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September 9, 2008 7:36 PM   Subscribe

The Early Television Foundation and Museum Website covers the nascent days of the nation's pastime, with interesting items like mechanical TVs and programming schedules from 1939.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim (11 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Nice post...

Yep, I remember those 50's era TV sets... darn, I remember not even having a TV set...

I remember our first remote control TV... a wire with a controller at the end....

jeez, I'm old as dirt....
posted by HuronBob at 7:52 PM on September 9, 2008

My father's first job was working in an experimental color TV station at the University of Illinois in the very early 1950's. Practical joker that he was, he noticed that they used a bowl of painted wooden fruit to calibrate one part of the color system, and said bowl was placed on a high shelf on the back wall, lit with a camera on it that was turned on as necessary. In other words, no one actually set eyes on the 'fruit' bowl much. (I guess there was no such thing as a Gretag-Macbeth color chart then.)

My Dad said it didn't take them too very long to find out who had painted all the fruit different colors one Saturday afternoon, after a broadcast of an Illini football game on a bright magenta field issued forth from the studio.
posted by pjern at 8:31 PM on September 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

I love the "RCA and NBC present TELEVISION" schedule

HTML and MetaFilter present INTERNET
posted by Rock Steady at 8:56 PM on September 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

I can't help but wonder how many people watched "Test Pattern."
posted by LastOfHisKind at 10:07 PM on September 9, 2008

Time for a quick shout out to Philo and even more importantly his brother in law Cliff. Long YTL to one of my all time favorite scenes from one of my all time favorite shows by my all time favorite actor. Yep it's a HappyHippo hat trick. :)
posted by HappyHippo at 10:12 PM on September 9, 2008

Interview with Elma Farnsworth.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:01 AM on September 10, 2008

This also reminds me of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting, which rules.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:03 AM on September 10, 2008

This has long been one of my favorite websites. Early tv fascinates the heck out of me. It's cool to see the museum not only surviving but actually growing.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:29 AM on September 10, 2008

This is great, thanks! (And I remember those '50s TVs too, and my Uncle Gene actually made his own "blab-off" wire with a controller at the end.)
posted by languagehat at 8:29 AM on September 10, 2008

TV YAY! I don't watch current programming except for a snippet of news and the occasional Law & Order or Doctor Who episode, but I love reading about various aspects of the medium, history being a particular interest.

I'm fascinated that there are people out there still experimenting with mechanical television. And there's some other television history sites I like to visit.
posted by droplet at 9:49 AM on September 10, 2008

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