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The Official Vintage Curtis Mathes site by Glenn Waters

Curtis Mathes, Vintage Electronics, Televisions, Stereos, Radios, VCR”s, Camcorders, Mathes Coolers and Fans, Made in the USA. Design

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

I remember going into the Curtis Mathes Showrooms as a youth in the early 1960?s they were always so elegant and full of wonderful new console televisions and beautiful stereos. Later when I was a college student I won two design awards both in 1979 and 1981 from the Curtis Mathes Company. I was majoring in Industry Psychology and Design and it was always a wonderful treat when I could enter a design contest; especially one from a major manufacturer like Curtis Mathes.

Below is a Authorized Distributor banner from 1961 that was given to me from a closed Curtis Mathes Showroom.

After I graduated from College in 1982 and I worked for Zenith in their radio design department, and also did some freelancing work for Curtis Mathes in Console design from the years 1982 to 1984. It was always a joy to help lay out a new console television design and see it take form. There was always much more freedom in design at Curtis Mathes so by the mid 1980?s I worked for them exclusively. I worked for the Curtis Mathes Company exclusively 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 1984, 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 are two photos of site member "modernman" beautiful 1961 Curtis Mathes "Imperial Dane"... She looks and plays as good as the day she was made. 

I'm a paragraph. Click once to begin entering your own content. You can change my font, size, line height, color and more by highlighting part of me and selecting the options from the toolbar.

I think Lucy is very happy with this television.... Great job "modernman".. what an awesome room, very nice retro design, just stunning. Very beautiful and stylish.

Below is a photograph of one the wonderful consoles the company was making in 1960,

and yes she still is working as well.

The photo below is of Nancy Jones beautiful Curtis Mathes Stereo with a Deluxe AM/FM radio, turntable, reel to reel and at one time a television in the top center.

The photo below is of Curtis Mathes Jr. giving sales award to Bob Dill 🙂 Back during the good old days 🙂 Bob was a top seller for the company back in the golden age of Made in America Televisions  ... 

The three photos below are of a beautiful 1968 Curtis Mathes three in one color console.

You can see the craftsmanship in her wood-work and style.

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.

The two photos below are of: Revolt of the Androids, Playing on the1980 Curtis Mathes Model G550 Chassis C81-7 Medium Pecan, Has been in a storage shed for countless years, test playing a Lost in Space, VHS tape. The cabinet needs a good oiling but the picture tube is doing amazing considering the console was in a hot and damp shed in the summer and cold as Hell shed in the winter months for countless years. Revolt of the Androids, Episode aired Mar 8, 1967 …

#curtismathes #modelg550 #vintagetv #curtismathestv #lostinspace

The photo below: Back in 1961, Curtis Mathes made Texas size beauties, that were wanted by Doctors, Lawyers, and Indian Chiefs ...

Below a lovely Curtis Mathes Color Console from 1980 

Photo above: detailed skilled workers at the Athens, Texas Curtis Mathes Plant in 1961 …  

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.

This is a wonderful Curtis Mathes Company photo taken by James Cooper it was around 1982 at a banquet in Athens. It is of a good number of the engineering group circa 1982. James believes this was shortly before the moved to Las Colinas. James remember Curtis Mathes Jr. was there that evening because he sat right next to him! He ate a double layer of steak! Unfortunately, he left before James took this picture. Also, alas, James is not in the picture because he was taking the picture!

Below is an nice photo from 1983 of a Curtis Mathes Home Entertainment Center.

The three photos below are of a beautiful late1960's three in one model color console from Curtis Mathes, made in Texas, and yes she still is working today like a new model.

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.

This wonderful 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.

In the photo be low is a lovely Curtis Mathes Console. The one I have is in the two photos below the complete and mind console. This design 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.  This design is a more Spanish or Mediterranean design. These consoles where sometimes referred to as Spanish Galleons. 

Photo above, and the four below are of the 1976 Curtis Mathes Color Combo B633 ... 3 in 1 Entertainment center: 8-Track player, Record player and TV with speakers

The four photos below are of a deluxe 1980s Curtis Mathes Color television console with 8-track, cassette, and record player. All the bells and whistles are with this mint model ...  

