Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vintage Jackson 648 Dynamic Tube Tester

This was spotted at a Habitat ReStore for sale for $75, but unless you repair vintage radio or guitar amplifiers or other vintage equipment, it would just be a cool geeky antique with a futuristic look with sort of steampunk quality to display.   The only other time I had seen one of these was at a hardware shop when I was a child and I am guessing this was manufactured in the 1950's as it looked fairly worn.   It was used to test tubes before they were purchased to make sure they were still good as they could fairly easily be damaged during shipment or handling.

The history of the company that manufactured is that the Jackson Electrical Instrument Company was founded in Dayton, Ohio in 1933 by Paul Jackson, who passed away in 1957.  In 1966 Jackson E.I. moved to Mineola, New York and it became Mercury Electronics Jackson, a division of Mercury Electronics, who had been their competitor, but then disbanded in the early '70's.   (Source:

The 648 series tube tester was the best known of product of Jackson Electrical and there were 40,000 units made in different variations.  (Source: 

For more information on vintage tube testers check out Tone Lizard's blog

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