View Full Version : Rare Altec Lansing product

Steve Schell
09-13-2010, 09:22 PM
There is a rare item on ebay right now, an Altec Lansing branded television set. We have rarely if ever discussed this aspect of Altec's history on this site, so I'll add the little I have been able to find out about the venture. First, have a look at the auction:


Western Electric had been the dominant supplier of motion picture theatre sound equipment until 1937 when the U.S. Government forced them out of the business of manufacturing and servicing this equipment in the U.S. Several of the former managers of the W.E. service division "All Technical Services" purchased the assets of their division cheaply and formed Altec Service Corporation. In 1941 they would purchase Jim Lansing's ailing Lansing Manufacturing Company to both acquire Lansing's excellent product line and to have a facility for manufacturing spare parts for the theatre sound service business.

Two of the Altec Service Corporation managers, L.W. Conrow and G.L. Carrington, were wise enough to determine that television was going to be a very profitable business. In 1939 they pooled their resources and formed Conrac, Inc. (CONrow + CARrington backwards). After the formation of Altec Lansing, Carrington became it's president while Conrow left Altec to run Conrac.

Apparently most of the Conrac- built consumer TVs were sold under the name Fleetwood, though the auction piece proves that at least some sets were sold under the Altec Lansing brand. Nothing that I can see in the pictures suggests to me that this TV was built by Altec; it was most likely built in Glendora at the Conrac factory. The company logo and sticker is typical of the type used by Altec in the late 1940s to mid 1950s, a time when Altec was moving heavily into consumer electronics.

Conrac, Inc. is still in business (!); below is a link to the history page of their current web site:


Steve Schell
09-14-2010, 08:39 PM
Thought I'd add some pictures from the auction to this barn-burner of a thread before they disappear. :)

09-14-2010, 08:50 PM
I read all of the info and followed all the links. I appreciate the effort to bring this TV to the attention of the forum, I bet some TV collectors are licking their lips.

Since he's said he'd take less than the $50K asking price, I wonder if we'll ever know what it brought.

06-14-2015, 07:36 AM
EXTREMELY Rare Altec Lansing Television ALC 201 Ser 545 Now $799.99