Masthead

Magnavox TVs and Radios on the Dick Van Dyke Show

When you've seen a tv episode for the eighteenth time, you tend to start noticing details you never saw before. In my case, and this became more obvious when I started watching the show on a huge screen TV set with modern Hi-Def resolution, I started noticing that all the TVs and radios on The Dick Van Dyke Show were Magnavox products. I wasn't around at the time that the DVD show was first broadcast so I don't know if they had some kind of sponsorship tie-in. But the Petries always had Magnavox radios in their kitchen. And while the TV sets at home are harder to identify because they're almost always seen from the rear, the one in the writer's room was seen from the front and easily identifiable.

A note: I'm only doing this for the sets that are regularly seen on camera. I'm not going to attempt to identify anything that shows up only once or twice.

Another note: clicking on a photo will display a larger version.

So here we go:

RADIOS

The Petries always had a radio on the counter in the far end of their kitchen, behind the breakfast table. These are all AM/FM models picking up standard broadcast, all have slide-rule dials; and run on standard household AC current.

Magnavox FM18 table radioMagnavox FM 18 — From about 1960. A seven tube model: 12DT8 RF amp and FM converter, 12BE6 AM converter, two 12BA6 IF amps and AM 2nd detector, 12AL5 FM Ratio detector, 12AV6 first audio and 50EH5 output. I've only seen photos so I'm not sure, but I believe this has dual speakers in the front. Four knobs mounted horizontally on the front. Three on the left side: On/OFf-Tone, Volume, Band (AM/FM), and then the tuning knob is locaed on the right side, in-between two vernier tuning dials one for AM and the other for FM. I haven't found a source for the service docs.

This screen capture is from the first episode, "The Sick Boy and the Sitter."

 

Magnavox FM 40 — From 1962. A seven tube model: 12DT8 RF amp and FM converter, 12BE6 AM converter, two 12BA6 IF amps and AM 2nd detector, 12AL5 FM Ratio detector, 12AV6 first audio and 50C5 power output. Two front-mounted speakers. Four controls, two on each side of the dial. From left to right: On/Off-Tone, Volume, Tuning and Band (AM/FM). SAMS Photofact Set 573, Folder 8.

Despite the higher model number, this appears to be earlier than the model 22 below.

 

 

 

Magnavox FM22 table radioMagnavox FM 22 — From late 1962. A seven tube model: 12DT8 RF amp and FM converter, 12BE6 AM converter, two 12BA6 IF amps and AM 2nd detector, 12AL5 FM Ratio detector, 12AV6 first audio and 50C5 power output. This has a trapezoid shape: there's a speaker on each side panel and they're raked out a little to project the sound forward as well as sideways. The controls are in the four corners of the front panel: going clockwise from top-left: On/Off-Volume, Tuning, Band (AM/FM), and Tone. The little rectangle in the middle of the upper wood panel is a signal-strength meter for fine-tuning. SAMS Photofact Set 610, Folder 8.

I have one of these.

 

 

Magnavox FM26 table radioMagnavox FM 26 — From 1963. A fve tube model: 6DT8, 6BE6, two 6BA6, 6AL6. Like the cabinet for the 22 above, this has the trapezoid shape but not quite as much. The tuning meter is gone. Five controls mounted horizontally below the dial. Left to right: Volume, Bass, Treble, Mode (FM Stereo, FM, FM AVC, AM) and Tuning. SAMS Photofact 651, Folder 9.

This image is from the episode "October Eve.".

 

 

Magnavox FM 47 Magnavox FM 47 "Grand Classic" — From 1964. The last of the radios and the longest used. It's back to the standard rectangular cabinet, front-mounted stereo speakers. Four controls horizontally to the right of the dial. Left to right: Tuning, Mode (AM, FM, FM AVC), Volume, On/Off-Tone.

This image is from its first broadcast appearance, the 5th season episode "Bupkis." It's the only episode I know of where Rob actually uses it. In the later episode, "The Making of a Councilman," the radio is relocated to the dining table as the election results are announced.

Magnavox made another radio afterward that looks identical to this, except that it has a fifth knob on the front row. I thought I saw that one on the show, but I was mistaken.

 

TELEVISIONS

This is going to be a lot more difficult. There are two locations for TV sets on the show: there's a portable in the writer's room and a larger set in the Petrie's home. The portables are easier to identify because someone often sits in a chair next to it. The one in the Petrie's house is nearly always shown from the rear.

Another problem is that most TV sets simply aren't collectable, unless they have extreme space-age styling like the Philco Predicta. There simply aren't many resources available for identifying TV sets on the internet. But I am working on it.

Writer's Room

The writer's room almost always had a portable TV in it, located upstage right on a table next to the sofa and a chair. They had at least three versions, though I'm still working my way through the show to document it. They all appear to be portables with mid-sized (15- to 19-inch) screens.

This TV appears only once, in the pilot episode "The Sick Boy and the Babysitter." I don't know the model. It's also the only time I've seen the rabbit ear antenna deployed on any of the sets, in-use or not.

Magnavox portable TV: unknown model

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the first TV from the regular series. This is from the second episode shot, but tenth in broadcast order, "The Meershatz Pipe." I don't know the model.

 

This is the only photo I've been able to get so far from the 3rd season. I do not know the model. The screen captures are from the episode "The Return of Edwin Carp."

Magnavox portable TV: unknown model

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one appears beginning in the 4th season. I do not know the model. The screen captures are from the episode "My Mother Can Beat Up Your Father."

Magnavox portable TV: unknown modelMagnavox portable TV: unknown model

 

 

 

 

 

This is one is from Season 5: "You Ought to Be In Pictures." One of few times the Magnavox name is legible (though my screen capture doesn't show it well).. It also showed up in Season 5's "The Ugliest Dog in the World,"

Magnavox portable TV: unknown model

 

Petries' Home

The Petries' home TV set was a larger set that was on a cart so it could be easily moved where it was needed. Usually it is off camera unless the story specifically requires it, in which case it's usually in the living room, but occasionally seen in the bedroom.

The set is nearly always seen from the rear, which makes identification nearly impossible. From it's size, I assume it's large 25-inch (or thereabouts) screen.

This is the first recorded appearance of the set, from the second episode shot (but tenth in broadcast order) "The Meershatz Pipe." I don't know the model. Another rare time when the antenna was actually used.

Magnavox TV: unknown model

Beginning in Season 4, episode 9, "Three Letters From One Wife," this set makes its first appearance. The TV cart is also new and doesn't block some of the view of the rear panel. In "The RedCoats are Coming" we get a better, fuller view.

 

OTHER RESOURCES

The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book on Facebook has a post devoted to the kitchen radios. They say there are five kitchen radios, but I think they've combined a couple by mistake (you have to be a real radio nerd to notice some of the differences).