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PostPosted: Feb Fri 26, 2010 11:46 pm 
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Posts: 378
Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D Hi adamc thanks for the interior photo of the radio above Karah's photo!
Please post more when you get a chance,
it does not matter if it is bad news about Curtis Mathes or good, just show what you have found out while working on their stuff. It really help us understand what went wrong! :idea:
Hi WaveMagnet, What a wonderful Curtis Mathes, It looks like one of the later models around 1985 I believe. The last fighting attempt at producing a fine piece of American workmanship. I will investigate! :idea:
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Here is Album number 4 for the weekend viewing. :!:
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And on the back of Album number 4 we have "The Burgundy" a very beautiful Stereo Console in the French design, with a hand rubbed all wood finish and nice details. She comes with a turntable and stereo FM and AM radio and nice big speakers.
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Below for your amusement is one of my many console designs in 1986 that just did not make it; I was just over the budget. I guess I was just still thinking we could go back in time and be in the 1960’s and I could not see the sign of the times.
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The CM stereo console below is a larger scale model in the French design. I am not sure of her name however.
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See you in the 60's Glenn.


Last edited by Glenn Waters on Mar Mon 01, 2010 9:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mar Mon 01, 2010 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 378
Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D Hi WaveMagnet, The year was 1985,
Here is the informations on the Curtis Mathes :!:
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Group DZA Curtis Mathes File No. E84848
Serial No. 05464748 Chassis C87-8
Watts 180 volts 120 hertz 60 tag no. C3
Description Console Model no. M2664RW Run 01 Curtis Mathes Corp.
1411 Greenway Dr.
Irving, TX. 75062
Manufactured/Purchased 1985
It was $1588.94 out the door!! That was big bucks back in 85. :!:

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See you in the 60's Glenn.


Last edited by Glenn Waters on Mar Mon 01, 2010 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mar Mon 01, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Posts: 423
Location: San Diego, CA
Thanks, Glenn. If only my house weren't already so jammed up with furniture and TVs... :cry:

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PostPosted: Mar Mon 01, 2010 10:52 pm 
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Location: Rockford IL USA
The Grantley is sharp, Mr. Waters. It's a shame it didn't fly.


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PostPosted: Mar Tue 02, 2010 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 378
Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
I truly understand WaveMagnet! :!:
Hi akent36! Thank you, if only it had been built. It is truly tragic how many wonderful concepts, designs and ideas end up in dumpsters because of lack of funds. :idea:
When I worked for the CM company one of the big question of the day was why did CM go to rent to own and monthly payment plans in their showrooms and where did the name ‘ColorTyme’ come from? Well, the answer to that question begins with Curtis Mathes’ famous slogan: “The most expensive television set in America, and darn well worth it!”
As I stated earlier in this post in the late 1950s, George Curtis Mathes, Jr.’s corporation entered the television manufacturing market with only the knowledge of producing box fans for business and residential customers. With-in a few years Curtis Mathes soon began producing a line of color televisions. Over the next twenty-odd years color televisions began popping up in households across America, but it wasn’t until the early 1970s that the color television started to overtake the longstanding black and whites in living rooms. Just like today’s flat screen televisions, the new technology was expensive, so it took a while for retail prices to drop low enough that an average American family could afford to have a color television in their home.
However, Curtis Mathes wasn’t looking to compromise the quality of his product to meet ideal selling prices. When Curtis Mathes began manufacturing televisions he had one major goal in mind; to have the most well-built, reliable and expensive television on the market. In his Texan mind, He did. And, he was convinced in a Texas view they were. The televisions were so well built that each set had a four year warranty, which was unheard of at the time – and today for that matter. But, if consumers wanted the best they were going to have to pay for it. The sticker shock was so great for the average consumer that CM Showroom at first were only popular among Lawyers, Doctors, and Indian Chiefs. Some folks thought that people who had more money than sense would buy a CM television or stereo.
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So, by the end of the 1970s the folks at Curtis Mathes believed they had perhaps the finest color television set in the world, but because of its price tag most Americans couldn’t afford to purchase it. That’s when Willie Talley stepped in and partnered with Curtis Mathes. Willie had an ingenious concept, “ColorTyme.” Willie believed at the time that it was “tyme” for all households to have “color” television…hence ColorTyme. While he didn’t expect the name to become so quickly dated, it has stuck over the years.
Willie’s idea materialized in Athens, Texas in 1979, where the first ColorTyme rent-to-own store opened. With the store’s opening came the opportunity for every average American family to purchase the finest color television available. Curtis Mathes didn’t have to sacrifice quality, and any American household could now afford to move from the era of black and white into the time of color. Needless to say this business ventured tripled the output of color televisions Curtis Mathes was manufacturing in the early 1980’s; so it was good for the economic survival of the company at the time it was implemented.
A year later, Willie and his partner purchased ColorTyme from Curtis Mathes. In 1982, the concept was transformed into a franchise. And, even though Curtis Mathes no longer owned any portion of the ColorTyme concept, the company opted to implement the successful rent-to-own strategy in Curtis Mathes retail stores, which can be seen advertised in this 1984 commercial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oI7DPZOgZ4

