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 Post subject: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2012 11:30 pm 
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This television set, retailing for $100, is reportedly the first moderately priced receiver manufactured in quantity. Rose Clare Leonard watches the screen, which reproduces a 5x7 image, as she tunes in at the first public post-war showing at a New York department store, on August 24, 1945. Although television was invented prior to World War II, the war prevented mass production. Soon after the war, sales and production picked up, and by 1948, regular commercial network programming had begun. (AP Photo/Ed Ford) #

My Brother sent me this Photo along with many WWII Photos.

Bob T.


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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2012 1:03 am 
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"In quantity" measured in the hundreds...or dozens? A few of almost every prewar model TV still exists, yet the Viewtone pictured has yet to turn up. A few examples of a later Viewtone model has survived, but it is considered one of the rarest postwar sets.

I think the RCA 630's reputation as the first mass-produced set is safe.

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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2012 9:32 am 
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They only made three models -- VP100, VP100A, VP101 -- all with the same schematic
:arrow: http://www.nostalgiaair.org/PagesByModel/741/M0022741.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2012 3:01 pm 
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Yes, the VP-100 is the only one that ever seems to (rarely!) turn up. I heard they were poorly made sets, so it's not suprising that most were trashed.
The real rarity is the VP-101 console. This photo is the only one I've ever seen to prove the set was produced. It's likely the only one left. I like the "V" for Viewtone in the grille!
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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2012 4:11 pm 
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"MadMan Muntz, so called because of his unusual selling style, provided the first mass produced television.
This is from Wikipedia:

Marketed under the name "Muntz" by his company Muntz TV, Inc. The simplified units were the first black and white TV receivers to retail in the U.S. for less than $100. Muntz was also the first retailer to measure his screens from corner to corner rather than by width. The receivers sold well and were reliable partly because fewer tubes created less heat.


Terry

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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2012 8:10 pm 
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terrydec wrote:
"MadMan Muntz, so called because of his unusual selling style, provided the first mass produced television.
This is from Wikipedia:

Marketed under the name "Muntz" by his company Muntz TV, Inc. The simplified units were the first black and white TV receivers to retail in the U.S. for less than $100. Muntz was also the first retailer to measure his screens from corner to corner rather than by width. The receivers sold well and were reliable partly because fewer tubes created less heat.


Terry


I question that.
I believe that Muntz was the first to try to create a low-priced line of TV's, not the actual first set priced under $100. Pilot Radio is noted for doing that with their TV-37 3" tabletop in 1949. I don't believe Muntz preceeded that. Maybe soon after that, but not preceeding.
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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Thu 15, 2012 12:36 am 
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I was just responding to this statement back at the beginning of the thread.

I think the RCA 630's reputation as the first mass-produced set is safe.

Most sources credit the first mass produced TV under $100 to Muntz, but I guess this is one of those subjects open to interpretation.
T.

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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Thu 15, 2012 5:26 am 
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I did overlook the $100 qualifier, my mistake. However, there's almost no evidence outside the photograph itself that the Viewtone set shown was sold at all, much less manufactured in any kind of quantity.

As far as the credit going to Muntz, there is plenty of evidence--that directly contradicts the claim. The First line of Muntz sets from 1949 featured as its BOTL entry a 10" tabletop for $189.50. The $99.50 3" Pilot set had already been on the market for a year when Muntz introduced its sets.

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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Thu 15, 2012 6:13 am 
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Run those prices through inflation calculator. Be sitting down.


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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Thu 15, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Muntz claim to fame with television is creating the first low-cost (for the time) line of sets. Legend goes he bought up several sets from top manufacturer's like RCA and Philco, and gradually removed components from their chassis' until he had the absolute minimal parts to create a picture. He based that information in creating his line of TV's. Even the cabinets were bare-bones.
By the way, RCA certainly get's the title of the first company to make mass produced television sets. The 1946 model 630TS to be exact. It's often called the "model T" of TV's. The production numbers of the set are staggering. That's not even counting the 630 chassis' that were installed in other manufacturer's cabinets such as Crosley, FADA, and Air King!
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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Fri 16, 2012 6:53 pm 
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We used to laugh at the Muntz TV's. They were know as 90 day wonders, when the warranty was 90 days and you
wonder how they lasted that long! Some techs called they gutless wonders too.

We sold real tvs. RCA was the top of the line and we had Emerson for a short while. RCA was the one to beat in
our area.

I still get quite a chuckle with the Muntz name. He tried and we have to give him an 'E' for effort!

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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Fri 16, 2012 8:16 pm 
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That Viewtone TV in the first pic looks rather crude...like a pre-producton prototype. Even the grille slats are crooked.

Looks like it's posed on a cafeteria table. Definitely a low-budget promotional affair...8)

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 Post subject: Re: Early TV
PostPosted: Mar Fri 16, 2012 10:20 pm 
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M3-SRT8 wrote:
That Viewtone TV in the first pic looks rather crude...like a pre-producton prototype. Even the grille slats are crooked.

Looks like it's posed on a cafeteria table. Definitely a low-budget promotional affair...8)


I agree 100% Lee. I spent years avidly researching everything about early televsion (and the sets themselves) and have never seen that model shown in the promotional photo turn up anywhere. I feel 99% sure it was strictly a prototype.


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