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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Web Page 2048

3rd  May 2014


Top Picture:  A TV set was a piece of furniture in the 1950’s



Bottom Picture: TV with a round screen did not catch on.


TV the Early Days

One of the fallacies during the early days of television viewing  was that it had to be watched, like in the cinema, in the dark. This may have been true of the very early sets but by the mid 1950’s thoughts had changed and it was then recommended that TV be watched with a small table lamp behind or on top of the set so as not to damage or strain the viewers eyes. I remember that one of my friends parents actually had a socket that was built into the set so a two pin plug to a table lamp could be plugged directly into the set and so automatically came on when the set was switched on. One of the selling points being that this extra light allowed mother to carry on with her sewing whilst the television was on! Not very PC today!

The salesmen in the television shops did their best to persuade our parents to buy the best they could afford, maybe even using the ‘never, never’, but it in those days it was recommended that an average living room would only need a set with a 12” screen! Anything larger and the picture quality would suffer and people would have to sit far away, maybe in the hall, to see a decent picture. Everything was in monochrome but to add realism our parents could buy, usually from the magazine Exchange and Mart or Practical Wireless, a sheet of plastic coloured green at the bottom and blue at the top to place over the screen to make the picture appear coloured. It had a weird effect on the head and shoulder shots of people though!

TV was most certainly a status symbol and you knew that if you had a TV annual under your arm it told all your friends that your house had a television set, that and the large ‘X’ or ‘H’ ariel attached to your chimney stack.

One thing of course is that in those early days we only had the choice of one channel and then only at limited times of the day. It is well documented that the announcers were either dressed in Evening Suits or Evening Dresses even though they were only ever seen from the waist up, but, they did always appear between each programme to introduce items and provide a link or introduce an ‘Interlude’.

We have all heard of the early programmes especially the children’s ones and I have spoken about these several times before, however who really remembers the very first television serial? This was ‘Little Red Monkey’ and involved espionage and the killing of British atomic scientists, the Little Red Monkey turned out to be a Russian midget who specialised in dirty deeds! I think we all know that ‘The Quatermass Experiment ‘ was the first drama serial especially written for television and that each evenings viewing, if we were allowed to stay up that late ended with the playing of the National Anthem.

But what of the television sets themselves?  They were big and cumbersome difficult to operate, the contrast and brightness had to be adjusted by hand and most sets had a habit of making the picture roll or drift sideways at times which meant reaching behind the set and adjusting the horizontal or vertical hold. No remote controls in those days! Most sets were housed in wooden cabinets, which provided plenty of room for the large single speaker in the front, and the wood had the benefit of enriching the sound. All sets were pieces of furniture and some had inlaid patterns on them, some were enormous incorporating folding doors on the front, maybe with a built in radio and record player and some, for the better off (not us) a cocktail cabinet. Screen size slowly became important but all I can say is that it is  lucky that the circular screen never caught on we would all be living in round houses!

How things have changed over the years today I can carry a television around in my jacket or trouser pocket, in those days it took two people to move a set just to dust behind it!

Stay in touch

Peter
DUSTYKEAT@aol.com

You Write:

Mary Writes:

I confess to playing many a game of Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Tiddley Winks etc. My brother loved his Meccano and we both enjoyed playing Cowboys and Indians with other children in the road. We loved cowboy films on TV and I suppose that was our inspiration. I can remember playing post offices. I also played draughts and shove halfpenny with my older and much loved cousin. When my children were small they liked board games. My younger daughter was 7 when she had a nurses outfit one Christmas. Little did I know that  18 years later she would wear the real thing! My older daughter lined up her toys in a row on the floor and they had paper and pencils. She was the teacher and they were the pupils. Guess what she is today, a teacher! My grandchildren like dolls, prams, pots and pans, mini kitchens etc and I`m pleased about that. I don`t like to see them stuck to laptops all day. My grandson loves playing with a wooden rifle but what really made me laugh was when he ran along the road with a large stick shouting "I`m Viggo the Viking!" Well, he is half Swedish! 


News and Views

:Barry Gibb and his wife, Linda have sold the site of the former home of Johnny and June Carter Cash in suburban Nashville. Records indicate the sale occurred March 18. Barry actually took a $300,000 loss on the property, which he bought in 2005 for $2.3 million. Renovation of the Cash home was nearly complete in 2007 when a fire started by renovators broke out and destroyed most of the wooden structure.




On this Day 3rd May 1960-1965
 On 03/05/1960 the number one single was Do you Mind - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Soviet Union shoots down American U2 spy plane flown by pilot CG Powers

On 0305/1961 the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Castro makes Cuba Socialist.

On 0305/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 0305/1963 the number one single was How Do You Do It? - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Churchill retired.

On 03/05/1964 the number one single was A World Without Love - Peter & Gordon and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.

On 03/05/1965 the number one single was Ticket to Ride - The Beatles and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.








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