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Thursday, June 24, 2010


"Even small television sets will probably have screens about 8 x 10 more expensive television sets, screens will be as large as 18 x 24 inches..." Mention "Coaxial Cable," Alliance "TENNA-ROTOR," Philco, Capehart, and DuMont, to any of us "old timers" and we will regale you with stories of our struggles to point that antenna toward Philadelphia or New York for the perfect picture. I remember seeing the very earliest 6 inch television sets; indeed, I picked one up at a flea market back in the 1960's, but lost it in a flooded basement a year or so later. My very earliest experience with television was on a Trenton Transit bus going down Liberty Street toward town. At the bus stop, a television set was on and through the open window I had a chance to get a very fleeting glance at the picture. Result: complete infatuation with the new medium. It would be 1948 before brother Bud went to Bond's Electric on Hamilton Avenue and purchased a 10 inch "Admiral Consolette."

Email me and tell me about YOUR first television set.
Our visitors will be interested.


Ralph Lucarella said...

Hi Tom....I bought my first TV set from MOntgomery-Ward in 1946. Arky, a letter carrier friend installed the TV antenna. It was a 7 inch and just about every channel was a test pattern. The only programs were Howdy-Doodie, Fights ans Ed McMann selling stuff from the Atlantic City Boardwalk. A little latter we got Ernie Kovacs, Dick Clark and Cooking Shows. Then I bought a 10 inch set with a magnifier, you had to watch it directly in front in order to see the bigger screen. That first set was about the first in the neighborhood and everyone was facinated just to watch the test patterns. Only God knows how many sets I bought since then. Regards.

Tom Glover said...

Those are sterling memories, Ralph. I remember when television didn't go on the air until around 2 in the afternoon and closed down at 11 or 12 midnight. I also remember they ran those "B" movies on WPTZ, chnnel 3. It was on every afternoon at 5PM. It was a Glover family favorite called "Frontier Playhouse" and ran all those great Ken and Kermit Maynard, Lash LaRue, John Wayne, westerns, and 12 chapter serials like "Burn 'em Up Barnes." Real hi tech. Now I'm contemplating buying a 40 inch Panasonic Viera flat screen that would make our 10 inch Admiral set look like a postage stamp.


Candy Frenking Jens said...

I remember Mrs. Sam Fineberg, of Chewalla Drive, inviting the neighborhood kids to watch a World Series game on their spectacular set. It had a picture tube and a mirror in its lift-up lid that enlarged the picture - black and white, of course.

Anonymous said...

Tom - I was just a little girl of about 6 (I know I was in first grade at Yardville Heights School) when we got our first TV - a Philco console with an 8 or 10 inch screen. It was a Christmas present to the family and I remember waking when my Dad got it out of the closet during the night! It was black and white of course, my favorite shows were Howdy Doody Time and Frontier Playhouse right after Howdy Doody. Later my father made the opening of the screen larger and replaced the picture tube with a slightly larger one. Remember the blue tinted plastic pieces you could put over the screen with suction cups and you could pretend it was a color TV? I also remember my dad fixing our TV by replacing those large glass tubes in the back of the set. How times have changed! Lakeside Girl