Wednesday, November 14, 2012

on the curb: RCA "vintage" TV

Okay I know I'm revealing my (nerdy) secret passion for "vintage" technology with yet another post about the televisions I see kicked to the curb around my 'hood (here is the previous post in case you missed it). Well, the truth is that I like the look of these television sets and there is probably a little nostalgia too. I grew up during the time when technology transitioned from clunky analog to still clunky, but digital. It was very exciting to change the channel with a remote control without ever leaving the couch (so Jetsonian!). And yet, I actually miss getting up to change the dial on the TV because it helps with two habits I now find annoying: the constant clicking in search for a better show; and, sitting on the couch for hours without really having to get up (and thus less exercise). Anyway, the other day I came across a 1987 RCA ColorTrak TV tossed on the curb (but it is only 25!). One plausible explanation for the abundance of "vintage" garbage around my neighborhood is that because it is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods where mainly modest, but upwardly mobile working and middle-class folks live (the neighborhood's peak period being in mid-century sometime) this garbage--some of it was once expensive technology, as well as markers of class-status--is literally the "stuff" that shows that a generational shift is currently taking place. That older folks are moving on, out, etc., their stuff now defunct, clunky, and antiquated is put out and replaced by new (still modest, but upwardly mobile) families and their class-markers (in the form of über-minimal flat screen tvs, ipads, iphones, etc.). The difference is that in the not so distant past most households had one television set, maybe two, now people have five or more televisions (one in each room, for each family member). And a generational shift in technology has taken place rather quickly, I might add. I wonder when we will stop consuming so much "new" technology (since resources are limited and we can't keep making new everything for too much longer) and re-furbish the existing stuff we already own?


  1. Nice writing esposa! Abuelo Geronimo y Abuela Lydia tenian exactamente este televisor en su casa de University Gardens!

  2. Solo le falta el gancho de ropa forrado con papel de aluminio en los tornillitos de atras y esta lista! :)