By Ray Barfield
Tracing public and demanding responses to television from its pioneering days, this booklet gathers and offers context to the reactions of these who observed television's early broadcasts—from the privileged few who witnessed experimental and limited-schedule programming within the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Thirties, to people who got television units and hoisted antennae within the post-World battle II tv increase, to nonetheless extra who invested in colour receivers and cable subscriptions within the Sixties. whereas the 1st significant sections of this research exhibit the perspectives of television's first extensive public, the 3rd part exhibits how social and media critics, literary and visible artists, and others have expressed their charmed or chagrinned responses to tv in its earliest decades.
Media-jaded americans, particularly more youthful ones, will be stunned to grasp how eagerly their forebears expected the coming of tv. Tracing public and demanding responses to television from its pioneering days, this publication gathers and provides context to the reactions of these who observed television's early broadcasts-from the privileged few who witnessed experimental and limited-schedule programming within the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Thirties, to people who acquired television units and hoisted antennae within the post-World struggle II tv growth, to nonetheless extra who invested in colour receivers and cable subscriptions within the 1960s.
Viewers' reviews bear in mind the thrill of possessing the 1st television receiver in the community, express the vexing demanding situations of reception, and checklist the excitement that each one younger and plenty of older watchers present in early community and native courses from the start to the fast-changing Nineteen Sixties. whereas the 1st significant sections of this research convey the perspectives of television's first wide public, the 3rd part exhibits how social and media critics, literary and visible artists, and others have expressed their charmed or chagrinned responses to tv in its earliest decades.
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Extra info for A Word from Our Viewers: Reflections from Early Television Audiences
I didn’t try to wangle an invitation to watch a neighbor’s set. And besides, even the little college town I lived in had four movie theatres, so who needed television? Then, about a year later, my parents got a set. Since I often came home to Pittsburgh on weekends to leave off my laundry, borrow Dad’s car, and go out on dates, I had a chance to view television on a more regular basis. I still didn’t find it addictive. Even when, in 1951, my college fraternity purchased what was then a huge set (probably about 19 inches), watching TV was mainly a Sunday evening activity, a chance for all the guys to sit around and watch the Dave Garroway or Perry Como shows and make lewd and lascivious comments about the female singers thereon.
As Mary Lynn Moon recalls, “We had the first TV in our neighborhood. I don’t know how 13:9 P1: 000 GGBD175C02 C9870/Barfield 16 Top Margin: 5/8in Gutter Margin: 3/4in October 5, 2007 A WORD FROM OUR VIEWERS we afforded it, but my father was always intrigued by electronic products. It was a 7-inch, but it had a blue ‘bubble’ attached to the front to enlarge the picture. ” The Samuel Green family of Worcester, Massachusetts, also found that guests came with the TV set, as daughter Myrna McKee recounts: It was late in 1945, just after World War II, when Daddy brought home a new appliance.
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer was my favorite then and still is ’til this day. I saw it first at “Momaw” and “Popaw’s,” and I’ve made an effort to see it every year since. During my college years I once opted to watch Rudolph rather than attend a Clemson-Furman basketball game. My masculinity and maturity were questioned, but my spirit was quite satisfied, and my nostalgic soul was nourished. Those were some wonderful days and nights with my grandparents, and I couldn’t tell you when they concluded.