Television History - The First 75 Years
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Brief History of TV


Curious about the history of television?

Welcome to: "Television History - The First 75 Years"

The entire website is devoted to the history of the design, development, and marketing of the television set.  It is arranged in a chronological order, year-by-year, so you can see how things progressed.  The timeline button bars on the Home Page will take you to hundreds of illustrations, graphics, reference articles, advertising, photos and scans of real TV sets of long ago, from the US, Europe and Japan. 


Don't have time to surf, and want a QUICK history overview?    Let me give you the 5 minute tour !!!


 

Television Development - 100 Years at a glance   

1880s to 1899 Period of Dreams, Concepts and Initial Discoveries
1900 The word "Television" is first used
1922 to 1927 Early Experiments with a MECHANICAL scanning disc system. TV Picture is neon orange and very small.
1928 to 1934 First Mechanical TV Sets sold to public -- At the peak, 42 US stations were in operation using the Jenkins system.  However, picture quality is lacking.  Not suitable for commercial use.  Electronic TV offers greater promise.
   
1926 to 1935 Early Experiments with All-Electronic Cathode Ray Television (the basic system we have today)
1935 to 1941 Electronic (Experimental) TV begins broadcasting in Germany, England, Italy, France, USA, Holland, etc.
Early 1940s Work begins on CBS Mechanical Color Television
July 1, 1941  Electronic (Commercial) Black & White Television begins broadcasting in United States
   
1942 to 1945  World War-II halts all TV sales and most all public broadcasting.
   
Late 1946 First American Post War TV set is RCA 630-TS  (Less than 7,000 TV sets in USA, pre WW-II)
June 25, 1951 First Mechanical Color Television Set Placed on Market  (CBS-Columbia) at $499.95.
Oct 20, 1951 Mechanical CBS Color TV Broadcasting ends forever
May 1954 First All-Electronic Color Television Set is RCA CT-100, selling at $1,000
   
1987 Japanese demonstrate ANALOG high-definition TV system (called MUSE)
1990  General Instrument's Video Cipher division announces DIGITAL Hi-Definition System 
1995   Congress Passes the Telecommunications Act of 1995, replacing the old 1934 laws
Late 1990s  Internet, World-Wide-Web explodes onto the scene -- ushering in new global communications for the 21st century!

Please note:  This website is concentrated on hardware, not television programming.  However, there is a fair amount of program information as it relates to early ("first") shows, and important facts and statistics, also (Top Rated Shows, etc.).  The easiest thing to do is type your question into the "Search" box, and see what pops-up! 

ALSO:   Check out the FAQ link ----- for dozens of "Frequently Asked Questions" posted there.

1930s to 1950s TV Selling Prices

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