5 Amazing Facts You Didn't Know About Television

On January 26, 1926, John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, gave the first public demonstration of a true television system in London. Baird’s invention was a pictorial-transmission machine that he called a “televisor”. Here are 5 amazing facts you didn't know about the history of television...

ADVERTISEMENT

The First Television Image Was Transmitted in 1925 The first image transmitted for television was done by John Logie Baird and starred a ventriloquist's dummy. It wasn’t easy for Baird to show off his invention because few people believed he had invented what he claimed. When, for example, he went to the newspaper Daily Express, the editor thought Baird wasn’t quite right in the head. He reportedly said that Baird claimed to have a machine where wireless could be used to see images. The editor warned a reporter to watch Baird closely because he might be armed with a razor.

The First Color Television Broadcast Took Place in 1951 The first color television program, simply titled “Premiere,” was broadcast commercially by CBS on June 25, 1951. The big problem with the broadcast was that all the television sets at that time only showed images in black-and-white. So-called field-sequential television sets with limited color came out in September of that same year, but the production of these sets was halted because of the Korean War. Additionally, field-sequential color systems were superseded by the NTSC system by 1953.

ADVERTISEMENT

The First Color Television Set Was Really Expensive The first color television set, the RCA CT-100, was introduced on December 30, 1953, but came with a shocking price tag of $1,000, which would be the equivalent of around $9,500 today. Several weeks later, the prototype of their 15-inch model set was shipped to dealers in time for the Rose Bowl Parade in New York, which was being broadcast on New Year’s Day. Admiral came out with its own 15-inch television model several weeks later, which sold for $1,175 or equal to about $11,000 today.

During World War II, the BBC Shut Down The plug got pulled on BBC television several days before Britain made its declaration of war on Germany during World War II. And it stayed off the air for nearly seven years. The last program to air before the BBC went dark was a cartoon starring Mickey Mouse. When the BBC came back on in 1946, the first thing viewers saw was the same Mickey Mouse cartoon that the station had ended with.

The First Commercial Aired on Television Cost $9 The first TV commercial appeared on July 1, 1941, during a Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies baseball game. The advertisement was for Bulova Watch and lasted a total of 20 seconds and cost $9. In comparison, a 30-second ad that aired during the last Super Bowl cost an eye-watering $5 million!