The five photos below are of a 1961 Vintage Curtis Mathes Stereo-Television Console. This beauty has a record player, deluxe AM/FM Radio with magical Tambour hideaway doors.... 

The seven photos above are of a 1959 Curtis Mathes Stereophonic High-Fidelity Music Center, Console Model 4529-BB, solid cherry, hand made in Texas Speakers.

The six photos above are of the 1980 Curtis Mathes Model G550 Chassis C81-7 Medium Pecan, Has been in a storage shed for countless years. The cabinet needs a good oiling but the picture tube is doing amazing considering the console was in a hot and damp shed in the summer and cold as Hell shed in the winter months for countless years. #curtismathes #modelg550 #vintagetv #curtismathestv #faithdomergue

The magical world of Curtis Mathes was once a amazing world of beautiful Electronics  … 

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 of 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 stereo consoles and televisions from the early 1960?s were quite beautiful.

This stereo console above and below had a FM and AM radio, with a turntable and a reel to reel, with lots of storage space.

I will have to say she looks very nice with all her doors closed as well.

Sometimes 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.

In the two photos below is a Curtis Mathes Turntable, Radio and Television Console, this French Provincial style was popular in the early 1960s, The Kingston Model K1523, High Fidelity Combination, Magical High Fidelity sound of the Made in Texas Beauty.

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

The five photos below are of a amazing Curtis Mathes Texas size console. It is an awesome piece of American made history. You can see the workmanship in this lovely console, and the pride that went into every detail. Vintage 1960's Curtis Mathes 8'-6" 3 in one console with television, turntable, AM/FM stereo and reel to reel tape recorder. Solid wood cabinet with original brochures.

The four photos below: Playing on the 1980 Curtis Mathes Television Model G550, The Invaders, The Experiment, the Episode first aired Jan 17, 1967. David Vincent meets with an eminent astrophysicist who has proof that aliens are invading the planet.… 1980 Curtis Mathes Model G550, Curtis Mathes Chassis C81-7, Medium Pecan, This television console Has been in a storage shed for countless years. The cabinet needs a good oiling, but the picture tube is doing amazing considering the console was in a hot and damp shed in the summer and cold as Hell shed in the winter months for countless years.

#curtismathes #modelg550 #vintagetv

This was the Curtis Mathes, Athens Plant from the air back in the early 1960's.

Back in the good old days working at Harvey Industries and Curtis Mathes, founded in 1919, was a tradition . For many employees, it was a family affair. Linda Eldridge, materials handler, worked there six years. She has six sisters and a brother. They all work at the plant. Husband Lonnie was the local union president, had more than a decade with Harvey before the union job employed him full time. Tragically when the plant shut down in Athens Texas whole families were effected greatly.

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!

Very tragic that now the once very full parking lot is very sad to see these days. 

Oh yes Curtis Mathes did like to make them very big ...

Below is 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!!

Great songs from the early 1960?s played on a 1961 Curtis Mathes Stereo; check out the blue links below:

1961 Curtis Mathes, Royal Dane, Don't Forbid Me 



Back in 1961 the world of Curtis Mathes was the world of Elegance and beauty.

"farbaby" from the Antique Radio Forum, in my opinion c-m TV's were greats sets--my dad started a TV repair shop in 1960--I was 8 years old--he would take me with him on service calls---as i grew older I got totally engulfed in TV's--then I got away from it when I went to school mostly to play baseball on a scholarship---after about 2 years in school it just got to much for dad ---I went to work for him in 1972 and have not looked back---still in business today and enjoy my work--have had to learn a lot about these newer lcd, led and plasma sets to stay alive---anyway what i want to say is dad started selling c-m TV's around 1980 I guess--we sold a ton of those things for several years before "Lowes and wall mart" got into it with cheaper prices----we also sold zenith and Sylvania---but had to drop them when we got the c-m line---people would pay more for one of them---they were great TV's made in Athens Texas--or assembled there---the parts were of the highest quality--5 to 10% tolerance---I serviced one of those sets about a year ago---monster of a beast i remember delivering when we sold it--that thing was a home center--must have weighed a ton--it still has a very good picture--i still have a few c-m modules that I have never used somewhere boxed up in my shop---I cannot comment on the ones made earlier than that--but these I am talking about were very good quality sets---when Curtis died from smoke inhalation on that plane that caught on fire---things started going south very quick for the company---just a memory now---dad and I still talk about them good old days from time to time.

