Peter Bacon Hales

Chapter Six-- Mr. Levitt's Television:  Color Images

6.3 Second- and third-prize winners in the Levitt Home Decorating Contest, Life, January 14, 1952. Copyright The Picture Collection.  Reproduced with permission.  Photography by Leslie Gill copyright The Estate of Leslie Gill, courtesy of the Robert Mann Gallery

detail of the smaller, "original" built-in television from second-prize winners.

Joanne Tekula in front of an early family built-in television.Courtesy Charles Tekula, Jr. and the Tekula Family.

The variance between these two "original" televisions suggests either that the very early televisions blew out at an astonishing rate, or-- more likely-- that the Levitt organization went with whatever brand was most cheaply available at the time.  Here you notice, though, that the original cutout is dramatically different than that shown in the Life​ picture.

Outside the Gates of Eden:  The Dream of America from Hiroshima to Now

By 1953, "portable" sets like this one were commonly available.  John Atherton, Eugene Oregon, 1953

By Easter, 1959, when Joanne Tekula posed in front of the much-adapted entertainment center that Charles Tekula, Sr. had built into the wall where the original television once resided, the recess enabled an entire hi-fi system and television to be added to the small living room without taking up valuable space.

​The 1949 DuMont and 1950 RCA Victor models here represent the low-midrange and high-end of the television models at the moment Levitt started to provide his in-wall television. 

This is probably the second Tekula built-in tv; the original cutout has been adapted to the new set, probably around 1952