Zenith—the Handcrafted TV.

The quality goes in before the name goes on

  1. HairyFriend says: March 6, 20087:09 am

    I love the concept that a mass production PCB is more unreliable compared to a bloke with a soldering iron 🙂

  2. nurbles says: March 6, 20087:24 am

    I only recently got rid of my Zenith TV, only because I didn’t feel like looking for a replacement tube (not picture tube, just one of the tubes). I’d gotten it over twenty years ago from my Grandmother who had bought it in the ’60s. In fact, it looked quite a bit like the one in the ad. I never had a problem until that tube died. Even then, I mostly only lost ‘red’.

    OTOH, I’m on my fourth solid-state TV. They seemed to be designed with a limited life span and are now cheaper to replace than repair.

  3. albear says: March 6, 200810:12 am

    And Zenith ate it’s words in the 1970’s by joining everyone else making modern printed circuit tv’s

    Now Zenith, along with RCA are Wal*Mart disposable crap.

  4. Larry says: March 6, 20083:23 pm

    Circuit boards at that time were not all reliable and weren’t trusted. you have to keep in mind things have changed… don’t judge any articles on this page by today standers.

  5. jayessell says: March 7, 200811:31 am

    Everytime I hear “The quality goes in before the name goes on” I think “because the name goes on last”.

  6. Casandro says: March 9, 20081:46 am

    Well actually a good solid state TV should last for 30 years at least. Maybe capacitors dry out, but that can be fixed.

    I don’t know how long those LCD-based TVs will hold. I guess eventually the backlight will fail.

    It is noteworthy that most failures of TV sets are in the power supply or deflection anyhow.

  7. Casandro says: April 8, 200811:00 am

    Ohh last monday I talked to one of the main ingeneers of Telefunken, a back then famous german company. The US were the last to have hand-wired TV-sets, according to him. That also meant that those sets were simply gigantic. Every other country made way smaller TV-sets, maybe except for Brasil where they needed special power supplies to handle large changes in the supply voltage.

  8. Christopher says: September 21, 200810:33 pm

    The hand wiring was more reliable because they were still using tubes. The high heat from the tube heaters and the higher current circuits would cook the boards, which would crack and fail from expansion, contraction and oxidation. Hand wired really was better until transistors came out.

  9. otis says: February 9, 20093:56 pm

    i have star commander zennith tv black and white is there a web site
    i can go to to find out how much it is wreath

  10. Charlie says: February 9, 20095:31 pm

    Otis: It depends on how big the tv is, but multiplying the screen size by four should cut it. So, for a 27″ tv, you’d need about 108 inches of wreath.

  11. jayessell says: February 9, 20097:21 pm

    Assuming a 3 x 4 aspect ratio, and a 27″ diagonal screen,

    between 70 and 84 inches of garland.

    But seriously, if you’re close to Hollywood, it might be needed for
    movies or tv shows set in the past.

    Were I rich, I’d have what looks like an old TV but is actually
    a LCD TV and a secret compartment.
    Getting the phoney knob to click and advance channels would be tricky.

  12. otis says: February 11, 20092:38 pm

    i am sorry i was in hurry to type and imiss spelled the worth
    how can i find out how much i can sell it for

  13. Drew says: May 14, 200910:20 am

    I owned a ’71 Zenith model that was probably the best NTSC tv I’ve ever seen. On a different brand, I remember trying to pull a tube out of a socket on a PCB, and the socket came with the tube. Also, I remember the last hand-wired set I worked on. I asked myself now how do I do this again? Now the label on the back says “no serviceable parts”.

  14. Casandro says: February 6, 20139:50 am

    Actually, that ad is from 1965. I think in 1967 East Germany (the communistic country) already introduced a fully transistorized TV set. So this surely shouldn’t have been fully tube any more.

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