Today, ColorTyme is the nation’s oldest franchisor of independently owned and operated rent-to-own stores. Thanks to the most expensive television set in America. Many people think the rent to own concept hurt the Curtis Mathes brand because it made the company niche in the market change from only the wealthy to blue collar buyers. But in a industry that was fighting to stay afloat it seemed like a smart move in the turbulent early 1980’s with a huge recession and overwhelming overseas completion. It would have be interesting to see if the outcome would have been different had they stayed with only the very wealthy. But based on what I have seen they were only trying their best to stay afloat in a industry that was already badly torpedoed, and taking on water faster than the pumps could pump out.
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PostPosted: Mar Thu 04, 2010 2:51 am 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D Hi SWR Steven Reeves!
Here is a cool brochure from the early 1960’s.
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It is amazing that the company would flip from being the most expensive to being not expensive. :lol:
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PostPosted: Mar Thu 04, 2010 9:34 pm 
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Location: Silver Spring MD, USA
Eric H wrote:
Here's my early 60's CM B&W combo console, it has a new CRT and a rebuilt tuner and was working last time I tried it though it needed some caps in the vertical replaced.

It's a back breaker, made of dense, heavy particle board covered with real wood veneer.
It's in great shape really but in this picture it's dusty and dirty looking.

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This is quite a thread, thanks to all and especially Glenn.

My parents bought this model console new in 1963...I was three and learned how to operate it. It was used for many, many years. I heard and played my first records on it. I think this console is the reason why I am a tube nut. That smell, that sound...nothing like it.

-Kevin

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PostPosted: Mar Fri 05, 2010 1:35 am 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
Thank you HalliFan “Kevin” :D
For tonight I have Album number 3 of the Curtis Mathes record collection with “The Provincial” on the back of the cover.
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This is a very elegant console in the French Provincial design. She has a much more spacious cabinet than her smaller sister, "The Burgundy" in the earlier post above. She comes with a turntable and a stereo FM and AM radio, and she has huge speakers and plenty of storage room.
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And finally for your amusement is another of my rejected designs. This one is from 1987 and her name is “The Constellation” once again I got to creative with the woodwork and the molding. Towards the end days it was best to stick to the plywood and particle board and not try to be to creative in the trim. That was a sign of the end of the game for the US team. :idea:
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I do hope to one day find this model with her television still intact, there must have be a problem with that run.
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See you in the 60's Glenn.


Last edited by Glenn Waters on Mar Mon 08, 2010 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mar Mon 08, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D Here is todays CM Album number two.
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And on the back we have "The Viking" a very retro and cool Danish modern console design with a turntable, stereo FM and AM radio and plenty of room for records or to add a reel to reel.
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This television console by Curtis Mathes from the same era is very much like the Viking in design.
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It is very sad that the only thing going on in the back lot of the Curtis Mathes Plant these days is ducks mating! :lol:
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The CM Plant is not looking to good either!
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And the parking lot is very sad. :(
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See you in the 60's Glenn.


Last edited by Glenn Waters on May Fri 07, 2010 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Apr Tue 27, 2010 5:38 pm 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D Here is a Another Curtis Mathes Beauty waiting for a new home. This is the “The Provincial” that is on the back of Album three. What an awesome find, as mint as the day she was made in 1960.
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Yes this is a very elegant console in the French Provincial design. Once again, this is very one that is on Album number three! She has a much more spacious cabinet than her smaller sister, "The Burgundy" in the earlier post above. She comes with a turntable and a stereo FM and AM radio, and she has huge speakers and plenty of storage room. Check out her green eye below. :!:
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PostPosted: Apr Thu 29, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D Another beauty this is a Curtis Mathes Radio from the very late 1950's about 1959 one of the first big production runs, same style was popular up to around 1963. I have been noticing that these sets are selling for more money this days! :idea:
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Below a lot of tubes and three very nice speakers for your money :!:
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Below you can see the very nice back board still in great shape.
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I know a lot of folks do not like Curtis Mathes products but there are a lot of these radios still going strong in 2010.
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Just a real tight box of a radio that still has a lot of years in her.
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Very nice radio adamc
Great job :D

