Cartrivision, the First VCR


The year was 1972. This is the first VCR made in the U.S.A. for consumers. The product flopped horribly ~ of course. Shown in the photos above, is a beautiful example of an end table model. These were large machines and had they had to blend in with the living room decor. The Cartrivision VCR was typically intended to be built into a console style 25″ color TV, a popular screen size at that time. Sets like that were produced by Sears, Montgomery Wards, Curtis Mathes, just to name a few. The third photo is of the interior front of the mechanism.

Very few Cartrivision VCRs were sold new. Thousands were sold surplus through outlets like Olsen Electroncis or private clubs. Initially they were sold here in the San Jose / south bay area (Silicon Valley, where else?). Steve Wozniak had one, as well as the fellows who founded Newtek, makers of the Video Toaster! I wonder if they still have their Cartrivision VCRs?

The Cartivision Site
Cartrivision – The First VCR with Prerecorded Tapes

1 Comment

  1. I wonder if anyone has any of the first “pornograph” recordings? This thing HAD to be better than those old 8mm loops!

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