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Thread: Television...when did you first have it in your life

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Television...when did you first have it in your life

    I was thinking of turning this into a poll but i thought it better to do it as a post.

    I could not help but think after watching some of the final episode of Downton Abbey tonight, how lucky i was to only have Television show up in my life at age 16/17 and then be pretty limited for several years.

    I was thinking back tonight to how we got to sit around in the evening as a family in the living room and listen to the radio. A little like they show in Downton Abbey just not as toffee nosed as that Edwardian era. But at the same time do something else. If the radio program was targeted at parents then i would have played on the floor with my toys in front of the fireplace and entertained myself. Even if the program was broader and applied to me we would still do other things while listening.

    Now it seems media of some or other sort , inc text, has invaded the home to the extent that i wonder if most people have time to think their own thoughts and do things other than consume it. I watch my son and wife and it seems all consuming.

    I am now in hindsight very grateful i missed out. We were not at the time happy that others saw a moon landing on TV and we heard it on the radio, but in hindsight man its so great to be able to turn it all off or tune it out.

    So when did you first get TV in the your family home growing up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    I first saw TV in 1936. It was in the auditorium of Vina Danks Jr. High. It was black & white. The "actors" wore green makeup so they looked right on the TV.

    I saw my first TV with programming 1939 or 1940. It was the first consumer TV, of any kind, that I had seen. It had 13 push buttons to change to any of the 13 available channels; two of these channels were in actual use. The other channels were channels, no one was broadcasting there. The channel "buttons" also rotated so you could fine tune the channel when it drifted a bit.

    The screen was round---Yes I said round, after all that was the shape of the tube---sort of like a funnel with the screen across the wide end. The little end took the plug that took the cable from the receiver.

    The screen was 3 inches (YES, I DID SAY 3 INCHES) in diameter (well almost 3 inches if we use "Truth in Advertising). Dang it I forgot the name of the manufacturer...The name keeps trying to pop into my poor old skull. I do know it was not anyone that most people would have thought it would be.

    Somewhere around my 5th year of college we had friends that got a color TV. We would study, play Canasta, and watch TV. They lived about a mile from us in the gheto of Los Angeles. We didn't think anything of walking or roller skating from our place to theirs, even late at night.

    I hope you all enjoyed the babbling of a 90 yr old, would be, wood worker.

    I left out the answer to the question. Our first TV was several years later. We bought it used (we were really poor at that time). The TV came after I had my doc degree, worked part time at the college for a year and were renting a small house (probably all of 400 - 500 sq feet). The answer: Approximately 1953 - 1954.
    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 03-07-2016 at 04:51 AM. Reason: Left out the answer to the original question
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Day 1 I'm sure, I think there an old pic of me laying in front of it after coming home from the hospital.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    1953. My Dad bought the first set on the block, so we could watch the Coronation.

    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    That's a pretty interesting story Jim, thanks for writing it up. I really enjoyed that.

    For me I guess we got a TV sometime not to long before I was 13 so 84 or 84, but we didn't have "TV" because there was no reception so it was only for the occasional movie or instructional video. It was a used trade from a known shiester and worked about as well as you'd expect (why mom made that deal still makes me scratch my head), the same fellow made me a really raw deal when I was about 14 (I guess he's have been in his 30s then), I'm still kind of a little bitter about it and don't mind mentioning it whenever his name comes up (maybe I should forgive easier but I kind of took it personally).

    My roommate in college had a TV that actually got some outside reception so that would have been 1990 (at 17 going on 18) and that would have been the first time I really had access to that outside of maybe a hotel once or twice. That TV lasted for a year until lightening killed it and we couldn't afford to replace it (and honestly the school work did better without it).

    So I was without a TV again until I was around 28 when I moved in with Cindy and she had one. She's had one since then, I'm not convinced I'd replace it if it was just me, probably not. We haven't had cable/satelite or over the air programming on this one for around 6-7 years though but do watch some netflicks and the like on it.

