What kind of TV do you grow up with? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 02-19-2009, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Mainly I'm asking about the 'living room' set the big TV in the house.
We had a HUGE 29" B&W Zenith from the late 1950s.
The real wood cabinet was larger than our dryer.
All tubes of course. Can anyone help me ID the model number?
The darn set lasted into the late 1970s!
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post #2 of 30 Old 02-20-2009, 05:42 AM
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Looks like Zenith didn't make a 29" TV in the 50's... probably no one else did either.

http://www.tvhistory.tv/1950-59-ZENITH.htm
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post #3 of 30 Old 02-20-2009, 08:41 AM
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Rents bought a Mitsu front projector in the early eighties. Nothing has ever bested what it could do with composite video, and it never broke down or burned in with our old game systems.

I guess its WAF wasn't all there, because I spent more time watching a succession of 25" direct-view consoles.

I do remember that in 1987, a 36" direct-view was a new and glorious thing. Frankly I'm astounded there was a 27" Zenith in 1956.
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post #4 of 30 Old 02-20-2009, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trivial View Post

I do remember that in 1987, a 36" direct-view was a new and glorious thing. Frankly I'm astounded there was a 27" Zenith in 1956.

Frankly, I'm astounded there was a 36" direct view TV in 1987 let alone a 27 or 29" TV in the 50's.
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post #5 of 30 Old 02-20-2009, 07:17 PM
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I remember two SONY's fondly.

The first was a "large" -- must have been 20" or so (I was much smaller) -- model with wooden finish. It had dozens of push-buttons instead of a dial (well, except for the UHF/CATV/etc dial) and handle-grips on the sides. There were two "strips of channels" so you could select more channels after you turned the UHF/Cable switch.

The second was a much smaller SONY system. It was grey and couldn't have been bigger than 13-15". It had a remote control with tiny rubber buttons that was about a foot long. Granted, half the remote was just a battery case...
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post #6 of 30 Old 02-21-2009, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Frankly, I'm astounded there was a 36" direct view TV in 1987

Yeah, it was a Sharp. They also had PIP in 1978.

Anyone remember that Zenith used to use "ultrasonic" remotes instead of IR?
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post #7 of 30 Old 02-21-2009, 09:04 AM
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My oldest son grew up with a Heathkit 26 inch TV I built as part of a Veterans Bill TV Repair course (Bell and Howell) in 1972. I bought the big wood cabinent to fit it in - looked like this: http://www.tvhistory.tv/1974-Zenith-TV.JPG

In my own case we got our first color tv in 1964. A magnovox - maybe 19 inches, also in a wood box but on legs; but quite the experience watching Disney's Wonderful World of Color on Sunday evening - the highlight of the week (maybe that was the only show we watched besides Perry Mason which my mother loved).
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post #8 of 30 Old 02-22-2009, 06:57 PM
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I'm 32 so my memory might be foggy(too much booze in my 20s). I remember the Admiral console(I guess a console is one of those TVs that look more like a piece of furniture and have the rediculously rounded screens). It was already there from when I was able to remember anything(most doctor's agree that people start remembering things when they're around 2 years old) up to when I can't remember(but I'd say around 10.) So I'm not sure when my parents, when they were still married, bought it. I remember the tube going out(It would exhibit all these funky psychadelic colors. I think it even exploded). I'm not sure what television replaced it(It may have been a nonconsole GE). Like I said, I have a poor memory of what happened in my youth.

Another TV would be my now deceased great grandparent's Zenith console. It was still used after my great grandpa died in 1986 up untill the tube went out in it sometime in the early 90s(the screen would display nothing but blue). It must've been old(it didn't have a remote from what I can remeber and only had dials to change the channel and volume). My great grandmother, even after the tube fried would still use it. She was hard of hearing as well and would sit real close to it with the volume turned up so loud it would sound distorted(it's a wonder the speaker didn't blow). Her kids(my grandmother and great uncle) finally convinced her to get a new TV. The new TV ended up being another Zenith console, but this one had a remote. After my great grandmother died my grandmother inheirited it and is still used to this day. But I noticed the picture quality is bad(no matter how the sharpness is adjusted it still displays a dirty image. But that might be caused by tar from cigarette smoke. It may also be that it's always bathed by sunlight during daylight hours). I told her to save some cash and get an LCD or plasma. She said she won't do it(she is tight on money). She told me she would have this ancient reapirman to fix the Zenith or build her another console all together(are consoles or even single tube CRTs in general even made these days? I haven't seen anything but LCDs or plasmas for sale). I think she could at least afford a cheap small screen Dynex LCD like my other grandmother recently bought.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against console televisions(They were, I guess fairly state-of-the-art for their time and had or still have a place in the consumer electronics market).
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post #9 of 30 Old 02-22-2009, 09:30 PM
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RCA 25" CTC-46 from 1972. Dark Green console with doors, gold leaf..Still working decent with some repairable issues after 36 years, was upgraded to the Sony 32HS510. It's had a few cable boxes on top of it, starting with pushbutton and lever type 30 channels, to remote, to stereo, to digital! Maybe I will add a picture later. The 12 inch Zenith tube Black-and-White TV I watched Bugs and Sesames Street and Chips on is still working well, one new tube installed.
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post #10 of 30 Old 02-23-2009, 12:49 PM
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We had a 19" B&W Zenith TV purchased in the late 60's. We used it as our MAIN AND ONLY TV until about 1986 when I was a sophomore high school.

