Posts Tagged ‘television set’
It’s widely suggested these days that we’re in a “Golden Age of Television”… but hasn’t the history of the TV been one long Golden Age?
In case of fire, 82% of 20th Century Americans surveyed in the pre-Internet era would rescue the TV set. The other 18% would stay still watching the thing and ask, ‘What fire?’ America loved the magic box…
More glimpses of Americans and their tubes at “Found Photos: Mid-Century People Standing By Modern TVs.” Volume Two here.
* Ursula K. LeGuin
As we tune in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1998 that Frasier set an Emmy record, becoming the first to take top honors for outstanding comedy series five years in a row (a record currently tied by Modern Family). Frasier won a total of 37 Primetime Emmy Awards during its 11-year run, breaking the record long held by The Mary Tyler Moore Show (29).
On November 26, 1936, three weeks after television transmissions began in England, Mr G.B. Davis of Dulwich (south–east London) paid 99 pounds. 15 shillings– over half the average annual wage of the day, equivalent to almost 4,000 pounds today– for the seventh television set manufactured in the UK, a Marconi “Type 702, number 1-007.” The receiver had a 12-inch screen contained in a walnut and mahogany case, with a mirror in the lid onto which the picture was reflected.
But poor Mr. Davis (presumably along with his fellow early enthusiasts) was able to enjoy his pioneering purchase for only a few hours: three days after he took the plunge, the nearby Crystal Palace and its transmitter burned down. The area could not receive television pictures again until 1946.
But Mr. Davis’ loss is his grandchildren’s gain. Bonham’s is set to auction the set later this month. There are more Stradivarius violins in existence that pre-war TVs, so the auction house expects the set to fetch much more than it’s pre-sale estimate of 5,000 pounds.
Read the full story in The Telegraph.
As we summon memories of Sid Caesar and Soupy Sales, we might recall that it was on this date in 1953 that the first color 3-D feature film premiered– House of Wax. Shot with a two-camera process, and viewed through “stereo” glasses with differently tinted lens, the film grossed a then-impressive $4.3 million. It launched its star, Vincent Price, on a career in the horror genre, and goosed the careers of his supporting players, Phyllis Kirk and Charles Buchinsky (who shortly thereafter changed his name to Charles Bronson). House of Wax kicked off the first period of enthusiasm for 3-D films (the second, a year-long period in the 70s); we are, of course, currently in the third.