SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

The Sportables: 1960

The Sportables: 1960

Columbus, Georgia, circa 1960. "Portable TV." RCA Victor "Sportable" TVs, the Research Department informs us. The set so light, you can lift it with three hands! 4x5 acetate negative from the News Archive. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Handle With Care

I remember selling those sets and three hands weren't nearly enough.

Heft of a Salesman

"And ladies, RCA's new Sportable model is as light... as... a... FEATHER! Can you please give me a little hand here, ma'am?"


The man's glasses are the same model I wore as a kid in that same era a few years later. And the woman's glasses are the model my dad wore at the time. Many decades later, about ten years ago, I got myself glasses in the style of my dad / the woman in the photo. I thought I was being so unique and personally historic but then it seemed like every young person in North America adopted that same style of Ray-Bans, mostly as sunglasses. (The wearer of that model of glasses who rocked them most spectacularly was, in my opinion, Malcolm X.)

Heavy Tech

The picture tube had an armored glass front that weighed a good 22 pounds alone. Of course, that was offset by all the vacuum in the tubes. ;-)

Poor guy

Trying to show off for the ladies and the lady in white is looking at him like "What a dork. Good thing he owns the store."

Meanwhile, my 42 inch TV weighs 31 pounds but doesn't have a handle or a cool name.

Simple Criteria

If it has a handle on top; it's portable.

Portable, if you are a weight lifter

I have fond memories of the summer we rented a house at the New Jersey shore for vacationing. It came furnished but had no TV, so my father brought our portable (RCA model made around 1963, that looked 95% just like that one) along in the car. That golden yellow portable TV was placed on the front porch which had jalousie windows that let the damp beach air in and made the TV buzz and hiss as it turned on and warmed up enough to evaporate the dampness on its tubes.

My best memory of that summer, and the portable TV, was that I could watch TV shows that I could not watch before because they were on after my bedtime when we were at home. No bedtime at the vacation house!

My worst memory was of trying to figure out why they called that dang thing portable. I was about 9 years old, and I could not lift it, even an inch. It was just too heavy for me.

43 Pounds

I just weighed mine so I can say with some authority that set weighed 43 pounds, possibly a bit more because it has an optional UHF tuner.

Here's a shot of mine working, shy a few knobs after 56 years but then none of us 59'ers is a good as we were then.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.