Yeah, my folks were not that into TV.
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post #11 of 30 Old 02-23-2009, 01:07 PM
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When I was a kid we had a 21" B&W RCA until the early 1970s. As far as growing up, well, we'll see when that happens.

Yes, calibration is important...every user should be calibrated.

Need electronics repair? A great place to start looking for a shop in your area: http://www.tvrepairpros.com/
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post #12 of 30 Old 02-23-2009, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrnXnham View Post

We had a 19" B&W Zenith TV purchased in the late 60's. We used it as our MAIN AND ONLY TV until about 1986 when I was a sophomore high school.

Yeah, my folks were not that into TV.


yes I feel your pain and I can relate.
my parents never got a color TV till sometime in the 1980s when the big B&W Zenith finally died.
I remember watching Star Trek on my friends parents Color Sony in the mid 70s, I could not believe what I was missing.
plus the Sony tube was so much more square it looked futuristic.
the Sony Trinitron in the mid late 70s was the BOMB!
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post #13 of 30 Old 02-23-2009, 10:43 PM
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I have a 19" Trinitron from 1981 I got from a neighbor because it was sparking. Fixed it, has a distinct futuristic style, that I always liked.
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post #14 of 30 Old 02-23-2009, 10:44 PM
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We had a 27" Sharp TV, bought in the very early 90s. I was very young when we got it, but it was a big upgrade to what was there before (a very old 20" set). Though it was just a 7" increase, I remember thinking it was like having the theater in our living room. I was impressionable and at that age had yet to see the projection TV sets that existed in some friends' living rooms.

It had one set of composite inputs on the back of the set that we never took advantage of during its lifetime. It had a fine 10 year run before the picture started going and died out.
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post #15 of 30 Old 02-24-2009, 01:27 PM
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My dad refused to buy a TV, period. Grandma finally felt sorry for us especially that we couldn't watch JFK's funeral on TV in 1963, so she bought us a tube type 18" Zenith "portable" TV for Christmas of 1963. My folks used that until they got their first Magnavox solid state 25" color console in 1974 (they still have it) and I took the B/W Zenith to college and then on to my first apartment. I finally gave it away (still worked like new) in 1978 when I moved and got a 19" Magnavox color TV. Folks since downsized from the 1974 25" Magnavox to a 1988 19" Magnavox, although the old set still works OK. Obviously we're pretty much a Magnavox family.
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post #16 of 30 Old 02-24-2009, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas Beachboy View Post

My dad refused to buy a TV, period. Grandma finally felt sorry for us especially that we couldn't watch JFK's funeral on TV in 1963, so she bought us a tube type 18" Zenith "portable" TV for Christmas of 1963. My folks used that until they got their first Magnavox solid state 25" color console in 1974 (they still have it) and I took the B/W Zenith to college and then on to my first apartment. I finally gave it away (still worked like new) in 1978 when I moved and got a 19" Magnavox color TV. Folks since downsized from the 1974 25" Magnavox to a 1988 19" Magnavox, although the old set still works OK. Obviously we're pretty much a Magnavox family.


man that must drive you nuts if you have to watch that 19" set when you visit the folks.
what I find so exasperating is that *they* CAN afford a much better set. my 70+ yr old neighbor is just the same way and his wife would like a bigger screen TV.
the man hangs on to that 27" Sony like it's a pot of gold. he uses a lame excuse like there is no room for a larger set. he can hang a 42" plasma on the wall no problem.
granted he would need a articulating wall mount but big deal. some people have no vision or creative way of looking at things.
when his relatives visit they must cringe watching that 27".
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post #17 of 30 Old 02-24-2009, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonJediKnight View Post

I'm 32 so my memory might be foggy(too much booze in my 20s). I remember the Admiral console(I guess a console is one of those TVs that look more like a piece of furniture and have the rediculously rounded screens). It was already there from when I was able to remember anything(most doctor's agree that people start remembering things when they're around 2 years old) up to when I can't remember(but I'd say around 10.) So I'm not sure when my parents, when they were still married, bought it. I remember the tube going out(It would exhibit all these funky psychadelic colors. I think it even exploded). I'm not sure what television replaced it(It may have been a nonconsole GE). Like I said, I have a poor memory of what happened in my youth.

