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Vintage Technology: Bric-a-brac D.E.R TV Rental catalogue/brochure from the early 1960s

Anyone born after 1980 in the UK is probably not going to know anything about household appliance rental from the mid 20th century.
There were several reasons why "rental" was so popular between the 1930s and 1970s, especially for electrical appliances:
The cost of TVs, radio, (and later) video recorders were very high compared to the average weekly wage
Hire Purchase (ie. weekly payment, the "never-never", or to us: credit) was restricted by government guideline, and changed regularly
Radio and TVs were quite unreliable by modern-day standards.  The repair man (and his cost) was a regular feature of daily life, and often a friend

Hence the "Rent and Relax" strap line.

So many businesses offered rental schemes.  A couple grew to be very very large.  Radio Rentals (see example page RR224) and DER were two of the major companies.

The catalogue shown here (from the Late 1950s/early 1960s) is a good example of their marketing approach and products available.  I can easily guess this period as it contains mainly wooden cases and the long slim legs of early 1960s design trends (along with triangular people): lovely.

The Only Example on the web!

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 Title: This is it! Rent and Relax with D.E.R.
Dimensions and format: 20.3cm x 16.8cm (w x h) full four-colour process, 16 printed pages.
Date: Early/mid 1960s, Ref: Brandon LI532
Contents: Table TVs (12", 14", 17", 21"), consolette (17"), console (17") models (see below) and lots of marketing pages extolling the virtues of DER expertise and support.
Company: Domestic Electric Rentals Ltd. Television House, The Green, Twickenham, Middlesex.  Telephone: POPesgrove 0171 (10 lines).  Established 1938.
Comment: A wonderful snapshot of the history of TV rental business from this period.  It is also interesting that they are offering TVs that span the (earlier and more common) console sets with the newer table-top models with an intervening consolette model and thin-leg sixties designs - allowing for all tastes.  The design of the front cover people is more reminiscent of the late 1950s - so I think this is on the cusp of the two decades.
The complete contents is covered below. It is an odd mixture of older (stock) and newer images and marketing straps.

(c) Emil Dudek 2011

Growth of a Great Idea
D.E.R. was founded in 1938 in Twickenham, Middlesex, where radios and the earliest type of television receivers were rented throughout the Greater London Area.  Rental charges were competitive and covered full maintenance, service and renewals.
So strong was the demand for their rental services that D.E.R. established Regional Offices and Showrooms throughout London, Scotland, Home Counties, South Wales, the West of England and the South Coast.  The Head Office at The Green, Twickenham, symbol of the D.E.R. success story, is the nerve centre of the organization which now brings television to thousands of homes throughout Great Britain.
D.E.R. provide an unrivalled television service, on terms everyone can afford.  No wonder D.E.R. are today Britain's leading television renters.
First Class service, first class sets at competitive rentals.
It's yours. It's wonderful. It's trouble free.  Rent and Relax with D.E.R.
Most people have to think a very long time before buying a Television Receiver. They know that the cost will be high. Then there is the upkeep to think of - the delicate and costly Cathode Ray Tube and the numerous radio-type Valves which may need replacement at any time. Many have felt that they could not yet afford the miraculous pleasure of Television, but the D.E.R. 'Pay-As-You-View' Plan solves the problem.
This is the easiest, safest way to obtain a fine quality Television Receiver. Fuss and worry are gone and you can enjoy your viewing to the full.
Your monthly commitment is limited and you have the comforting assurance that you will not be called upon to pay more than your monthly rental, because D.E.R. take over the responsibility of keeping your set in good working order. If anything goes wrong, a D.E.R. Service Engineer is quickly on the spot. Highly skilled technicians are always courteously at your service, without extra charge.
D.E.R. have the best sets and a wide range to choose from - 12", 14", 17" and 21" table and console models - all in handsome cabinets of the latest contemporary design.
The unique advantages and low terms offered by D.E.R. are only made possible by the widespread comprehensive maintenance organization which has been built up over a period of many years.
Britain's Leading T.V. Renters D.E.R

