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.
Without a doubt, the strongest impulse to buy the earliest televisions came from sports fans. The deep lust in their hearts to witness their favorite sporting events as it happened, free of a bar tab, was a strong one - and the television industry loved them right back. This glorious trifecta consisting of viewers, TV networks and team owners not only altered the way America watched sports, it totally transformed sports itself. Author Steven D. Stark put it nicely in his book Glued to the Set (1997):
"Television has changed the sports landscape — changing everything from the salaries, number of teams, and color of uniforms, to the way that fans conceive of sports and athletes alike,"
"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...
"We didn't become addicts of I Love Lucy deliberately; it was a habit that engulfed our whole family gradually. the captivating thing about Lucy and Ricky is, we think, the fact that they hold a mirror up to every married couple in America. Not a regulation mirror that reflects truth, nor a magic mirror that portrays fantasy. But a Coney Island mirror that distorts, exaggerates and makes vastly amusing every little incident, foible and idiosyncrasy of married life."
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."