Early Electronic Television
Hollywood Radio and Television Institute
The Hollywood Radio and Television Institute was a correspondence
training school. If you have any information,
please contact us.
Popular Mechanics, September 1949
Courtesy of Doug Price
Anselmo Roccaforte wrote to us from Argentina to say that the Hollywood
Radio and Television Institute was a correspondence school started
before World War Two. They published a bulletin in English, and also in
Spanish. Notice that the above postcard came from South America. Anselmo
sent us this 1942 bulletin from HRTI:
Manuel Tomassini wrote:
I studied the Hollywood Radio & Television institute course by correspondence in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I begin in 1955 when I was 14 years old and finish in 1958. I have my diploma and the complete course including experimental lessons, practice lessons and the HRTI Radio and Television news from august 1957 to the last I receive: Vol. 31, No. 1. I am an electrical engineer, graduated from the engineer college in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 1971. The electronics is my first hobby.
Bagh Ali from Canada wrote:
I took their
excellent correspondence Course
(English version) in the mid
fifties, and was in touch with the
Institute until about 1959. After a
very long interval, in the late
eighties, I tried to find out the
status of HRTI for sentimental
reasons and to enquire about some
publications; by advertising in
Radio club magazines in U.S.A. To
all this I got one response from
U.S.A and one from South Africa.
HRTI was better
known outside the U.S.A, in
countries of Southern Europe, South
America, South Africa and South
Asia. They advertised mainly in
Popular Mechanics of the time. I
have some photo copies of the pages.
I think the Institute was
particularly popular in Mexico and
Cuba; may be that is the reason for
its sudden demise after the events
The course was
directed mainly towards training
students for Radio/TV repairing,
although theoretical aspects were
discussed also. The lessons
consisted of a series of about 90
Radio booklets and about 15 on
Television. A simple set of
Practicals was also included. HRTI
News bulletins were topical and
eagerly awaited. I attach a 1948 and
one from 1950. Unfortunately I lost
the ones I received during 1955/57.
In spite of the
time passed I would very much like
to know the circumstances of HRTIs
closure. And indeed I would like to
contact any students or anyone who
knew any of the staff, or indeed any
relations who might be able to shed
some light on the past events.
He also supplied these
Efren Roman wrote:
Recently, I found three very old pamphlets of the Hollywood Radio and Television Institute correspondence training school that my late father, Antonio Roman, studied in 1939. He emigrated to New York city from Puerto Rico in the year 1930, seeking a better life than that he had in poverty ridden Puerto Rico. He worked anywhere he could, starting as a dishwasher in cheap restaurants, but eventually became a restaurant administrator in the last years of the 1930-40 decade.
During 1938-39, he took radio lessons by correspondence from the H.R.T.I. Just as the war was raging in Europe, he returned to Puerto Rico in 1940, unable to serve in the Army because of heart and reumathoid conditions, with a short life expectancy. After some years, he started a small radio repair shop, part-time. As the economy grew and people bought more and more radios and TVs (TV began on Puerto Rico in March 1954), so also grew my father's work, and income, but he never got rich - he was just a decent, honest, hard working guy, and a very good neighbor in our little town.
Against all odds, he lived a long, good life. For many, many years, he worked full time as the only radio and TV technician in Aguada, PR, until he retired, at the age of 65. He died at an old age of 93, in 2004.
My father, after he came back to Puerto Rico.
Dr. Sann Sann Hta wrote:
My father's name was Ko Kyun Teik. He passed the HRTVI exam on Nov .8,1937 and got certificate, credit card and member card. I m his 5th daughter. I m now in Los Angeles visiting a friend. Here is his credit card and member card.
HRTI also had many students from India. Here are a few postcards from the early 50s from Indian students, Courtesy of Courtesy of Nancy Ellyson
Fernando Ifran from Argentina sent us two letters from HRTI to his grandfather in 1938.
Neil Bousfield from South Africa sent us a 1939 HRTI booklet with data on British valves.