Television History - The First 75 Years
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What Things Cost in 1948:
Car: $1,550
Gasoline: 26 cents/gal
House: $13,500
Bread: 14 cents/loaf
Milk: 86 cents/gal
Postage Stamp: 3 cents
Stock Market: 177
Average Annual Salary: $3,600
Minimum Wage: 40 cents per hour



1948 Ford Wagon.JPG (66472 bytes) (66K)
1948 Ford Station Wagon

1948 Sept - KTLA Programs  (168K bytes) (168K)
September 1948 - KTLA Channel 5 Programs - Los Angeles
(Courtesy Gilbert Ortiz)


1948 9A111 7inch ADMIRAL TV.JPG (220406 bytes) (220K)
1948 Admiral Model 9A111 --  7 inch screen  -- Bakelite Case

1949 GE Model 805 10inch TV.JPG (171149 bytes) (171K)
1948 GE Model 805 -- 10 inch screen -- Bakelite Case -- Called the "Locomotive" for its sweeping back style (not evident in this view).

  • Television production begins to rev-up.  By July of 1948, estimates are that 350,000 TV sets are in operation in the USA.  3/4 of these are in the eastern network cities, and half are around New York City.
  • 27 Stations in 18 different cities are in full operation.
  • Only one in ten Americans has seen a television set up to this point.
  • About two dozen different TV set models are on sale, ranging from Pilot's 3" set at $100, to DuMont's 20" set at $2,495 ($28,000 in today's money!).
  • A TV station costs $1,000,000 to construct and place into operation.  73 new permits have been issued in the United States.
  • Gillette pays $100,000 ($1.1 Million today) for the right to televise the Louis-Walcott return boxing match.
  • Television rights for baseball games in New York city cost $700,000 ($7.7M).
  • Longest TV network is from Boston to Richmond. 
  • Average of 3.47 persons watch each night per set in a household.
  • Of the 42 hours of TV available for viewing per week, the average set is operating for 17 hours.
  • 68% of the viewers remember the names of the programs' sponsors.


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1948 Admiral TV  (20K bytes) (20K)
1948 Admiral Television

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