1953 Muntz 24" Restoration

The Muntz model 2457A was state of the art “Big Screen” television in 1953.  This set uses the 24AP4 round metal body black and white picture tube.  At this early date the public was still clambering for bigger and bigger screen sizes but large all glass picture tubes were still in the development stages.  As a result, the picture tube makers fell back on the proven technology of using a spun metal funnel for the body of the picture tube.  There was only one picture tube of this era that was larger.  DuMont had a 30BP4 metal body picture tube, and it was used on the DuMont Royal Sovereign TV set.

The large round picture tubes were very unwieldy and required a large cabinet to house the chassis and picture tube.  So a TV set with a 24 inch screen was necessarily very large.  This photo shows the relative size of this 24 inch Muntz next to an RCA 21 inch set of the early 60’s

I purchased this set from the son of the original owner who was selling off his late father’s estate.  The set had been stored in a dry basement for the past 30 years and was in relatively good condition.  The cabinet was structurally sound and the chassis was completely free from any rust or corrosion. The cabinet had a few minor scratches as can be seen in this picture of the set as I received it. 

With the back removed you get a good idea of how large the picture tube was and how it dwarfed the size of the chassis.  The cabinet has a great deal of empty volume in order to accommodate the large picture tube size.


This view of the chassis and picture tube removed from the cabinet give a good perspective of how large the picture tube is in comparison to the small chassis.  Muntz was known for economical, affordable, television sets.  They did whatever they could to keep the costs down. It is apparent that the chassis was adapted from a smaller Muntz model. New larger front brackets to hold the picture tube, and a new support mount for the deflection yoke assembly were added to a chassis which was originally used on a set with a smaller picture tube.

This photo shows the relative size of the Muntz chassis with it's large 24AP4 picture tube sitting next to an RCA chassis with a 12LP4 12 inch picture tube.

Restoration of the cabinet was quite easy.  On this set all I had to do was give the cabinet a light sanding with 320 to scuff up the old varnish and apply several coats of acrylic automotive lacquer to bring back the luster and fix the scratches. You could say that Muntz television sets were rather “Spartan”.  There were no fancy frills.  The sets were very basic and functional.  But as you can see the set is attractive and could occupy a proud place in most any home. This photo shows the set after the cabinet was refinished.

The chassis was a simple restoration.  As can be seen in this photo of the chassis underside, there are relatively few components.  The set uses only sixteen tubes, plus the picture tube.  If you lived in a large metropolitan area close to the television station transmitters, you could receive a decent picture with this set, but if you were in a rural area, reception may not have been very good, due to the few number of tubes.

After completing the re-cap, and testing and replacing any weak tubes, I fired the set up and had a picture.  But after about 30 minutes of operation the vertical hold lost sync and started to roll.  I located a high megohm resistor in the sync section that was twice it’s rated value, and after replacing the bad resistor the vertical sync came back rock solid.  This is a photo of the completed set in operation receiving an over the air signal with a pair of rabbit ears.