Madman Muntz

Eccentric used car king Earl William “Madman” Muntz became famous for introducing an affordable TV set in Chicago in 1949.

madman-muntz

The TV set featured a built-in antenna, one knob picture control, and a low price that helped bring down the price of televisions nationwide (a cost of ten dollars a screen inch-$170 for a seventeen-inch screen-measured diagonally). Owning 72 stores, Muntz sold over $20 million sets by 1950. Muntz is credited with coining the term “TV.”

The concept for ‘Madman’ originated when Earl Muntz was selling cars. He wanted an advertising gimmick that would really get people’s attention, and so he hired artist Michael “Mike” Shore to come up with an idea. Shore designed a caricature of Muntz dressed in long red flannel underwear and sporting a Napoleon hat.

MAKER OF TELEVISION SETS NAMES DAUGHTER TEE VEE – Mr. and Mrs. Earl Muntz of Chicago announced today the birth of a daughter, weighing 5 1/2 pounds and named Tee Vee. Muntz is more commonly known by his nickname “Madman,” and – believe it or not – manufactures television sets. – Newspaper article (Chicago, Feb 8th)

Advertising catchphrases used for the Madman Muntz campaign included: “I buy ’em retail and sell ’em wholesale. It’s more fun that way!” and “I wanna give ’em away but Mrs. Muntz won’t let me. She’s crazy!”

Muntz was forced to sell his TV business when a plan to sell an automobile (The Muntz Jet) failed in 1953-54. He later went into the stereo business and created the Muntz stereo chain and the Muntz Stereo-Pak 4-track system, the direct ancestor of the 8-track.

Born in Elgin, Illinois on January 3, 1914, “Madman” Muntz died of lung cancer on June 21, 1987.

See alsoCrazy Eddie; Madman Muntz @ You Tube ; Madman Muntz: Official Site

Advertisements
About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Advertising, Showbiz Nicknames

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Our Other Websites

DISABLED TV CHARACTERS
https://disabledtvcharactersblog.wordpress.com/

ENCHANTED AMERICA
https://enchantedamerica.wordpress.com/

%d bloggers like this: