Philco model H2010BL

the "Safari" transistor portable TV


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Phillco "Safari" model H2010BL
 ch. 10AT10 ca: 1959

click /tap images for enlarged view

Hood open

actual "off air" picture

model H2010L w/ stuff

rear view

insides (front))

insides (rear)

The PHILCO "Safari"; AC  or battery. The worlds first
battery operated portable TV and 100% US made.

My collection, the black leather Philco "Safari", the worlds first all transistor, battery or AC operated portable television.  100% designed, engineered and built in the good 'ole U.S.A. and with outstanding performance. Yes built back in the good ole fifties & sixties when the best designers, engineers and factories in the world made great stuff, like the Lockheed's; "BlackBird", RCA's CT100 color TV, and the classic 1957 Chevy.

Yes the Philco "Safari" stands out as a true first in a truly, portable, all transistor (sans the HV rectifier), self contained television with excellent performance.

Philco even made their own transistors and some of those used in the Safari" were hand selected fo best performance. I have found, service and sold a number of these over the years and most of the one I found that had not been subjected to a hostile environment would still work! Those that didn't usually only required a minimum of service. There's only one or two chronic troublesome issues that I 've found with these well designed sets ... and those are easy, minor fixes.

I have another "Safari" I'm parting out,  click > here if interested.

More about the Philco "Safari"

First offered in the summer of 1959, it was available in two cowhide leather cases; Tan or Black. It was the worlds first all transistor, battery operated portable TV. It featured a 2" CRT with a unique reflector/projection lens system that produced a remarkably good picture (approximately 5" X 7") viewing it at about 3 feet from set. It was claimed that you could view what was comparable to a 14" picture tube at 4 feet. The lens/optical system was unique in that the further away from the set you were, the larger the image appeared. About 3 1/2 feet was optimum. The set was 100% engineered, designed and manufactured in the USA by Philco and a marvelous piece of engineering it was. Many of the transistors used were specially designed and hand selected for best performance in this set. Even after all these years, most of these sets still perform quite well. Of the ones I've seen that do not work have usually suffered from abuse or moisture damage. Philco was one of the largest manufactures of radios and TV's from the late 20's through the 50's. A belated salute to those great Philco engineers of yesteryear!

The set came in two color schemes, black w/chrome trim and tan w/brass trim, both were covered in genuine cowhide. The "Safari" was 16 1/2" tall & 8" wide, it sold for $250.00. Another feature was the rechargeable alkaline battery with the charging circuit built-in to the TV's electronic.

 << High quality reprint paper items (manuals, labels, instructions etc.) are available for the above other models


Radiolaguy's collection, the television is not for sale.

© C.E. Clutter


Member of:
Northwest Vintage Radio Society

Member of:
Antique Wireless Association