Television History - The First 75 Years
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What Things Cost in 1939:
Car: $750
Gasoline: 19 cents/gal
House: $6,400
Bread: 8 cents/loaf
Milk: 49 cents/gal
Postage Stamp: 3 cents
Stock Market: 150
Average Annual Salary: $1,850


1939 Ford.JPG (148999 bytes) (149K)
1939 Ford Automobile

1939 General Electric Model HM-275 TV  (24K bytes) (24K)
1939 General Electric TV - Model HM-275

1939 New York World's Fair - RCA "Telemobile" (62K bytes) (62KB)
1939 New York World's Fair - RCA "Telemobile"

  • MARCH 31:  Farnsworth Television and Radio company is formed in Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • APRIL 20:  Sarnoff announced at the World's Fair, in Flushing, NY,  "Now we add sight to sound". 

  • APRIL 30:  At the opening ceremonies of the World's Fair, FDR is the first president to be televised.  TV sets go on sale next day.  RCA (NBC) begin regular broadcasts on a daily basis.

    Lucite Enclosed TRK12 at WF  (113K bytes) (113K)   RCA had (2) special clear Lucite television sets made for display at the Fair, so as to remove all doubts from the mind of the public that TV images were authentic - these TRK12 sets were most impressive, indeed.


  • Approximately 19,000 television sets are operating in England -- Less than a few hundred in the USA.

  • Farnsworth signs patent-license agreement with RCA.  This is the first time that RCA has ever agreed to pay royalties to another company.  In the past they simply purchased all of the patent rights they felt they needed.  Farnsworth had refused to sell. 

    Read the Farnsworth biography on this web site.

    = External web site

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