Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome to the Official Vintage Curtis Mathes site, I am Glenn Waters

Welcome to the Official Vintage Curtis Mathes site, I am Glenn Waters
I worked for the Curtis Mathes Company from the years 1986 to 1991 as a console television and stereo designer. The photograph below is one of the televisions I helped design in 1986, and yes she still works great.

This is a short history of the once famous Curtis Mathes Electronics Company. In 1957, Curtis Mathes & Associates purchased a major interest in the Olive-Myers-Spalti Manufacturing Co. The new firm, called Curtis Mathes Manufacturing Company, combined its decades of furniture building and electronics experience, first to enter the hi-fi business and, in 1959, the television industry. With these changes, Curtis Mathes started its tradition of combining top quality video and audio products housed in fine furniture. Just four years later, the Company entered the world of color television, beginning the era in which the Company became a household name. Below is a photograph of one the wonderful consoles the company was making in 1960, and yes she still is working as well.

It was in 1972 that Curtis Mathes was the first manufacturer to offer a completely solid-state product line, with an unprecedented four-year warranty. In 1975 Curtis Mathes, Jr. purchased the company from the shareholders. In 1978 Curtis Jr. began demonstrating what would become another hallmark of the Company: heavy use of advertising to position and promote products. That year, an $18 million advertising investment yielded sales of more than $152 million. Millions of Americans came to know that Curtis Mathes was..."The most expensive television in America, and darn well worth it!" Below is a photograph of the Curtis Mathes plant in Athens Texas. The huge plant is now empty and has not been used in years, very tragic.

In the year 1979 Curtis Mathes established ColorTyme, a home entertainment rental company, to meet the increasing demands for quality home entertainment equipment. In the years 1982 the Company began franchising its name across the country, the corporate headquarters were moved from Athens to Dallas and the Company’s manufacturing plant in Athens, Texas was sold. Then in 1988 the entire Company was sold and relocated back in Athens. During the period I worked for the company the Athens plant became the center of television and stereo production for the entire company. This was a awesome time in the history of our nation, back before our once proud and powerful electronics industries were sold out to the slave markets of Asia in a horrible unfair free trade agreement. Now because of the greed and stupidity of a few men not one television is made in North America.
Photo below is one of Curtis Mathes Company first color televisions and yes she also is still working!

This beautiful console is from Charlie Trahan, he has a awesome collection she is a 1966 Curtis Mathes TV/Stereo.
1961/62 consolette that was saved from the trash truck. Saved by Audubon5425 A of the Antique Radio Forum.

It is badged "Hi-Fidelity" and has seperate bass & treble controls along with a 6BQ5 driving that nice-sized speaker.
Below is Karah with one of our huge Curtis Mathes 1960 radios. The sound from this old girl is wonderful.

Below is a AD for a very nice console we sold at Curtis Mathes. She was one of the last all wood pieces that came out of Athens Texas, and was made a few years before I started working for the company.

She was a little bit before my time at the company but we still had a model of her as a prototype. I have the model below that no longer has the television in the cabinet. But the turntable, radio and speakers are still with her and function. A friend in the wood working department put the shelves in her for me. She is still a very beautiful piece of furniture. I only wished I had a television reinstalled at the time in her. But at least I have the model.

The photo below is with her drawers open. Still wish I had them put a CM televison in her

Back to the Curtis Mathes days 1959, can anyone tell me what these ladies are working on. I found this in one of my old folders. I cannot make out what the are working on?

Maybe Radios

Just to give my mentors at Curtis Mathes a break. The consoles and televisions from the early 1960’s were quite beautiful. They would advertise their consoles on the back of the CM LP record albums the dealers would give away to customers. I will start with number 10 and slowly work down. Notice they said serving American Homes for 62 years. They are counting from the days they only manufactured window fans and in home fans.

Please note that they had three plants back in the early 1960's one in Houston, one in Dallas, and then the Athens plant. This model is on the back of album number 10 and called the Upton a modern line design from 1960.
Below is CM Album number two.

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.

This television console by Curtis Mathes from the same era is very much like the Viking in design.

It is very sad that the only thing going on in the back lot of the Curtis Mathes Plant these days is ducks mating!

The CM Plant is not looking to good either!

And the parking lot is very sad.

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!

Below a lot of tubes and three very nice speakers for your money

Below you can see the very nice back board still in great shape.

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.

Just a real tight box of a radio that still has a lot of years in her.

Very nice radio adamc, Great job!
Back in 1961 the world of Curtis Mathes was the world of Elegance and beauty

1 comment:

  1. Hi Glenn
    I own and love a beautiful 1961 Curtis Mathes Console. I have been searching for schematics for this model, Do you have any thoughts on how i might find them ?
    Thank you