I like the tag line
RCA (Radio Corporation of America) chose for this 1951 advertisement pitching their
vacuum tubes: "Electron tube with a military mind." However, what really caught
my attention was the illustration that borrows the "ship in a bottle"
(see example) theme. A lot of younger people might have no idea what is being alluded
to given easy access to cheaply manufactured faux examples. Modern manufacturing
techniques makes it relatively simple to form a bottle (especially a plastic one)
around a pre-built ship model. The original technique required preparing much of
the model as possible ahead of time, and then inserting the individual pieces through
the narrow bottle neck and performing assembly using long nosed pliers and/or tweezers.
A lot of preparation, patience, and skill is required to make a fine looking model. Maybe
the advertisement creators stumbled upon this appropriate analogy to the challenging
job it was to supply America's war machine with high performance and reliable tubes,
and their intention was merely a juxtaposition of its vacuum tube product line with
the myriad kinds of equipment that they helped the Allies ultimately secure victory
over Axis powers.
RCA Electron Tubes Advertisement
Electron tubes are the nerve ends of military
intelligence - in systems set up and maintained by RCA Service Company field engineers.
Electron Tube with a military mind
With the rapid advance of airplanes, tanks, fast ships, and mechanized weapons
of war, a swift, sure means of communication and detection is as important as are
the new weapons themselves. It is provided - by electron tubes and electronics.
So important is this area of military intelligence that RCA Service field engineers
- here and abroad - have lifted their efforts to new peaks. Working with our Armed
Forces, they install and maintain such communications systems as short-wave radio
and portable radiotelephones. They work with systems of detection, such as radar.
They help ships and planes navigate with loran and shoran. These engineers are the
link between research developments made at RCA Laboratories - and America's military
The number of RCA field engineers has tripled since World War II. And they serve
where needed, wherever an electron tube's "military mind" can be of military use.
See the latest wonders of radio, television, and electronics at RCA Exhibit-ion
Hall, 36 West 49th Street, N.Y. Admission is free. Radio Corporation of America,
RCA Building, Radio City, N. Y. 20, N Y.
Practical training of military personnel - in classes, factory, and the field
- is a basic part of RCA Service Company's work with our Armed Forces.
Radio Corporation of America
World Leader in Radio - First in Television
Posted September 21, 2020