This is one of the most enjoyable early television articles: an eye-witness account of one the first T.V. broadcasts from the R.C.A. Building in New York City during the November of 1936. The viewing was set up strictly for members of the American press corps and the excitement of this one journalist clearly could not be contained:
"In the semi-darkness we sat in tense silence waiting to see the premiere demonstration of television... Television! What would it be like?"
"Countless scientists contributed to the phenomenon [of television]. Marconi gets credit, as do Farnsworth and Lee de Forest. But the real starting line was strung by an RCA scientist named Vladimir K. Zworykin in 1923, when he applied for a patent on a iconoscope..."
Illustrated with 27 pictures, this article lists a number of historic and semi-historic events that were captured by the early TV cameras and seen by millions of souls who otherwise would have only had to read about them in their respective newspapers, if they cared to.
"Young mother Hollywood has had another baby... a child some day destined to take its place in the playpen and howl the living pants off the rest of the brood - movies, radio, music, big theater, little theater, dance and festival. How soon television becomes the fair-haired boy of the village depends upon a number of manufacturing and economic factors..."
Read another article about this Westward expansion...
Placing a teleprompter or cue cards below a camera lens seems like old-hat to us - but our grandparents thought that it rendered an amazing affect for televised addresses:
"The new technique for speeches on TV - reading from larlge cards with lettering two inches high placed just under the camera lens - makes it possible for the speaker to look directly into the camera lens, giving the appearance of talking directly to the viewer."
Although this article was written at a time when the television screen was a mere eight by eleven inches square, culture critic Gilbert Seldes addressed the question as to whether or not movies and radio will be voted off the island in favor of the television broadcasting industry.
The short-lived soap opera "These Are My Children" was the brain-child of Irna Phillips (1901 – 1973) and it is no matter that the "daytime drama" lasted less than a year on Chicago's WMBQ - the significance of the program rests in the fact that it was the first soap opera to be seen on American television screens:
"Last week television caught the dread disease of radio: soapoperitis... 'These Are My Children', however is no warmed-over radio fare. To make sure of this, Miss Phillips and director Norman Felton built the first episodes backward... Whether [a] soap opera on television can coax housewives to leave their domestic duties [in order] to watch a small screen was a question yet to be answered."