Saturday, May 3, 2014

Infancy in TV

  As I sit here waiting for a return call from the hospital billing department and listening to a few Jeff and Sherri Easter songs on, YouTube, in the background. I got to wondering thinking about technology and how it has changed my lifetime. Most of you have had TV all of your lives. It came into my lifetime when I was 8 or 9 years of age. Wonderful things were on the "boob tube" as it was known then.
  In the early days there were a lot more "test patterns" than there were programs. Test patterns were for getting the picture the best you could for that particular channel. No background music just the test pattern. News programs were the biggest things and then came variety shows galore. Jack Benny, Phil Silvers, Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore,Fibber Magee and Molly, Amos and Andy, Arthur Godfrey and his Talent Scouts, American Band Stand, Your Hit Parade. Most of those people were from the Vaudeville days to start out These were all family shows and watched by a lot of people.and then the NEW SINGERS came in droves. 
Some of the names as I remember were June Valli, The Maguire Sisters, Lennon Sisters, Pat Boon.
 Then we still had Country, Mountain Music, Gospel, R&B. Hundreds if not thousands of singers were heard on TV.
Groups or individuals that went from town to town doing their skits and or singing for the local people.
 The "boob tube" allowed a group to put on a show weekly to the delight of the viewers. 
 Then all of a sudden TV was on 24 hours a day in big cities and a lot more and different style programs were available.
  TV's went from a 7 inch screen to what we have today and through technology the screens have no limit to their size.
 From the black & white to VIVID colors that were not even available on film back then.
 Then a subtle change began in our families. TV became the king of the household. Interior decorations and furniture were chosen to complement the TV. Basically it is still that way. Very few homes have a music room,or even a piano or other musical instrument in them anymore.
 If a person is taking "music or voice" lessons it is almost as if they are in another world.
 Telephones have come a long-way baby. From the old hand crank, to wake up the operator so she could dial the number for you on your 20 to 25 party phone line. People didn't need TV they listened to conversations of their friends and/or neighbors. Long distance telephone calls were worked into many budgets so that they could talk to loved ones clear across the country.
 I remember my Grandma and Grandpa's phone number in Oxford, MI. It was 242 and it was of course LONG DISTANCE. I remember because I made a call to them when I was young. Mother talked me out of doing that anymore, without her permission. I think it was child abuse, LOL.
 My grandfather repaired radios and he was before that, a telegrapher for one of the railroads. I do know that he was at Bliss, Idaho before my dad was born in 1913. 
 Grandpa told me one day that the telegraph was almost a thing of the past. He was testing the old vacuum tubes that were in the old radios as he talked. He said "the radio and telephone will replace the telegraph. Well old "Pappy" was right. My dad and uncle called him Pappy, dad said that is all they ever did call him. About that same time my soon to be Uncle Dick was graduating from MSU as electrical engineer. When we saw him he was talking about transisters and he and Pappy would talk about them etc.
Here is a picture of their 3 story residence in Oxford MI. The front porch was enclosed and was a show room for their merchandise.Click here
 Well Pappy died when I was about 12 or 13 just as TV was getting a good foot-hold in the world. He sold RCA Victor, Crosley, Philco, Westinghouse, Zenith radios and TV's.

 Also  he sold appliances such as refrigerators, kitchen ranges, washer and dryers and milk coolers to the farmers.
 This should take you to an ad from the 50's 
   Today most of those companies have almost disappeared or bought-up by others.   Names like Yamaha, Sanyo, Fugi, Honda and many others which are very large manufacturing companies with many products all over the world.
  No longer are repair shops like his are needed. Repairs are done on a wholesale/manufacturer type businesses.
 I believe if my TV were to go on the blink with my extended contract they'd just replace it. Just like so many things to day.
 So if we are not careful do you think we will all be disposable?

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