Color Television Display Banners (1960s)

  

These big, colorful banners appeared in RCA and Zenith dealer showrooms, touting their color television sets.

Each banner is 44 by 32 inches in size, made of rayon with printed lettering. A tube seam at the top lets you insert a stick for hanging, and a gold fringe decorates the bottom.

Here are the banners, ready to hang indoors.

  

I believe these banners hail from the 1960s, when TV manufacturers and broadcasters spent millions to promote color television. It's interesting to note the competing claims. Zenith boasts of its "handcrafted" technology with no printed circuits. RCA, on the other hand, promotes its "space age sealed circuitry." Printed circuits and integrated circuits eventually won out, as we all know, but some of Zenith's early color TVs were certainly good performers.

Unless you buy one of these banners from a TV shop's wall, it will probably be wrinkled from storage, and mine were no exception. After decades in a box or drawer, they had many deep wrinkles, and a few minor stains and wear marks.

Although rayon is pretty durable, the colored lettering is a plastic-looking material that was not designed to withstand serious handling. Machine washing seemed much too risky. Instead, I soaked them in a tub of clear, cold water and let them drip dry. I inserted a stick at the bottom to add a little weight and draw out the wrinkles.

  

Then I ironed each one carefully, with the clothes iron set to rayon. Now they adorn the walls in our TV/radio display room, where my most valued sets are kept:

  

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