What Things Cost in 1940:
Gasoline: 18 cents/gal
Bread: 8 cents/loaf
Milk: 34 cents/gal
Postage Stamp: 3 cents
Stock Market: 131
Average Annual Salary: $1,900
Minimum Wage: 30 cents per hour
1940 Ford Automobile
1939 RCA TRK12
The year 1940 looked promising at first, to the television industry.
But, unfortunately, television sets were so expensive, with little
programming, and with the prospect of world war and uncertainty over jobs, few
sets were sold.
RCA had launched its TRK-12 in April, 1939 at $600 (about $7,000 in today's money), and quickly reduced the selling
price to $395 (about $4,500) early in 1940. Still, sales lagged.
Additionally, they also released a modified TRK-12, called the TRK-120.
The bottom edge of the cabinet had a continuous strip of
black, instead of having a gap in the middle, and the 'magic eye' tuning
tube was removed from the radio.
On March 26th, RCA offered model TT-5, TRK-5 and TRK-12
sets to their employees at a stunning discount. For example, the
TT-5, which normally sold for $199.50, was a mere $75.00. The only catch
was that employees had to retain ownership for one year.
(116K) - RCA announcement offers sets to
employees at a discount
- In the month of June, RCA and Philco televise the Republican Convention
- A 33 year-old Peter Goldmark announces to the NTSC that CBS has marketable
color technology, consisting of a part electronic, part mechanical spinning
color wheel system.
Weather Bureau Television
March 24, 1940
Text attached to the photo:
Easter television for snow bound
weather observers. In a hurricane wind blowing 77 miles an hour, a television
antenna is shown being placed outside the weather bureau atop Whiteface
Mountain, near Lake Placid, New York, to receive New York Easter services and
the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade by television. Willard Cody, chief weather
observer, Joseph Wiggin, television engineer, and Elbert F. Corwin, director of
the Meteorology Station (from left to right) are shown erecting the antenna for
the longest reception of a regular network television broadcast. The telecast
covered 250 airline miles, from the NBC transmitter in New York and relayed by
the General Electric television station near Schenectady.
(185K) - TEXT
On the receiving end of the icy antenna above, this photo shows five weathermen
huddled around one of the first General Electric (5" B&W screen, three channel)
television sets in operation (this model:
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