March 15, 2011Dave’s 1952 Magnavox Contemporary
Hey, Gang! This week I am happy to bring you a fun post by one of our new guest bloggers, Dave. Dave promises to bring us lots more fun posts in the future, like cool thrift store finds, electrical tips for vintage lamps and some stuff for the “guys”. Happy to have you with us, Dave!
I was poking around on eBay looking for a nice old vintage television to add to my collection when I stumbled upon this.
It is absolutely beautiful and fulfilled two of my requirements; mid-century modern and in working order. Alas, it was not meant to be. I stayed in the bidding up to $150 and it finally sold for over $350. Life goes on and the next day I discovered this little cutie for sale.
It wasn’t in working condition, but I have a little skill in that department so bid on it I did. I was right in the thick of things but bailed out at $110. It finally sold for over $160. Guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
Have you ever noticed that when one door closes sometimes another one opens? Really, you have? I don’t notice that very often. Usually when a door closes around me it closes on my foot, but today was my lucky day. Today, after having lost two fabulous TVs, I found this orphaned child wandering the streets of Naples, FL looking for a new home.
You may not be able to tell just by looking at her, but she’s 59 years old this year. This is a 1952 Magnavox “Contemporary”. She was still owned by the family that bought her in 1952 and I found her in the garage of her owner’s retirement home in Naples. Twenty five dollars later she was on the way to my house. Not only is there a 17″ black and white TV, there is an AM/FM radio . . .
and a turntable. For her age, Maggie looks pretty good. She is missing one knob .. .
but there is a whole cottage industry in place to provide me new, used and reproduction parts to restore her to her former glory. I found a scan of a 1952 advertisement for this same model. Man, people used to really dress up to sit on the floor in front of their TVs.
The former owners gave me the original owner’s manual and a little magazine ad clipping that one of them found also showing this model.
This restoration will probably take me about a year to complete. Not that it’s that hard, but you try to fit your hobbies in where you find the time. Stay tuned (get it?) and see what Maggie looks like after she’s restored! In the mean time watch for other articles from me regarding really cool thrift store finds, some electrical tips for lamps, and who knows what other goodies that might come along.