Which companies were the most important manufacturers of picture tubes for monitors (both monochrome and color) in the seventies and eighties? That is, it's easy enough to find lists of monitors by nominal manufacturer of the model (IBM, DEC, Commodore etc), but it's not as easy to find which companies typically were the actual manufacturers of the picture tubes.

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    The same as for televisions; EMI, Philips, etc.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 7:33
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    @Chenmunka ... and of course Sony (you could always tell a Sony tube because the RGB phosphors were aligned horizontally across the screen rather than in a triangular arrangement - like this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinitron#/media/…)
    – Jules
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 8:44
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    Back then there was a phletoria of component manufacturers. Next to each country had one or more. Heck, even in high wage countries like Germany CRTs where produced well into the late 80s, early 90s. This question can't be realy answered as it's way to broad. Mabe specifying which Brand and/or country you're looking for, but even then, what consists 'most important'? In the US, or in Europe, or in Asia, or maybe behind the iron curtain?
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 8:58
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    Quite likely, the exact same part number was used as a color picture tube in computer displays and domestic TVs. They were both just analog displays with the same 4:3 aspect ratio. So the tube manufacturer would have no particular reason to even save the data to answer the question. "Green screen" mono displays were limited to the computer market, and other specialist equipment (radar, etc) so that part of the question might be answerable.
    – alephzero
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 15:11
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    I don't see how this question is any more broad than this one: retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/639/… +1 from me.
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 17:17

2 Answers 2


I know links as answers are frowned upon. But this official document called "Color Picture Tubes from Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore" by an US commission has more on both US and foreign producers of CRTs in the 80s than you ever want to know :)


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    Quoting the list of the US producers as an example of the information provided in the document would be helpful.
    – Leo B.
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 23:48
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    This leaves out quite a lot of the world. It is a partial answer at best. Also, as you say, it is a link. Please add some details within the post.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 7:30

The (monochrome) picture tubes used in the computer monitors we made (in the USA) came from Ball Brothers, the canning jar people. That's one. [These monitors were proprietary, for a line of banking computers we made.]

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    What was the brand/model of monitors that you made? Please edit and expand upon your answer. First hand knowledge is always welcome. Thanks. Commented Apr 12 at 19:56
  • I had one of those Ball monitors. They really were built to be part of something bigger, didn't even have a case. Don't know if they ever made the transition to color. Commented Apr 16 at 0:27
  • We bought bare tubes, in both green and orange phosphor. (Possibly with yokes attached.) We had our own cases made, injection-molded aluminum, and designed and built our own electronics. I last saw one of them at SeaWorld, as a prop in the anteroom of the Wild Arctic feature.
    – jimc
    Commented Apr 17 at 12:51

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