Another TV would be my now deceased great grandparent's Zenith console. It was still used after my great grandpa died in 1986 up untill the tube went out in it sometime in the early 90s(the screen would display nothing but blue). It must've been old(it didn't have a remote from what I can remeber and only had dials to change the channel and volume). My great grandmother, even after the tube fried would still use it. She was hard of hearing as well and would sit real close to it with the volume turned up so loud it would sound distorted(it's a wonder the speaker didn't blow). Her kids(my grandmother and great uncle) finally convinced her to get a new TV. The new TV ended up being another Zenith console, but this one had a remote. After my great grandmother died my grandmother inheirited it and is still used to this day. But I noticed the picture quality is bad(no matter how the sharpness is adjusted it still displays a dirty image. But that might be caused by tar from cigarette smoke. It may also be that it's always bathed by sunlight during daylight hours). I told her to save some cash and get an LCD or plasma. She said she won't do it(she is tight on money). She told me she would have this ancient reapirman to fix the Zenith or build her another console all together(are consoles or even single tube CRTs in general even made these days? I haven't seen anything but LCDs or plasmas for sale). I think she could at least afford a cheap small screen Dynex LCD like my other grandmother recently bought.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against console televisions(They were, I guess fairly state-of-the-art for their time and had or still have a place in the consumer electronics market).

I was just wanting to be more specific about the latter Zenith console. I got a model number but forgot to get a date, but the model is a SY2506N. I assuming that the 25 in the MN means a 25" screen. My garandmother no longer uses that one but still owns it and wants it fixed. I'm not sure what's wrong with it. I was at her house today and should've asked her. But I'm going to ask... Would it be worth the time and money to have it fixed?

This is tied into that console. My grandma eventually swapped that for an early 2000s or late 90s model Sansui(silver bezel and about a 19" screen) that was my niece's(niece lives with her). That TV had something go wrong with it(It's no longer used). I should've asked. Getting the model number would've been moot, since my niece and a girlfriend of hers during a sleepover painted the thing with paint and finger nail polish.(at least they were smart enough to not get anyhting on the screen) I highly doubt that it would be worth having serviced. My grandmother presently uses a nonconsole Zenith SY2751Y. Not sure about a date, but would say the late 90s or early 2000s. This is the Zenith that has horrible picture quality. No matter how the sharpness is adjusted some stuff looks blurred. The blurriness is most appearant on the graphics showing the score for a sports game, tickers, and network bugs. It's bad when I've had to watch a football game on it, beacuse you can't make out the score, quarter, time, and down and yards to go. Would this Zenith be worth repairing, if need be? My grandmother must be hooked on Zeniths. She had another, maybe 2 nonconsole Zeniths that were used during my childhood years.

I will describe another TV my other grandmother had when I was growing up. I'm not sure about the brand, but I think it was a 13" GMA(?) or MGA(?) she used to have in her living room but eventually found a home in her bedroom. It lived in two houses. The only thing really memorable about this one is the tube went out on it as well. Everything you would watch had a green color to it. She finally replaced it with...guess what...a Zenith. My grandmother has another Zenith, that was recently repalaced with the Dynex LCD I mentioned in my first post for a living room set. Another TV I remember was this 60s B&W maybe color model, who knows what brand, that was in a getaway home that her now deceased second husband(I guess my step-grandpa) owned in Indiana. I have fond memories of watching Cowboy Bob's Corral on that thing. To quote Edith and Archie Bunker, "Those were the days..."

I will now explain two TVs my brother and I had in our bedroom growing up. The first was maybe a B&W Philco perhaps made in the 60s. It must've been portable. It had a strap and built in rabbit ears that were cut off. The second and final TV we shared was a small screen 1980s model RCA, but a color one that time. The RCA was much more suited for our Atari 7800, NES and SNES. I took over this RCA after I left the nest. It eventually got stolen after my first house got broken into It wasn't that bad of a TV.
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post #18 of 30 Old 02-24-2009, 06:16 PM
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Grew up with a 26" Fisher Studio Standard TV that my parents purchased in 1986 (I was born in 1983). It has 2 composite inputs one on the front and one on the rear along with manual picture adjustment knobs and headphone jack. It also has a neat feature a light sensor that would adjust the picture settings based on how bright or dark the viewing area was (you could turn this feature on or off). The set was made in 1985 in Japan and still works today.
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post #19 of 30 Old 02-24-2009, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Looks like Zenith didn't make a 29" TV in the 50's... probably no one else did either.

http://www.tvhistory.tv/1950-59-ZENITH.htm


I'm very sure it was 29" that's what made it unusual and why it was so darn huge. it had full length doors for the front and a beautiful dark wood cabinet. I had neighbors with 27" TVs and those screens were smaller. I could be wrong about the build date tho. could have been a 1960 or 61. would be nice to find out the model number. any idea where I can ask?
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post #20 of 30 Old 02-24-2009, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas Beachboy View Post