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 (c) Emil Dudek 2011 (c) Emil Dudek 2011 Specification
Table model for 200-250 volts A.C./D.C. mains. Fitted with 14" rectangular tube (Mullard type MW 36-44). Instant tuning for reception of B.B.C. or I.T.A. transmissions on Band I and Band III. Main controls located at front of cabinet. (I) On the right, the Channel Selector and Fine Tuning, (2) on the left, Volume Control and ON/OFF switch. Cabinet 17' wide x 18 ?" high x 16?" deep.
TABLE Model 112 Table model for 200-250 volts A.C./D.C. mains. Fitted with 12" Cathode Ray tube (Mullard Type 3I-74 with Ion Trap) giving a picture 11 1/4" x 8 1/2". Interference suppression is adjustable. Main controls located at front of cabinet are 'Picture Contrast' and 'Sound Volume On/Off'. Other controls are accessible at the rear. The cabinet is finished in dark walnut with contrasting front surround of light crossband walnut veneer. Polished semigloss. Fitted with attractive plastic gauze lower front. TABLE Model 114 Table model for 200-250 volts A.C./D.C. mains. Fitted with 14" Rectangular Tube (Mullard type MW 36-24 or 36-44). Interference suppression is adjustable. Main controls located at front of cabinet are ' Picture Contrast' and 'Sound Volume On/Off'. Other controls are accessible at the rear. The cabinet is of medium walnut, finished semi-gloss. Model 514
Televiewing really is a thrilling armchair adventure with this superbly styled 14" rectangular screen model. Not only does it bring you all B.B.C. and I.T.A programmes ... simply ... instantly ... at the turn of a knob . . . now - BUT it is turret-tuned to bring you other programmes as they come along. You can see it, and hear it just as soon as you wish. Your local D.E.R. showroom has it. See it there with other turret-tuned models in the D.E.R. range. Or - if you prefer - simply ask for a free home demonstration.

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 The "Constellation"
With this wide-screen model, TV becomes even more thrilling. The whole family can view together in perfect comfort. Elegantly styled by D.E.R., the" Constellation" brings you larger pictures as bright as jewels. And because it is designed for family budgets, this superb 17" model is well within the reach of all. See the "Constellation" at your D.E.R. showroom or have a free home demonstration. You can then enjoy your favourite stars, while you rent and relax with D.E.R.
17" Mullard MW 43-69 aluminised radiant screen tube with entirely new style vertical chassis. Turret tuner for all B.B.C. and I.T.A. programmes. Automatic Gain Control on both vision and sound, plus manual gain control.
Suitable either A.C./D.C. Continuously adjustable control of vision interference. Polished walnut veneer cabinet.

No other TV Rental Organization offers ALL THESE ADVANTAGES

The Latest. Your D.E.R. Receiver - new as tomorrow - is delivered to you in a highly polished cabinet without blemish and fully tested for faultless viewing.
Reducing Rental.  D.E.R. rentals reduce to a final rent of 25/- per month (5/9 per week) for 14" models, 30/- per month for 17" models, with continued free service and free replacements for as long as you rent.
Aerials. Britain's leading Television Renters, have a large staff of skilled aerial erectors who can erect suitable aerials for both B.B.C. and COMMERCIAL Reception on keen competitive terms. Ask our Local Manager to quote charges for your particular installation.
General Maintenance. You may telephone to your nearest branch at any time for service and advice. Any fault will be promptly dealt with-usually within 24 hours. In cases of major repair necessitating return to the Service Depot, a loan set is provided until the return of your own receiver.
Immediate Installation. As soon as the agreement has been signed and the initial payment made, an expert Television Engineer will install the receiver.
Free Renewals. 'Fully guaranteed Service' means complete free service covering ALL parts-including the Cathode Ray tube and the valves.
Free Removals. If you change your address, ask the D.E.R. Service man to take charge of your D.E.R. receiver. He will see that it does not get damaged in transit. He will also re-install it free of charge and will advise on the re-erection of your aerial.
Transfer of Agreement. If for any reason you wish to cease renting and desire to pass the benefits of your reducing rental contract to another member of your family you can transfer your benefits if suitable guarantees are available.
Exchange. Generous allowance is made if you wish to exchange your receiver for a later model.

The Permanent Solution to Your Television problems
Free Home Demonstration

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 Starmaster with deep-image screen
TV has come a long way in the past few years; first the plain screen, then the tinted, then the curved. Now D.E.R., always in the forefront of television progress, offers this up-to-the-minute development-the 'deep-image' screen, tinted for added depth and definition. Every programme seems nearer and clearer than ever before. The Starmaster's brilliant pictures, clear as crystal, give you' front row seats for every show', while the special wide screen allows you, your family and friends to view in REAL comfort.
Day by day, television programmes are getting better and better-clever new shows, the thrills . of sport, gripping plays, exciting contests. There's no need to wait another minute, for the 17" D.E.R. Starmaster can be in your home as soon as you wish, on terms you can afford.
No repair bills, no extra expenses-you can rent and relax with the D.E.R. STARMASTER -
- the best way to the stars.
Specification MODEL 717
Table model. Mains voltage 200 to 250 A.C./D.C. 17" Mullard radiant picture tube MW 43-69. Twelve-channel turret tuner for all B.B.C. and I.T.A. programmes. Automatic Gain Control on both vision and sound, plus manual gain control. Continuously adjustable control of vision interference. Polished Walnut veneer cabinet, approximately 19 ?" wide x 16 3/8" high x 17 ? " deep.

