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Ed Reitan's Color Television History

Color Line

1957 - 1958 ("Early") and 1958 - 1959 ("Late") CTC-7 Color Receivers

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(Christmas Magic with the CTC-7's "Townsend")
Click on a cabinet to view an enlarged image of each model.

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"Early" 1957 - 1958 CTC-7 Chassis Models

CTC7 Model Menu
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"Late" 1958 - 1959 CTC-7 Chassis Models

Late CTC7 Model Menu

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The large photographs of the "Early" CTC-7 Models are from original dealer product catalog sheets. After much pestering by me, my Dad obtained these catalog sheets from the Omaha RCA Victor distributor, the Sidles Co. The sheets show elegantly dressed women posing in interior settings selected for each model.

The enlarged photos of the "Late" CTC-7 Models are from a Consumer Product Brochure provided by Dan Gustafson of Chicago. Thanks, Danny! Don Kent did the PhotoShop editing.

The CTC-7 color receivers were introduced in the Fall of 1957, at the beginning of a U.S. recession that would slow even further the sales of color receivers. The dealer product sheets for the early CTC-7 models show eight different cabinet styles. The CTC-7 Receivers were named the "Mark" Series and used narrow-band X and Z demodulation. I would contend these sets were the first really practical color receivers, with a quality circuit featuring high reliability, good color and convergence. The side mounted controls led to clean and compact cabinet designs that were among the most attractive in the early history of color television.

Evidently, because of dwindling color receiver sales, the decision was made to not produce the two full-door CTC-7 models in the early series, the beautiful "Alexander" and "Woodbridge". Also, there must have been many unsold CTC-5 sets, as the brochures for the first year of the CTC-7 always show the full CTC-5 line. The CTC-7 line was represented as the luxury "Mark Series", available in addition to the Special and Deluxe CTC-5 sets.

The "Late" version CTC-7 chassis models were introduced for the 1958 through 1959 sales season - six CTC-7 models from the previous year were retained, and for the first time, remote control models were available. To provide door models, four full-door models from the two-year old 1956 CTC-5 line were brought out of retirement (Chandler, Strathmore, Arliss, and Wingate) and are shown as still available in the "Late" CTC-7 Consumer Product Brochure from 1958 !

The six models returning for the second year were: the Abington, Sanford, Anderson, and Townsend with new chasses, and the Wentworth and Brandywine were shown as available (evidently with their first year chassis). The Alexander, and Woodbridge were dropped from any mention during the second year.

Six models were added for the Late (second year) CTC-7 sets: the Southbrige, Pensbury, Meredith (a new low cost ebony set), Whitmore, Grenoble, and the Worthington. The last three were remote control sets.

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Indication of Cabinet Finish in Model Number

An additional number was added to the end of the model numbers shown above to indicate finish type. These were:

  • "0" Genuine Dark Cherry or Autumn Cherry Veneers and Solids
  • "2" Ebony Finish
  • "4" Genuine Maple Veneers and Solids
  • "5" Mahogany Grained Finish, or Genuine Mahogany Veneers and Solids
  • "6" Walnut (Grained or Natural) Finish, or Genuine (Natural or French) Walnut Veneers and Solids
  • "7" Limed Oak Grained Finish, or Genuine Blonde Hardwood Veneers and Solids
  • "8" Genuine Bleached Birch Veneers and Solids
  • "9" Genuine Maple or Light Cherry Veneers and Solids

    Color Line

    V1.00 03-08-1999

    Copyright 1999, Ed Reitan

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