Hallicrafters Model T-54 Television (1948)
This Hallicrafters T-54 is the same television as my
model 505 and 514, only in a cabinet
of gray painted metal.
Here are all three TVs pictured together, along with my
Hallicrafters SX-42 radio and
its matching speaker.
The family resemblance is clear. The T-54 and SX-42 are obviously
designed to complement one another. The 505, with its wooden
cabinet, would look more at home in a living room and it was more popular than the T-54.
The last set in this group is a model 514 in a leatherette cabinet with removable cover
and carry handle.
Televisions styled like "boatanchor" communications
receivers were odd ducks. The only other
one that I've seen is the gray metal version of the
I haven't begun restoring this television yet. These photos
were taken when it was fresh from the packing crate, before
I had even brushed off the dust.
I bought this radio during the silent auction at the 2009
Foundation convention. My winning bid was $80, a fair
price for a TV that was dirty but in complete, original
condition. I hired the Craters & Freighters company
to pick it up, make a custom crate, and ship it from Ohio
to Washington. The ETF folks were kind enough to let me
store it in their back room until I had made pickup arrangements.
This photo shows the empty crate on our deck,
after I had removed the TV.
Craters & Freighters did an excellent job of packing.
The TV was first wrapped in layers of bubble wrap and
foam sheets, then encased in layers of stiff plastic foam,
all contained in a sturdy double-thickness cardboard
carton built to size.
The T-54 cabinet is pretty robust, so I wasn't too worried about
shipping damage. The odd scrapes and dents
that you see in the front-on photo are the product of use over the
decades. Like the SX-42 radio, the T-54 TV has a hinged top,
which was partly open when I took the first photo.
The next photo shows the unrestored television from above,
with the hinged cover swung out of the way. Before leaving
it to be shipped, I removed all of the small tubes. They
traveled home in my backpack, causing the X-ray machine
operator at airport security to give my pack a long, careful
The picture tube was mounted securely, so I left it inside
the cabinet. However, I carefully packed the empty interior
with plastic scrounged from the museum's back room,
just in case the CRT began to wiggle loose.
Stay Tuned . . .
That's all for now. I'll update this article with more photos
and restoration notes after I finish the project.
For technical details and more information about fixing one
of these sets, see my 505 article.