Hi, Allee! Just wanted to drop by the AWMoK to let you know that many more remotes are about to go up soon… been photographing and researching a bunch more wild finds as well as re-shooting some of the old ones in snappier, arty ways. You won’t believe the crazy old Philco radio remote I’ll be posting soon… wood case with a Bakelite phone dial that lets you dial in your selection!
Meanwhile, thought I’d drop by with this snap that I think makes a nice desktop wallpaper… there’s a bigger version stored at http://realitytvtroy.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/download.jpg
Beautiful photo! Very anxious to see new additions and hear about the new sounds that the buttons make when depressed.
Have you ever collected pillow speakers? There weren’t many of them made but they had a brief moment back in the day of these remotes. They looked like little spaceships and you kept them under your pillow so you could hear sound without waking up your bedmate. I don’t think that actually worked, which is why they weren’t around for long, but they sure are pretty and would look nice with your remotes.
An estate I worked on had a set of the pillow speakers. They are very odd little items.
I like the remotes in the pix that have giant raised buttons.
I do have a few new aftermarket remotes, including one of the pillow variety. It comes with both a speaker and a headphone jack, so maybe by then they figured out that your bedmate could still hear your speaker by the time this one came out.
Broadening the collection to include radio/stereo remotes. You’ll never believe the gigantic 1939 Philco Mystery Control… link to a great example here:
How gigantic is gigantic?
Wood cabinet, about the size of a toaster. Guess about 7″w x 8″d x 4 or 5″h. Telephone-sized bakelite dial with a brass backplate on top.
I have just received my Mystery Control that I won on an eBay auction a couple of weeks go. After searching for about 5 years, there suddenly was a plathora ( well, 4 anyway ) on eBay this month.
Did you snag one of them? There is still one left .. over in 4 days.
Yes, they are HUGE. My wife was shocked.
Let the restoration begin!
Whoa! The one fourth up in the center looks like the remote for my grandparents’ Zenith. I loved changing channels because it triggered a mechanism that actually turned the channel dial on the front of the set! Great, solid “ker-chunk!” sound. After I graduated from college, my grandmother gave me the old zenith for my apartment. Turned out there was no tv reception in the area and the tv couldn’t hook up to cable, but every so often I’d turn it on just to use the remote!
Hi there everyone! I am wondering where you can buy/sell these vintage TV remotes? They are great and obviously not very common! Thanks in advance!
That’s a question for the remote king, Troy! Troy?
You paged, o kitschy one?
Groovy, I wish I had a bigger secret behind finding these, but I’ve had a lot of luck on ebay, virtually no luck in antique stores, and have made the occasional flea market find. I think these had a tendency to be discarded along with the televisions when the sets crapped out, and for the moment, I don’t know how heavily collected these really are — I just dig ’em.
The Zenith Space Commander remotes tend to be easiest to find and are usually pretty reasonable. You get up into the land of the Magnavox Phantom II (slightly left of center in the image above) and $100+ is not uncommon. I lost a bid on a Zenith Lazybones that went for $270 or so, the most I’ve ever a remote get at auction.
More coming soon. I’ve been steadily photographing the lot of those not yet featured here at AWMOK.
Thanks for the reply!
Wowza! Those numbers are way out of my price range for keeping. I have a RCA Victor that controls the tint/color just like you’ve pictured! Think there are more collectors out there like you that would appreciate it if I decided to ever sell it on Ebay?
BTW, I love love LOVE your RCA Victor remote that has the lucite buttons. Stunning!!