View Full Version : LBJ Liked Zeniths

03-21-2017, 01:15 PM
My wife and I just got back from touring LBJ's ranch and presidential library. All the TVs on display were Zeniths. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us take any photos in the ranch.

LBJ had a Zenith 21" round-screen TV custom mounted high on the paneled wall opposite his main desk. LBJ was known for having three TV sets side by side so he could watch all three networks at the same time. I figure he only had one in his office simply because there wasn't enough room on the wall to mount three fully sized 21" TVs.

He had three 19" Zenith TVs in his bedroom and three 25" Zenith TVs in the replica of the Oval Office in the Johnson Presidential Library.

The question is did LBJ specify the Zeniths or did someone in the government procurement office specify the Zeniths?

03-21-2017, 01:29 PM
An interesting question.

Someone on this list has one of Lady Birds Zeniths. Its an
upright SS chassis in a high end cabinet. Since LBJ was dead
before they were built it could very well be the family favorite.
There was a lot of brand loyalty back then especially with
Zenith, RCA & Sony.

73 Zeno:smoke:

03-21-2017, 02:17 PM
I recall a photo posted somewhere on VK where LBJ was watching three sets somewhere in Washington DC ca. 1965. They were not Zenith but either RCA or GE.

03-21-2017, 02:48 PM
A quick look at the LBJ library only shows the 3 sets in the
oval office. They are 16" 2/3 tube sets.
The set on the right is different. & the knobs are wrong or
switched. A look at the line folders shows they are probably B3721.
They would have come out in Sept 1970 AFTER he was pres.
I dont have the C-line folder so they also may be C-line sets.

SO without an actual oval office pix we dont know what was there.
I believe the old 18" would have fit.....

On Lady Birds set IIRC it had a " 4 lead cap modified" sticker
which makes it is a E or F line set not built til at least 8 months
after his death.

73 Zeno:smoke:

03-21-2017, 03:11 PM
This was discussed several years ago here.

They used Zenith for the recreation but the original sets in the oval office appear to be RCA CTC-17.

03-21-2017, 09:05 PM
In the LBJ Presidential Library, they had a re-creation of Lady Bird's office. She had a small rectangular Sony in there.

Remember, Lady Bird made her money in the broadcast field, owning several radio stations and at least one TV station in Texas.

You are right, Zeno, the TV on the right in the Oval Office was slightly different from the other two.

03-21-2017, 10:15 PM
There was also a Zenith 15Y6C15 portable in the ranch house when I was there a month ago. I'm not sure which (if any) are original. The ranch house has been restored to the way it looked when JBL was in office, so I doubt the TVs are original. At least they found reasonably authentic ones.

The three Zenith's in the replica oval office are too new to be original (Nixon would have been in office when they were made). I also noticed that there was an RCA remote on the desk...

03-21-2017, 10:31 PM
I think there's a good possibility that the TVs in the White House were donated by a manufacturer or an industry organization, like the EIA. If an organization, they probably got one of their members to donate the sets.