    For the first 8 or 9 years of my life (and most summers until I was 16 or so when I'd go stay with the grandparents) we didn't really have much radio either except the news and messages at lunch and after dinner because batteries were to heavy to pack many in. After we moved out of the ranch there was somewhat often a music station on in the house anyway (on a little window sill radio, didn't have very good sound ). We did have an old crank record player that mostly worked at the ranch we'd play sometimes although we didn't have very many records.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    I think about 1952/53. I was being raised by my Aunt Ruby and Uncle Elwood. Our next door neighbors had one. They lived on the other side of the hill about one mile away. I used to go over on Saturday morning for the Andy Devine Show. Remember the he used to say, "dwang your magic dwanger, Froggie!" (Never knew that was an inappropriate expression). This was in Pocahantas county, West VA.

    Later back in upstate NY my family bought a round television. Used that up until the 60's. Remember Soupy Sales,Red Skelton and Ed Sullivan.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    I don't know the answer to the question.

    From as long ago as I can remember, we had TV, I think.

    I do not remember TV back in the late 50's as I was just too young. I do remember crystal radios, and the Philco record player. Maybe we didn't have a TV - I just don't see one in my memory.

    I do remember a TV in 1960 or so. I was only 6 so TV was not really part of my life.

    We have had TV since then.

    I got really sick of TV in about 2000 or so and I really cut back on watching it. Sitcoms are so stupid and insulting I just got sick watching those. Good movies were getting to the point where they were few and far between. The COST of cable TV was more than I could afford. I switched between Dishnetwork, DirectTV and cable. Nothing satisfied me.

    One day at the dump I was tossing the DirectTV and the Dishnet dishes in the trash bin and someone made a comment about - now that's a testimony.

    Today, I have a large flat screen TV, with no antenna, or cable TV hookup. I don't watch regular TV anymore, it have been years since I have. I don't know anything about regular programming. I do have netflix, but watch it only occasionally.

    I used to use my kindle as a bedtime TV - netflix - but now - I just go to bed to sleep. It's much healthier.


    I am a computer junkie now.

    I have a:

    dual 24" screen main computer.
    computer in my shop
    CNC computer

    Computers are interactive - for the most part.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Clyce, Texas
    Was about 1957 or so. I was 6 and had mumps, measles, and chickenpox within a 6 week period. First grade will do that to you. I think Mother pressured Dad to get it cause she was going crazy sitting home with me. It was a Zenith and was black and white. Have had one or had access to one since then except for when I was stationed in Germany and living on the economy. Couldn't get Armed Forces Network and didn't speak the language well enough to follow local TV. Had 2 channels and an antenna on the roof. Remember watching the test pattern waiting for programming to come on. I do remember sitting around watching the Grand Ole Opry on the radio, tho.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Pretty much all my life. There's no doubt that TV has effected our culture, accomplishments, and behaviors....not likely for the better either. It's not so different than the impact smart phones are having on today's's a constant least I usually only watch TV in the evenings. Kids chat on these phones 24/7...our daughter has to hand us her phone every night...just making sure she gets a break from it.
    Got Wood?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    I don't know the year had to be in the early '50s, but I remember the first TV I saw. Our family was visiting friends in the big city of Portland, Ore. TV was just becoming available there. So our friends took us to a tavern that was one of the first business to have one. We couldn't go in but they had is setting where it could be seen from the tavern window. We looked at it through the window. Couldn't look very long there was a line up of people with kids waiting to see this new thing.

    I don't watch regular TV and haven't for several years, except for a few football games or something special. I'm just not interested anymore and wouldn't have it if it weren't for my wife. She watches a lot of the junk.... I do like Netflix though and think that kind of "TV" watching is going to become more of the thing. Watch what I want, when I want and no commercials.

    I do remember the big concern about people not talking anymore because everyone just sat and watched TV. You went to visit and no one really talked like "the old days", you just watched TV together.
    Last edited by Paul Douglass; 03-07-2016 at 03:34 PM.
    "We the People ......"

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