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 Post subject: [img]http://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/gallery2.php?g2_vie
PostPosted: May Fri 07, 2010 6:19 pm 
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:D I was cleaning up my office and found some priceless treasures.
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Last edited by Glenn Waters on Aug Sun 15, 2010 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May Sun 09, 2010 3:46 am 
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Location: Stalingrad, Connecticut
My CM-2918A serial#80811 reporting for duty this evening..
Fresh off the bench, recapped, tweakd, fixed, refinished, ect. Added some homemade feet...It's a big bruiser..
Sounds great... lousy pics.sorry..

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PostPosted: May Sun 09, 2010 6:10 pm 
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Location: Kalamazoo, MI
I like that Grantley, probably would have been the only combo tv ever with phono, 8-track, cassette, and cd player. I've seen some Zeniths with an 8-track, but I've never seen a tv with a cassette or cd player.

Not a CM, but I recently added a later model set to my collection, a 1974 Zenith in the Avanti cabinet, with the 25EC58 solid state chassis, and the space-commander 600 remote. I'm still having trouble with the vertical. Here's a picture of when I was working on the '74 Zenith, while watching a '47 RCA 8)
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PostPosted: May Mon 10, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D Beautiful CM radio adamc :D
Very nice collection Adam2 :!:
Well here is some more from the Curtis Mathes new line for 1961.
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Last edited by Glenn Waters on Aug Thu 19, 2010 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May Fri 14, 2010 12:26 am 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
The last hope for Texas television manufacturing was the Harvey Industries, Inc. (a.k.a. Harvey Joint Venture) and this slowed down last days of Curtis Mathes in Athens Texas. It was September 1982 and in Athens Texas things looked bleak for 850 workers when this East Texas town’s major employer, Curtis Mathes Corporation announced it was shutting down its television manufacturing plant.
Officers of the Dallas based company said they were getting out of the TV making business. That’s when plant employees took matters into their own hands.
Ray Harvey resigned as president of Curtis Mathes sales company’s, formed his own corporation, bought the plant, retained most of the employees, and was now making TV sets. His major customer was Curtis Mathes!
“These people are giving it all they’ve got” Mr. Harvey said on August 26, 1982 as he strolled along the production line, “With their attitude, we can’t help but win.”
Curtis Mathes officials had said their domestically made sets were too expensive. The company decided to buy its television sets elsewhere while maintaining its own distribution and retail outlets. To keep the Athens plant in business union members by an overwhelming majority approved a new contract at salaries as much as 27 percent below the old wages.
“We almost sank”. Benny Garza a union official at the plant said “but now everybody is pulling together to keep it afloat.”
“The workers have really risen to the occasion.” Mr. Harvey agreed. Productivity is coming up. It’s got to come up some more for us to have a viable business, but it’s coming up every day. “Everybody had to take a cut, me included. I took the largest.”
Despite the pay reduction everybody was enthusiastic, including Curtis Mathes officials. “It had only been a month, but everything seems to be working quite well” Curtis Mathes spokesman Jeff Lightburn said on August 26, 1982. “The quality of the product is excellent.”
Mr. Harvey said in August 1982, he now employs about 600 workers, while Curtis Mathes maintains about 200 persons at the plant to handle shipping, accounting, computer operations, and warranty repairs.
Back in August 1982 Athens business man C.F. Hawn paraphrasing Mark Twain, said the reports of the Town’s economic demise are premature. “Everybody I run into said “I see Athens is closing up” They’re making a graveyard out of it and the truth is we never missed a beat”.

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PostPosted: May Fri 14, 2010 7:35 pm 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D This is a 1985 Curtis Mathes Console in wonderful working condition. I remember working on the cabinet design of this model. It also contains a Record player, Tape deck, and 8 track player. Model number K2675RK.
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And here is one of her sisters still working as well :!:
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PostPosted: Jun Wed 23, 2010 11:06 pm 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D This is for Matthew Corey, hope you get your Royal Dane.
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Last edited by Glenn Waters on Aug Thu 19, 2010 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jun Wed 23, 2010 11:30 pm 
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:D Curtis Mathes Garden of Eden :lol:
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A very vintage beauty from 1962:
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Last edited by Glenn Waters on Aug Sun 15, 2010 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Jul Thu 08, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Location: Fairview, TN. 37062-9607
:D Another beauty that was custom built :!: And yes she is still working.
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