An Archivist Still Wired for Analog

One day last year, Chi-tien Lui was prowling the Chinese port of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. “The whole town is a junkyard,” he said. “There’s one section that’s only for sheet metal. Another one for soda bottles.” Mr. Lui, who has operated CTL Electronics in TriBeCa since 1968, was on a pilgrimage. He needed to visit a specific precinct, the ultimate graveyard of a certain 20th-century invention.

“This one was all for cathode ray tubes,” he recalled. An engineer by trade, Mr. Lui was looking to source a small mountain of CRTs. To accomplish that, he came full circle back to his native China, where he was born 71 years ago in Sichuan province.

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