My dad refused to buy a TV, period. Grandma finally felt sorry for us especially that we couldn't watch JFK's funeral on TV in 1963, so she bought us a tube type 18" Zenith "portable" TV for Christmas of 1963. My folks used that until they got their first Magnavox solid state 25" color console in 1974 (they still have it) and I took the B/W Zenith to college and then on to my first apartment. I finally gave it away (still worked like new) in 1978 when I moved and got a 19" Magnavox color TV. Folks since downsized from the 1974 25" Magnavox to a 1988 19" Magnavox, although the old set still works OK. Obviously we're pretty much a Magnavox family.

Interesting story. My earliest memory from childhood that is clear is watching JFKs funeral on that old B&W set. Very vivid memory of the procession.

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Need electronics repair? A great place to start looking for a shop in your area: http://www.tvrepairpros.com/
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post #21 of 30 Old 02-25-2009, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovemy36XBR800 View Post

I'm very sure it was 29" .... could have been a 1960 or 61. would be nice to find out the model number. any idea where I can ask?

Hey, I could be wrong, but I still don't think it could have been 29". Even by the mid 60's, I think the largest tube maxxed out at 25 or 26".

But... if there were a 29" Zenith at that time. This price must have been quite high. Hell... when my parents bought us a Zenith console in 1975 (as a wedding gift), it was a 25" and if I remember correctly, they paid ~$625.

I've tried searching around, but come up empty handed. My curiosity is piqued!
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post #22 of 30 Old 02-25-2009, 08:38 AM
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Like me, there are some really sad stories here!

I can sure see why so many people here are into BIG SCREEN TV's.

So many of us were deprived during our childhood!
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post #23 of 30 Old 02-25-2009, 11:42 AM
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I grew up with a late 60's Magnavox 25" color consol that had 8 huge speakers, turntable, am/fm radio, remote. It took 6 grown men to move it and three or four floor jacks to keep it out of the basement. Man, could you pump the bass on those speakers. My folks hang on to that till about 1992, they replaced it with a 25" Sony Trinitron.

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post #24 of 30 Old 02-25-2009, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Hey, I could be wrong, but I still don't think it could have been 29". Even by the mid 60's, I think the largest tube maxxed out at 25 or 26".

But... if there were a 29" Zenith at that time. This price must have been quite high. Hell... when my parents bought us a Zenith console in 1975 (as a wedding gift), it was a 25" and if I remember correctly, they paid ~$625.

I've tried searching around, but come up empty handed. My curiosity is piqued!

well I moved out in late 79 and now that I think about it my neighbors TV could have been a 25" console and the Zenith a 27" but I definitely remember even tho it was only a B&W had a larger screen than what was the normal big screen TV in the 1970s (the 25" console) and that's what people who would say when they first saw it 'wow what a big screen'. The cabinet was like high quality polished furniture with fancy designs on the front doors that were always keep to the sides of the cabinet. we would have to email quite a few people to find out what this mystery model is and who is a vintage Zenith TV xpert in this day and age?
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post #25 of 30 Old 02-25-2009, 05:24 PM
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Maybe it was the DuMont Royal Sovereign 30" Some large Black and white sets existed, my uncle had a Dumont 25".
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post #26 of 30 Old 02-25-2009, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovemy36XBR800 View Post

... but I definitely remember even tho it was only a B&W had a larger screen than what was the normal big screen TV in the 1970s (the 25" console) and that's what people who would say when they first saw it 'wow what a big screen'.

Yeah... sometimes things look a lot bigger when you're young.
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post #27 of 30 Old 02-28-2009, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdre View Post

Maybe it was the DuMont Royal Sovereign 30" Some large Black and white sets existed, my uncle had a Dumont 25".


nope it was a Zenith 27".

Here's what I got from Charles via AudioKarma.org.

"Zenith did make a 27" B&W console, and some were actually called "Stratosphere", named after the great 1930s Zenith radio console. Those TVs are about as rare as then radio these days. It would be a mid to late 50s model, and it's no surprise that it worked until the 80s. The 27" B&W tube appeared larger than a 27" modern-day color tube because it was very rounded at the corners, thus had a larger actual surface area."
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post #28 of 30 Old 02-28-2009, 05:58 PM
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... not 29" though.
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post #29 of 30 Old 03-02-2009, 02:11 PM
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The first TV I remember is a 1947 RCA 648 PTK rear projection. 25" diagonal screen, tambour doors. See a picture at www.myvintagetv.com/rca_648ptk.htm

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post #30 of 30 Old 03-02-2009, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

... not 29" though.


it was 27".
must be a very rare set now days.
I have yet to find a single picture of it or any info.
I'll have to keep searching cyberspace.
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