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Higher Fi: 1960

Higher Fi: 1960

Chicago circa 1960. "Educational tapes." Specifically the "Electronic Educator" tape cartridge system, sharing space with a Fisher Stereophonic Master Audio Control, Sherwood tuner and RCA Victor Deluxe color TV, as well as drawer-mounted reel-to-reel and turntable. 4x5 inch acetate negative. View full size.


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Our First Color TV

My uncle retired in 1968, he bought a new Plymouth Fury III and set off for a cross country months long vacation. He didn't want to leave his new RCA color TV in his apartment so he asked if he could leave it at our house. He returned and never took it back though he was at our house almost daily. Along with the color it also had a working UHF tuner where our black and white Magnavox had the dial but it didn't do anything. On sunny not to windy days if you could get the loop antenna in the correct position we were treated to programming on channels 38 and 56 in the Boston area that we didn't know existed before.


The girl's saddle shoes are worn, with white shoe polish applied in an attempt to cover the scuffs. That brings back memories. Also, her pretty butterfly dress is probably homemade. 1960 was the peak of home-sewing in America. (Possible) mom looks very crisp in the career woman garb of the time, which is so classic it could be worn today.

Our First Color TV

Was purchased in 1964, just in time for the Olympics in Japan.

To actually see all that burned my eyes since I was used to B&W TV.

The RTR I used for making Jingles for Disco's back in the 70's as a part time DJ in the UK. It had great sound and you could do some really cool stuff, such as making yourself sound like the chipmunks.


State of the art

In 1965 I built my state of the art stereo system. Marantz receiver, Sony reel to reel, Dual turntable, Ohm speakers. Then I had to do the periodic upgrades. Never ending cycle.


I'm not sure 'higher' fi really fits: LPs, tapes (especially tapes) and good tube electronics (which Fisher was) are pretty much 'hi-fi' even by modern standards. Phono cartridges still had a ways to go.

[Sometimes "higher" just means "higher." -tterrace]

In Living Color!

An "Electronic Educator," that is. From an old eBay auction.

Radio Daze

Having spent 40 years in radio, I immediately recognized the "carts". Those were the standard for commercials and jingles. They typically came in :20, :40 and :70 length for commercials and jingles. After the trend away from turntables began in the late 70s, the 3-5 minute carts were used for "all the hits all the time".

We would typically pull an hour's worth of programming in advance. With songs, commercials and jingles, that stack got to be pretty tall. I never saw a machine like the one pictured, most of the "cart machines" just had a slot to shove 'em into. We loved the fact that we could get up and walk around without the nightmare of hearing a record skip -- hearing a record sk -- hearing a record sk --

A typical setup?

The families who had such systems in 1960 were about a rare as those who had pet cheetahs or ocelots.

The TV

The set seems to match up with a late 58 or early 59 RCA "Southbridge" model with a CTC7 chassis and a Blonde (or perhaps Limed oak) Finish.
The legs have been removed or the cabinet has holes cut to accommodate them.

More on early RCA Color sets here:


Used the Fidelipac type endless loop cartridges of both sizes into the '90s, for commercials, jingles, and some for even the top 40 songs. I know because as an engineer I had to maintain them. I hated the Tapecasters and the 3 deck players. A pain to keep them always sounding good. So glad programming is digital now, though miss old time radio days.

Soupy Sales

They must have just watched "Lunch with Soupy Sales" on channel 7 WBKB before playing some music for the rest of the afternoon.

For the backward students

Sleep learning, with the Electronic Educator:

Time flies

Hard to believe that the sweet little girl is now on Medicare. Sigh.

Techie's Dream

I bet Tterrace had one of these. lol

[The 1960 me would have been blinded to everything else by the color TV. -tterrace]


And to think, I hold that entire wall (and then some) in my palm most of every day! It is a marvel and privilege to have been born in 1950.

Great sound

A mid-century audiophile's dream system. I wonder what loudspeakers it had?


was the first commercially available tape cartridge. Introduced in 1959, It had a continuous tape loop with a half-turn twist - features later used in the Lear Jet 8-track. (Correction: 8-tracks did not use the half-twist and double-sided tape.)

[Fidelipac was the first endless-loop cartridge, but not the first tape cartridge. RCA's Sound Tape system (below) came out in 1958. - Dave]

LP Storage

Interesting LP storage rack in the lower-left cupboard. Looks like it has little tabs that pop up to indicate a particular record is missing from its slot. Anyone able to identify it?

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