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 Post subject: Wilcox Gay Television
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 3:36 am 
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Location: Redlands CA
No wisecracks please.

I picked this up today from an ad on Craigslist, ad said it was "nearly perfect" and only $250. I wasn't going to pay that much even if it was restored and working and from the picture he sent I knew what it looked like so I called and asked if it was negotiable, he said he'd take $100.

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Probably still a little high considering the condition but when's the last time you saw a Wilcox Gay TV set?
I drove the 53 miles and got it, it was sitting in the driveway with a bunch of yard sale stuff.

It's pretty rough but complete except for the channel selector and I swear I have one of those in my toolbox at work if I didn't get tired of looking at it and tossed it!
The plastic control panel is intact and even has the door.

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Someone ripped a hole in the back between the time he took the pictures he sent me and the time I got there, fixable but it would have been nice not to have to.
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I could see through the hole the CRT base was busted up, I couldn't tell if the tube had gone to air. As soon as I got home I pulled the back and examined it, the nipple was intact and all the wires were still there!
It's a replacement tube and the wrong one at that, it's electrostatically focused and the set is electromagnetically focused, however it checks great so I can live with that modification.
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The molded Plywood cabinet's solid if delaminated in a few small areas, speaker has been eaten by mice, I suspect that's how the sunflower seeds got behind the safety glass, the chassis looks fine however.

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Note the focus coil bolted to the side of the tube support.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilcox Gay Television
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 3:47 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
Eric H wrote:
Probably still a little high considering the condition but when's the last time you saw a Wilcox Gay TV set?



Yes, I think that's high. But you won't find the next one tomorrow either.

The last time I saw a Wilcox-Gay built TV set was about 5 seconds ago.......I have a Detrola 17" in the living room. It has a nearly identical control panel. But mine has Detrola hot stamped into it instead of Wilcox-Gay. Looks like the volume knob is the same too, but your channel knob isn't clear in the photo. May very well be the same chassis, but yours has a larger CRT. Mine is listed in Sams as a Majestic 700 series, along with several other numbers.

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These were built in Charlotte, Michigan which is not far from Lansing. I suspect most of them were actually sold under the Majestic brand name and a few other private labels, as Majestic owned Wilcox-Gay (or vice-versa, where's Bruce Eddy?) at the time.

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Last edited by Mr. Detrola on Jan Tue 18, 2011 3:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 3:56 am 
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Location: Pewaukee, WI
I think theres an old mexican saying.... that if you give a mouse a sunflower seed he'll stick it in side your TVs safety glass...or was it a cookie ... aaah who cares.

I did not know wilcox even made TVs. I thought they ceased to exist in the late 40s early 50s. What became of them anyway?

By the way, nice set.

Tom C.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 3:57 am 
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I just noticed the date on the CRT, rebuilt by Dunbar Electronics, March 1977, someone must have really liked this set to replace the CRT in a set that was that old already back then.

Oh yeah, there is Mouse piddle all over the top of the chassis, looks like it'll clean up OK.

I'm taking it to work to delouse it, no way is this coming in my house, not even the garage except for tonight in the back of my truck. :lol:
No evidence of any living things inside it now though, nor dead ones, though the Mouse may get Mesothelioma from chewing on the Asbestos.
Did I say Asbestos? Oh, I meant Cardboard, yes that's what it is. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:02 am 
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That was not uncommon for older people back in those days. Often a set would be rebuilt for use in a basement or bedroom rather than purchasing a new one.

Mine came out of the home of the original owner in the city several years ago, and she was supposedly still using it, the only TV she had ever owned.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:05 am 
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Fortunately I am not wise enough to crack! It is a shame that someone damaged the back. Was the broken out piece still around for you to be able to glue it back together? It looks like the cabinet will take a lot of work, but it should look nice when you are done.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:06 am 
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That's a nice set Dennis, I figured it was built by someone else but I was thinking Admiral.

This one has a 17" tube, the chart has 17CP4 penciled on it, I don't know if that was the original number or the one that's in it now.

Give me time, I'll get it back in to shape, I really like the rounded cabinet on this one, very Mid Century, Eames era, Deco or something like that. :roll:

BTW, it a model 20C84 and it's a 20" tube not a 17" like I said above!

Bonus, I found the chunk of missing back inside the set, I think someone ripped it out so they could see the "bulbs".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:12 am 
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Interesting that Sams doesn't list this model number under Wilcox-Gay but it turns up under Majestic as a 153-8

A Majestic is equally rare, at least around here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:23 am 
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Nice set, with great early-'50s "Moderne" styling.

I'm hardly the person to comment on the electronic restoration, but it looks like she's all there.

