Old Iowa News Station Goes Viral After Flipping to Color [VIDEO]
One of the many modern conveniences we take for granted is the use of streaming services, let alone the fact that most of us have televisions. AND the majority of us can't remember a time when there wasn't a TV available.
Just in my own lifetime of nearly 26 years, I remember TVs going from huge, box sets in the back with only cable available to where they are now -- fully equipped with internet, able to play synchronized games, screen mirroring with our phones, streaming quite literally anything we want on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, HBO, etc.
It's amazing how far we've come since the first TVs hit the market.
Per NYU.edu, the first black and white broadcast television was invented in 1927 "by Philo Taylor Farnsworth, a 21-year-old inventor who had lived in a house without electricity until he was 14."
In America, television gradually became more and more prevalent in everyday life after World War II. According to Cornell.edu, "By July of 1948, there (were) 350,000 TV sets in the USA."
According to ThoughtCo, the first color television was invented between 1946 and 1950 by the research staff of RCA Laboratories. The first electronic, color TV "designed by RCA began commercial broadcasting on December 17, 1953."
It wasn't until 1967 that WMT-TV in Cedar Rapids had the capability to switch from black and white to color, despite such quick development at the national level when it came to televisions.
Not only did the television station have to roll out new technology, but they also had to take into consideration those who still owned black and white television sets. As you'll hear in the clip, one of the broadcasters says this:
We think you'll see a big difference on black and white receivers. The new color cameras will give an improved, monochrome picture, and all of our new color sets were designed with that in mind.
Check out the mid-broadcast change:
The reporter featured, Bob Bruner, passed away in Cedar Rapids in 1999 at the age of 81, according to AP. His obituary adds this as well, "Bruner’s first job was with a 100-watt Florida station in 1940. In 1953, he came to WMT Radio, and four years later began doing television news. ... Bruner also anchored the station’s first midday newscast. He retired from WMT in 1982."
The delay from 1953 to 1967 for stations such as WMT-TV came due to the fact that televisions were significant purchases at that point in time, and it took until the 1960s and 1970s for the majority of Americans to make the shift from black and white to color sets.
Per reference.com, "The televisions of the 1950s ranged in price from $129 to $1,295." With inflation, that range shifts to $1,524 to $15,299 in 2022.