Design, ephemera

Top Secret!

For your eyes only. Burn after reading, Etc., etc.

So what the heck is so confidential to warrant some large red Bodoni bold italic on it? It is this; a service manual for an old Philips TV from 1954.

These were issued to the service engineers who were called out to on the spot repairs – not supplied with the set itself. These days we are used to the concept of using a specialist to service our home electrical appliances – after all, many of you have shelled out big time for additional warranties (not me though, it’s against my religion!) and for most people, doing routine maintenance on their washing machine or car is unheard of. I can’t tell which bit of the plastic casing covers which part of the engine in my modern Japanese marvel. Indeed, I don’t know where most of the engine is; surely it’s bigger than that little plastic coated thing under the tiny bonnet?

During the 1950’s Britain was still recovering from the Second World War, especially economically. People adopted a ‘make do and mend’ approach to all aspects of their lives, and many manufacturers were building relatively simple products that could be serviced and repaired by the owner, making all the parts available through a network of local hardware shops and mail order. This being a newfangled luxury item, I guess that Philips decided that it could lever some control from the ‘handy with a screwdriver’ brigade and charge for the cost of repairs and spares through its dealers, gauging that those who could afford the £100 or so to buy one (£2116 in todays money!) , were also good to pay for its servicing.

Anyway, enough of this nostalgic waffle. I posted this here because of these:


These are beautifully executed schematic diagrams, all hand drawn, many with hand lettering:

After the schematics you get these fantastic top-down single point perspectives. I guess these were for the engineers to visually identify the components as they removed the top of the set.

There are also a couple of three-quarter views. I reckon I could fix one of these with this information, eh?

The last bit, is the dealers stamp on the back of the book: J.Woodbridge & Son, Ironmongers. Ironmongers? TV’s from the ironmongery? Yes, this is from a time when this sort of stuff was really new, and was sold as furniture alongside sideboards and dressers.

And if you are interested in what the Philips Television Receiver Type 1114u looked like, here it is in all it’s 15″ screen glory:

I found this image here along with one or two bits of information…

Who needs flat screen plasma HD technology when you can have one of these bad boys?


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