D.E.R. Service
When you rent the D.E.R. way, you get service unequalled by any other organization. It starts the very moment your television receiver is installed. The set is left with you in perfect working order, but should a fault develop at any time, the engineer is only a phone call away, and a D.E.R. mobile workshop will soon be at your home. If on-the-spot repairs are not possible, you get a loan set, so you need never miss your favourite programme. D.E.R. service, repairs and replacements are all free. The low monthly payment covers everything-the rent is all you pay.
D.E.R., Britain's leading television renters, offer the finest all-inclusive television service in the country. Prove it for yourself by trying a D.E.R. model in the comfort of your home - the demonstration is free and without obligation.
With D.E.R. the Rental is all you Pay
(c) Emil Dudek (2011)

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 The "Consolette" MODEL 817
Here is a model to bring credit to your judgment and good taste. The" Consolette's" beautifully finished cabinet is specially designed to blend with both traditional and contemporary furniture. Turret-tuned, the 17" "Consolette" gives a brilliant picture, rich in contrast, that will delight your family and amaze your friends. Viewing is believing, so see the "Consolette" at your D.E.R. showroom, or ask for a free home demonstration.
"Consolette", 200-250 A.C./D.C. mains model with 12 channels, turret-tuned for B.B.C. and I.T.A. Fitted with 17' Mullard Radiant Picture Tube. Main controls at front, others at side. Automatic gain control. Highly-polished Walnut veneer cabinet. Black cabinet-top and screenframe. Brass-trimmed, metallic grey tube-mask.

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 The D.E.R. "Major" Model 621
EVEN BIGGER STILL! For the confirmed TV enthusiast, D.E.R now offer the new 21" " MAJOR" at a surprisingly low rental. Here's TV opulence indeed! - a masterpiece of imaginative design and engineering. Pictures are as large as life; sound as clear as a bell; controls and cabinet are painstakingly designed for perfect armchair viewing. Ask for a free home demonstration.
21" TABLE MODEL with radiant screen picture tube, and turret tuner loaded for all available B.B.C. and I.T.V. [sic] programmes. New features include finger-flick On/Off switch, integrated control panel. Handsome veneered cabinet in walnut with distinctive brass trims.

(c) Emil Dudek (2011) and now, Service by Remote Control Radio
On duty at the control centre a radio operator waits by the telephone, microphone at the ready, while radio-controlled vans are patrolling, continually alerted for a call. As service calls come through, the radio goes into action and contacts the vans and scooters in the area, cutting delays to the minimum. To thousands of viewers, this is just part of the D.E.R service that they can command FREE should their reception fail.

(c) Emil Dudek (2011)

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 Model 5017
If ever a television model deserved to be called beautiful this is it! A Big-Screen turret-tuned console model, with full-length folding doors. In spite of its size you can move it about the room easily-because it is fitted with smooth-running castors. And what a smooth performer it is!  Incorporating the latest type 17" screen, it will bring you the full excitement of B.B.C. and I.T.A. programmes. Ask to see it in action at your local D.E.R. showroom. And when you do-remember, you can rent it on very favourable terms under the 'Pay-As-You-View' plan.

[This was obviously the tail-end of the console TV popularity period with only one model offered.  Some of the earlier ones had built-in radios as well - Ed]

Console model for 200-250 volts A.C./D.C. mains. Fitted with 17" rectangular tube (Mullard type MW 43-64) to receive B.B.C. and I.T.A. transmissions. Major controls: (1) Left - Sound ON/OFF; (2) Right - Station Selector. Other main controls conveniently situated on front -Gain Control, Horizontal Lock, Vertical Lock, Brilliance Control. Cabinet of improved design fitted with doors to conceal and protect viewing window when set not in use. Height 35" x width 21" x depth

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 The D.E.R. service area
Ever since D.E.R. was founded in 1938 service has been the mainspring of their success. Today many thousands of D.E.R. receivers are being serviced in wide areas throughout the country. Every D.E.R. showroom is a service centre. Periodically the D.E.R. Maintenance Engineer-armed to defeat the most elusive trouble-calls at the door of the D.E.R. renter. IN SPECIAL CASES WHERE THE RECEIVER HAS TO BE RETURNED TO THE FACTORY A' LOAN SET' IS LEFT SO THAT RECEPTION IS NOT INTERRUPTED. Choose the D.E.R. way and you will never be without your television !
With many thousands of renters throughout the country, D.E.R. service is unrivalled. Our great experience over many years enables us to offer the most comprehensive cover at the lowest all-inclusive terms with FREE service FREE renewals.

(c) Emil Dudek 2011

[Note that the vans shown here are much older than the one above.  Also, I remember DER service people in the mid 60s, and they did not wear a uniform.  And, did they hold up to their promise?  Well yes, but I also remember that the replacement TV we had was much smaller and battered - so they used old stock - Ed]

(c) Emil Dudek 2011 and D.E.R.