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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

Watterson Radios, Texas Made Beauties. 

 

 The two photos below are of a Watterson Radio, Model 4581, Made 1946, Self-Contained Loop Antenna, Electro Magnetic Dynamic LS (moving-coil with field excitation coil) / Ø 5 inch = 12.7 cm, Super-Heterodyne (Super in general); IF-Freq 455 kHz; 2 AF stage(s)

The successor to the Watterson Radio Manufacturing Company is still in business in Dallas. See their web pages at www.jwd.com
The present company name honors J. Watterson Davis - namesake of the original company.

Model 4581 was one of the first Watterson’s built for civilian production at the close of World War II. I think the diagram shows a date of November, 1945.


Like Sears, Montgomery Ward, Western Auto and others, Watterson had many of their radios built for them by large manufacturers. I suspect that much of their production before World War II was not made in the Dallas plant. However Model  4581 is clearly an in house Watterson product.

 

 

From its inception over 78 years ago, J. W. Davis & Company has been a pioneer in the electronics field. In 1933, John Watterson Davis secured one of the first RCA-Hazeltine licenses west of the Mississippi and began producing battery-powered radios. Initially sold primarily in the rural markets, the "Watterson" brand became a leading name in the '30s decade.

During the early '40s, consumer production was interrupted for the war effort. After World War II, radio manufacturing resumed; however, the spread of rural electrification steadily reduced the sales of battery powered products.

 

Fortunately, the plant facilities were ideally suited for the manufacture of  loudspeaker cabinets, and a growing demand for higher quality sound reinforcement was stimulated by the consumer's exposure to Hi-Fi.

Due to the company's expansion in the '50s, J. Watt Davis (Mr. John Watterson Davis' son) closed his retail radio store and joined the company on a full time basis. As a result of "Jays" engineering background, greater attention was devoted to the increasingly sophisticated requirements of a relatively new group of specialists the commercial sound contractor.

 

Electronics production shifted from the Watterson line of consumer products to the "Davis" line of commercial amplifier-mixers. Speaker assemblies similarly changed with the emphasis on sound columns and other higher powered speaker systems. In addition, in response to customer requests, the company became one of the first "single source suppliers" of commercial audio equipment by offering products from other major manufacturers.