I see your biggest cabinet problem as being that torn grille cloth. That sparkly gold Lurex thread in it will be a challenge to match. I'm going out on a limb here and dating the set to between '52 and '54 on the basis of the Lurex; that's when it was hot stuff.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:44 am 
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My first guess was 51-53 but seeing it has a really long deflection angle 20" tube I'm thinking maybe even 50-51.
When was the Sams 153-9 published?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:57 am 
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December, 1951 so it could go either way. I would be inclined to say the sets were released in 1951 but could have been sold as 1952 models, since they started somewhat early just like they did with cars.

The photo on the front of the Sams folder shows a 17" table model with the same mask as on my Detrola console. It has Majestic in script on the control panel above the door, and the Majestic eagle against a black background in the small shield shaped area at the top center of the control door.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Nice find! I agree that is one swell styled TV.

Judging from the broken CRT base and back, I wonder if the set didn't take a tumble onto its back?

It will be very interesting to see you bring this one back to life.

Have fun.

Kevin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 4:31 pm 
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I'm laughing right now because I looked at that set too. I was really put off by the add also saying it was almost perfect and it looked really beat up when I saw it. He told me that he went into a rage fit and kicked the S.. out of it one day.

I told him I didn't want it but that a friend of mine would give him 20 bucks for it. He said that offer was a slap in the face and he wouldn't take less than 200. I see you made a good deal at 100. I'm amazed that the CRT tested that good with the cap broken off like that. The Tv museum doesn't even have one set from that manufacturer.

Good Luck you got a prize.

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 7:32 pm 
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Nice find!
I like the rounded corners and tapered legs on the cabinet too!
I'm kind of surprised they wanted so much for it originally though.

Hope you can get it working.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 7:34 pm 
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That's weird someone would treat something poorly when they think it's worth a lot of money. Or maybe that was just the guy’s excuse for misrepresenting the TV in his ad. Sounds like a real character, and suspect TV abuser. :?

Kevin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 18, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Kevin Kuehn wrote:
That's weird someone would treat something poorly when they think it's worth a lot of money. Or maybe that was just the guy’s excuse for misrepresenting the TV in his ad. Sounds like a real character, and suspect TV abuser. :?

Kevin


Violence is very common on tv nowadays! :lol:

Wonder what set him off?...perhaps someone attempting to haggle with him?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 19, 2011 12:14 am 
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Kevin Kuehn wrote:
That's weird someone would treat something poorly when they think it's worth a lot of money. Or maybe that was just the guy’s excuse for misrepresenting the TV in his ad. Sounds like a real character, and suspect TV abuser. :?

Kevin


He's a young guy, Alex, Lives at home with mom dad and at least one brother. Dad does apolstery on vintage cars. Lives in Apple Valley CA

From what Eric was saying he also misrepresented it in the pics he sent him. So he's a comfirmed lier. I saw it the night before Eric went to look. The pics he sent Eric must have been taken before the rage fit cause when I saw it it was trashed. I think he put his shoe through the back and that's what knocked the CRT cap off and made the hole but I'm just speculating on that one. At least we know it's in good hands now.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 19, 2011 1:51 am 
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Charokeeroad wrote:
At least we know it's in good hands now.


Agreed. Things are only going to keep getting better for that TV, now :)

Kevin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 19, 2011 2:07 am 
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Kevin Kuehn wrote:
Charokeeroad wrote:
At least we know it's in good hands now.


Agreed. Things are only going to keep getting better for that TV, now :)

Kevin


:oops: Oh Garsh, your embarrassing me.

Progress report, I took the chassis out to clean and I have to say this is one of the most disgustingly nasty chassis I've come across, the entire top of it is covered in dry Mouse pee and rust, it cleans off pretty well though and the underside is fine.

The most disgusting part of all was the Mouse Rib Cage I found, I knew eating that Asbestos wouldn't be good for him.

(Pictures to follow later)

I'm bringing some Bleach tomorrow to spray the inside of the cabinet with.

Speaking of the cabinet, it's badly delaminated in quite a few places, it shouldn't be too hard to fix though, lay it on it's face and pour in some glue, clamp, repeat till done.
I would strip it but the Lacquer may be keeping it from collapsing! :lol:

The CRT tested fine but I'm not sure how, I found the G1 wire had broken off flush with the glass!

I managed to scrape away some glass and expose a bit of the wire, then I soldered a fine wire to it, it's probably not a very strong connection but as long as it's making connection it should be fine.
I installed a new base from a dud tube, I'll take it home tonight and test it again.

I don't really blame the kid that sold it for not knowing the condition or the value, to someone his age this thing must look 100 years old in which case it probably looks pretty good to him.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 19, 2011 4:08 am 
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Yeah,thats true,he can't be expected to know it's age,but why put your foot through something you're asking $200 for?

Seems counter-productive to me.

Oh well,as previous posters have already said,at least it's safe now.
You're just lucky he didn't break the neck of the tube.


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