Below is a beautiful garden Curtis Mathes Stereo from1963

The song in the video below ?Anything You Can do I can do Better?, was one of the first songs used in a Curtis Mathes Commercial about the quality of the Curtis Mathes products.

Here is Oscar Winslow working on a new model in 1961 at the Athens Plant.

Curtis Mathes generated nearly $400 million dollars in 1985. The company began selling franchises in 1980; and boasted 650 stores in the USA in 1985. The Franchise owners dealt solely in Curtis Mathes products and Accessories, which were for the most part custom made in the plant in Athens Texas.

Here are some cool videos I made on my 1961 Curtis Mathes console,

with its replacement 1967 Curtis Mathes turntable.

Ninety-Nine Ways, Tab Hunter, Orchestra

Conducted by Billy Vaughn.

http://youtu.be/PAirCpJQLT0

There's No Living Without Your Loving, Gene Pitney

http://youtu.be/Z2cFLCCuFxA

Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Tab Hunter

http://youtu.be/46YZSRgn8zk

Lonely Teenager, Dion, Laurie Records

http://youtu.be/CHRBhmRLTrw

Little Miss Blue, Dion, Written by R. Isle.

http://youtu.be/X8oj4-1W1fQ

Looking Through the Eyes of Love, Gene Pitney

http://youtu.be/a3xVtFeOT2o

Below is a photo of the Curtis Mathes Factory in Dallas Texas in 1961.

The NEC were more noticeable in the 1970’s due to contract problems with RCA

The NEC were more noticeable in the 1970’s due to contract problems with RCA. Some models in the 1980’s were NEC chassis’s in a heavy wood veneer Curtis Mathes built well laminated particleboard cabinet. Nippon Electric Company also did a lot of our remotes and some of our control knobs and panels. We had a re-badged program with RCA well in place when I was working with them. Sometimes even a Magnavox CTR would be worked into an order.

Not like the good old days in the 1960’s when a Curtis Mathes was all CM. By the late 1980’s it was a major problem just to keep the company in competition with the flood of cheap televisions coming in from Asia. By the time Communist China got on line we simply could not compete with the slave labor.

Yes today some folk foolishly say today that the Curtis Mathes of the 1980’s could not hold a candle to the Zenith of the same time period. I have found so many of these Curtis Mathes models still working as well today as they did in the 1980’s! So I will have to say these folks are not award of the workmanship in this awesome models. Also I remember some very nice and high end models that our design team was still turning out in the 1980's. The photos below are of a wonderful top of the line model we produced in the 1980's:

________________

I have that VCR he is selling in this 1984 AD, and yes it still works. I did get a employee discount on it but she still was over four hundred dollars back then. We had show-rooms all over the country back then.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOiIPC1eek0 

And check out this television Ad.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8IQG7YRX_A


I must not forget Mrs. Mabel and her Curtis Mathes she will get up-set. She watches it everyday. The console was made in the 1960's and it is still going strong as well. It is even going digital with

a new converter box.

Here is a awesome photo of the Curtis Mathes Plant in Fort Worth Texas around the year 1959. Back in the golden age when Curtis Mathes was all made in the USA by proud Americans.

I remember Burke Mathes,Jr. and it was so good to hear from him, see the email below:

Hi Glenn.

Burke here. Really enjoyed your Curtis Mathes history--brought back many memories--especially meetigs with Mr. Mathes Sr at 2220 Young St. with his yellow pad and #2 pencil sketching out new designs. I shared it with some colleagues whom you may remember: Bill Park and by way of Bill to R.C. Spitzer and Ray Harvey.

I also shared it with Curtis Mathes Jr's oldest daughter and son.

Kindest regards,

Burke

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.

Below is a 1963 Curtis Mathes 23" Combo

This Curtis Mathes 23" B&W combo unit is a very nice vintage set.