These are called DVST - Direct View Storage Tube devices - or a modified slow persistence phosphor oscilloscope.   And yes the clear, function was done by large voltage pulse (blinding flash).   They had a very high resolution graphics and were (surprisingly) popular for a long time.  Tek invented computer graphics.   Tektronix 'Plot 10' plotting package was de rigeur for years and xterm still supports many of the functions.    But it was funny how companies believe their own hype.

When we developed Magnolia in Tek Labs in 1979, we did a Raster Graphics display and the Terminals Division poop-ed on it, because they were selling so many 4014's at the time.   When RamTek did a check raster graphics terminal and almost overnight the market for blinding green flashes went away.  There were terminals lined up in hallways in Wilsonville that they could not sell. 

On Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 7:22 AM, Robert Diamond <> wrote:
The first non-printing terminal I remember seeing at Bell Labs was the Tektronix 4014. The image (green phosphors) was “painted” on the screen and would remain until an erase function was executed. (I seem to remember that this action made a soft audible “pop” sound).

Robert Diamond

On Nov 22, 2017, at 5:43 AM, Nigel Williams <> wrote:

I stumbled into a reddit post on Unix with the claim about early Unices only being accessed via printing terminals, and it suggested a question to me as to the first “glass teletype” or CRT terminal to be used with Unix.

Given the DEC-centric nature of early Unix I would guess perhaps a VT05 or VT52 but I’m keen to know if anyone from those early years recollects what happened and when regarding Unix terminal access alternatives aside from the venerable 33KSR or 33ASR.