The History of Television Sets
Television set from the 60s

A Look Back at the Fascinating History of the Television Set

The television set has been a staple in households across the world for more than seven decades. Over time, it’s become a ubiquitous fixture in our lives, providing endless hours of entertainment, information, and education. But the history of the TV goes back much further than that. So, today we’re going to take a journey through time to explore the fascinating evolution of the television set.

Trivia: The first publicly accessible TV broadcast was produced by RCA television and showed the opening of the 1939 World’s Fair

The Early Days of Television

The concept of TV was first introduced in the late 19th century when inventors began experimenting with sending visual images over a wire. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that significant progress was made in developing the technology. This occurred when Philo Farnsworth, a young inventor from Idaho, demonstrated his invention transmitting the first experimental television broadcast in 1927. By the late 1930s, TV sets were being produced and sold in very small numbers. It was pointless to most being that the only TV station broadcasting at the time was in New York City.

Trivia: FDR was the first US president to be televised. He was part of the opening ceremonies at the 1939 World’s Fair

Vintage Television

The Rise of Television

Much like latter forms of technology, TV sets were still relatively rare in the early years of their development. But, this all changed after World War II when the demand for televisions skyrocketed, and manufacturers began producing them on a mass scale. In 1948, the first network television broadcasts began in the United States, and by the 1950s, millions of people were watching TV every day. It was during this time that TV became the primary source of entertainment for families across the country.

Trivia: TV’s first drama was called “The Queen’s Messenger” and was broadcast from Schenectady, New York. The station was WGY and the date was September 11, 1928

retro Television show t-shirts

Color TV

One of the most significant advancements in the history of the TV set occurred during the 1960s when color television became the new standard. The first color broadcast was made in 1953, but color TVs weren’t widely available or affordable until the 1960s. The popularity of color TV led to an explosion of creativity in the entertainment industry, with shows and movies taking advantage of the vibrant new medium.

Trivia: The first broadcast in color for a national TV program in the USA was coverage of the Tournament of Roses parade from Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day in 1954

Video: Retro Television Commercial from 1980

The Evolution of Television

The 1970s and ‘80s saw numerous technological advancements in the television industry. For example, in 1975, the first home video cassette recorders were introduced, allowing viewers to record and watch their favorite shows at their convenience. In the 1980s, cable television became widespread, offering viewers more channels and programming options than ever before.

The Digital Revolution

Yet, it didn’t stop there. Televisions transformed once again in the 1990s and 2000s with the introduction of digital television technology, which provided higher-quality picture and sound. The first high-definition television broadcasts were made in the early ‘90s, and by the mid-2000s, most television sets could display HD programming. Moreover, the rise of streaming services and internet-connected TVs revolutionized the way we watch television, providing viewers with a virtually unlimited range of programming options.

click to purchase

2023 TV Technology

As of the writing of this article (March 10th, 2023) there are many exciting things happening in the world of electronics, especially in the world of TV technology. TVs are getting bigger and bigger and with 4K resolution (and 8K on the way), the clarity is quite amazing. The best part about it is that this is one of the few products that is not effected by inflation. Today, you can get a 50-inch 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV for less than $300. Amazing!

Closing Thoughts

From its experimental beginnings to its current status as a standard in homes around the world, the history of the television set is a fascinating story of innovation and evolution. But what’s clear is that the television set will undoubtedly continue to evolve and adapt to changing technologies and consumer preferences, ensuring that it remains a beloved part of our daily lives for years to come. With that, what’s the first TV set you remember? Leave a comment in the “Leave a Reply” section below and let’s reminisce!

50s Television

American Memory Lane
Follow us on Instagram

5 responses to “The History of Television Sets”

  1. […] humor and oddball family values. Airing from 1964 to 1966, “The Munsters” introduced audiences to a cast of quirky, lovable characters who just happened to be monsters. From the kindly patriarch […]

  2. Paul Reuther Avatar
    Paul Reuther

    The first tv my family had was a set my father built from a kit in 1949. It was an RCA 630TS chassis. He installed a 16” picture tube in it, a large size at the time. We had that TV for many years. Many memories.

  3. […] Many Two Guys locations originally incorporated a discount store alongside a supermarket, as well as comprehensive hardware, major appliance, and automotive service departments. The Two Guys supermarkets were substantial entities that directly competed with established regional supermarket chains. These stores also featured their own private label trading stamps, which customers could collect and exchange for merchandise credit slips redeemable in any non-food department. […]

  4. Dennis Meyer Sr Avatar
    Dennis Meyer Sr

    The first tv our family had that I can remember was a blond Zenith black & white tv. We had that for many years!

  5. Kelly MacGregor Avatar
    Kelly MacGregor

    Erik Barnouw is a good source for early television history. Can start with “Tube of Plenty”, which is a condensed version of his 3 volume masterwork on the history of U.S. television (he discusses the development of TV in other countries as well.)

Leave a Reply

Powered by

%d bloggers like this: