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Television History

Click here to read a 1940 article about Lucile Ball.


The First Thirty Years of Television (Coronet Magazine, 1954)

"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.

 

Seeing the ''Wonder Machine'' for the First Time... (Delineator Magazine, 1937)

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?"

 

Television Comes to Hollywood (Rob Wagner's Script, 1938)

"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...

 

Television Viewers And Sports (Pathfinder Magazine, 1950)

 

Milton Berle (Coronet Magazine, 1951)

He was the biggest television star of the 1950s - Milton Berle (1908 2002):

"An incurable extrovert of 43, Uncle Miltie is already a 36-year show business veteran and will probably go on forever. At the very least, his new 30-year contract with NBC will keep him in front of of the TV cameras until he is 72..."

 

Soap Operas Come to Television (Pathfinder Magazine, 1949)

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."

 


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