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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

Zenith the Queen of the Nation back in the golden age.

Zenith the Quality goes in before the name goes on; that was the truth.

 The world of Zenith was the top of the summit in the vintage world of electronics.

The photos below are of a Zenith Brochure 1984 TV models tv w/computer brain...1984 ZENITH ADVANCED SYSTEM 3...the “Color TV with a Computer Brain”.  Also celebrates 65 years of Zenith quality.  Two pages also cover Zenith Quality Features (178 channel capability, Remote Antenna Switch Accessory, Magic Tough Tuning and more).  But most of the booklet shows the 1984 models available (pages 8 through 19).  Then two pages of videos and camera available and two pages of models with features charts.

Company The company was co-founded by Ralph Matthews and Karl Hassel in Chicago, Illinois as Chicago Radio Labs in 1918 as a small producer of amateur radio equipment. The name "Zenith" came from its founders' call sign, 9ZN. They were joined in 1921 by LCDR Eugene F. McDonald, and Zenith Radio Company was formally incorporated in 1923. Zenith introduced the first portable radio in 1924, the first mass-produced AC radio in 1926, and push-button tuning in 1927. It added automobile radios in the 1930s with its Model 460, promoting the fact that it needed no separate generator or battery, selling at US$59.95. The first Zenith TV set would appear in 1939, with its first commercial sets in 1948. The company would eventually go on to invent such things as the wireless remote control,  FM multiplex stereo, high-contrast and flat-face picture tubes, and the MTS stereo system used on analog television broadcasts in the US and Canada (as opposed to the BBC-developed NICAM digital stereo sound system for analog TV broadcasts, used in many places around the world.) Zenith was also one of the first companies to introduce a digital HDTV system implementation, parts of which were included in the ATSC standard starting with the 1993 Grand Alliance.


In the 1980s, Zenith encountered increasing financial difficulty as their market share progressively went to Japanese companies who had lower overhead, and could sell their sets cheaper. In 1979, they entered the home computer market with the purchase of Heath Company and their H-8 computer kit; Zenith renamed Heath's computer division Zenith Data Systems, and eventually sold ZDS and Heath to Groupe Bull in 1989 to raise money for HDTV research efforts. Zenith changed its name to Zenith Electronics Corporation in 1984, to reflect its interests in computers and CATV, and since it had left the radio business two years earlier.