The Early Television Foundation Society and Museum


The Early Television Foundation in Hilliard, Ohio is dedicated to the preservation of the technology from the early days of television. The website’s mission is to preserve and make available to the public the history of early television, from the mechanical systems of the 1920s through the introduction of colo(u)r television in the 1950s.

As a teenager, Steve McVoy worked in a television repair shop after school, and sometimes worked on 1940’s sets such as the RCA 630. In 1999 he sold his cable television business, was looking for something to do with his time, and decided to collect early television receivers.

At that time he was unaware that television existed before World War Two. However, shortly after deciding on his new hobby, a RCA TRK-12 appeared on Ebay. He bought it and restored it. Over the next year he met many of the collectors in the United States. Most were very willing to show him their collections, but their sets were in their basements or attics where they were difficult to see.

As his collection grew, he began to run out of space to display it. He then came up with the idea of starting a museum; so that he would have a place to put his growing collection, and so that the public could easily view the collection.

Broadcast equipment display. Credit: Early Television Foundation.