1953 Television Company Trade Magazine

This is why I enjoy scanning old ephemera – because items like this would surely be lost to the traces of time. Here is “The Planter” a Kaye-Halbert Corporation trade magazine “published bi-monthly for its family of employees and distributor-dealers”.

I don’t know much about Kaye-Halbert other than they made TVs and are no longer in business. Their sets featured “Electronic Robot Remote Controls”.

A nice look inside industry in the 1950s…

This seems quaint compared to our showrooms of today.  But give me this over Best Buy any day.  

Television sets were like big pieces of furniture back in the day.  This one even has a floral planter at the bottom!

Don’t get me started on how local businesses were a part of the community.  The salesmen and employees expected to be on staff for life, and the business sponsored  sports teams and general community events.

The Kaye-Halbert Social Activities Committee

The “handsome neon sign” – no doubt one of the many that dotted the thriving downtown main street.  I wonder what that main street looks like today, after the Wal-Mart came to town.

Actually worth a read – just for how strikingly different this letter from the top brass is compared to today.  It overtly talks about religion – “It is far easier for me to have faith that there is a God who is in control of this world and all that is within it.”  Can you even imagine this being published in a corporate magazine now?  There’d be two hundred lawsuits and mass firings before the ink was even dry.

A fun look at a Los Angeles store…

What a showroom!

They gave away “free perfume miniatures to all ladies attending”.

Inside TV salesman humor.

A trade show in Spokane…

You can see the tradeshow booth is highlighting their “Electronic Robot” (i.e. remote control) and the “Hidealight”, whatever that was.

You just know there was some major-league whiskey drinking and chain smoking after the tradeshow was through.


  1. The religious reference is also a reminder that 1953 was the very height of the McCarthy era, and it was important to make a show of being not-like-the-commies.

    https://www.radiomuseum.org/dsp_hersteller_detail.cfm?company_id=9776 According to this they went out of business in 1956, so the buried lede is in the list of distributors – the national population was far more tilted to the northeast back then, and they had no distribution east of Ohio. That can’t have helped.


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