Monday, November 19, 2012

When television was still being developed

Television as an invention was in development for quite a long time. Broadcasting was done on a limited basis. From my understanding, manufacturers were asked to defer the introduction of television to the general public during World War II so that the technical resources could be diverted for war production.

This 1938 article in Life is illustrated with still photos taken of a Broadway play from a TV screen. This particular play, Susan and God, from its description, was done as something of a test, from the RCA Studios to televisions within the building, but the photos were taken in the offices of Electronics magazine, where an amateur receiver was used to catch the broadcast signals.

The YouTube video is from a 1941 theatrical short, explaining how TV works. (In the modern day world of YouTube, copyrights and other considerations, if you see a black screen it’s because YouTube pulled the video for their own reasons. Sorry. Who knows...maybe someday you can see in on television!)


Kirk said...

There's a 1943 Ann Miller movie called Reveille with Beverly. It co-stars Franklin Pangporn, playing a radio performer. As Pangporn wasn't the handsomest guy in the world, a co-worker says of him something like, "Wait until television comes in after the war, and everyone sees what that guy looks like."

So people DID know it was coming. I've even seen RCA or Westinghouse ads made during the war, telling the public to get prepared for TV.

Postino said...

Kirk, television had been coming practically since radio was introduced. I'm pretty sure the average person who paid attention to the news or articles in popular magazines were aware that it was on the horizon.

Oddly enough that didn't include my mother who said, "I'd never heard of television and then one day there it was." (I don't mean to disparage the memory of my mom, but she didn't pay a lot of attention to anything outside of her immediate environment.)

I didn't say that people didn't know about television, just that its commercial application was delayed during World War II. An article in Popular Mechanics from 1941 told of television "hams". You can see the article here.