Monday, 3 January 2022

Television.

 These days we switch the tele on without a thought, we complain if there is 'nothing on' and a night without it  seems a lonely night indeed for most people.   So it is hard to believe that when John Logie Baird gave the first public demo in 1926 most people thought the idea of television would never work- nobody would choose it instead of radio.

Interestingly too the BBC thought the idea of television  and having a set in every room would never catch on.   For a start it was far too cumbersome a piece of furniture and secondly it was far too expensive.

Then of course came Nazi propaganda - how the Nazis milked the TV to get its followers to sit up and take notice.   And it was then that we realised that we just had to do the same.

By the time the war was over things were certainly changing although radio struggled to keep pace.   TV rental was big and many started down that road in 1953 for that big event  The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.    I remember going with my newly married husband to my Grandmas's house = they had bought a set specially= and most of the family turned up to watch the grainy picture on the set.

I suppose the next really momentous 'outside broadcast' was 1969 with the Moon Landing and it was reading an article in today's Times that prompted me to write this.When asked 54 per cent of people did not believe in the Moon Landing? 650 million watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.  When asked sixty four percent of millenials (those aged between 24 and 35) doubted it.  Forty five percent of people aged over 55   said it was possible the landing was faked.   (the Flat Earth Society claimed that Stanley Kubrick  was hired by Nasa to film the footage with the moon only a film set.   All done as propagand between the US and Russia in the Space Race.  So propaganda still rears its head.   There are plenty more figures in The Times but I kept getting them in a muddle and it didn't seem all that important rather than just to show how gullible folk are.

Now television has become such a part of our lives that after almost a hundred years it is hard to imagine what life was ever like without it.   I wonder what the next 'big thing' will be - we have already seen computers push their way in.



29 comments:

Susan said...

I find typical television broadcast is falling out of favor. Many watch podcasts and get news feeds of their choice online. Subscribing to Netflix (and others) is common and streaming services are preferred. TV is continuing to evolve.

Tasker Dunham said...

Being from one of the last families to have a television I still remember other peoples' incredulity when I said we didn't have one. We got one when I was 11 or 12 which allowed me to join everyone else in feeling sorry for the physics teacher's children who never got one.

gz said...

We started with a television in 1957 when my father worked for Rediffusion..
But we moved after a year and didn't have one in the house until 1968 and even then, our watching was highly restricted by mother.
I had one when the children were young in the 80s, but it's only in the past five years when Pirates daughter passed one on to us that we have been watching more!
It is addictive..but each generation to their own. Grandma went to the cinema . Mother ironically ended up watching TV all day..we choose what we want to watch...but look that up online...and computers are another matter!!
Just a thought though..when we were in NZ we hardly watched any TV and didn't miss it atall.

Mary said...

Of course they landed on the moon! How anyone can deny that I don't know!
"Takes all kinds" though!

I've met our amazing American astronaut Christina Koch, educated here in North Carolina. She fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a US Astronaut and trained many, many years. She spent almost a year 2019-2020 on the International Space Station and did a space walk.
Christina and I met a few years back and discussed our respective visits to Antarctica - mine a short period on an expedition trip during that continent's 'summer', whereas she over-wintered in treacherous winter weather as part of her astronaut training! Her videos were awesome to view.

If interested Pat you can read more about her here -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Koch

She is now a named crew member of NASA's Artemis Program which hopes to return humans to the south pole of the moon in 2025!

TV here seems to be fading fast when it comes to local broadcasting - we are finding it harder to get decent news reports and, like many since COVID arrived, just watch movies and drama series made for TV streaming, of which there seem endless choices from every country imaginable, some good, others mindless pulp!

Hope this first week of January will be kind to you dear - stay safe.
Take care - hugs, Mary

Rachel Phillips said...

The next big thing will be sitting at home in overcoats, no boilers waiting for a heat pump, no cars, no travel, chewing on a bag of lentils and seeds delivered by a robot in a driverless car.

su-zee said...

When my eldest son was about 8 I told him about the moon landings, he didn't believe me! I told him to ask his teacher at school.
'I can't do that she will think I am silly' he said. Eventually we convinced him and he did ask her and found out about it. So I am not surprised that some young people are distrustful.

Anonymous said...

When I watched the moon landing at 5 years old, there was no thought of personal computers, mobile phones and the Internet. Now, the metaverse is supposed to be the next thing that will emerge for people to engage with. For the first time in my relatively short life, I don't have any desire to participate in this next wave in tech innovation. I have no fear of missing out.

Joan (Devon) said...

After watching the film Capricorn One I believed it was possible that the moon landings were fake and I still believe that. I am not easily impressed by anyone and that includes an astronaut we were introduced to when we were in Texas by a friend of my SIL's who worked at NASA, I can't even remember the astronaut's name.

Television is good company for the elderly and housebound, but as I am both of those I find that there is less and less I want to watch, although some of the nature programmes are educational.

Melinda from Ontario said...

I grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia with very poor television reception. We had two channels and one of them was always fuzzy. Thankfully, my siblings and I were big readers. Reading kept us going on those, "I have nothing to do", childhood days. Recently, the power went out in our house for several hours. My husband was morose when the television clicked off leaving him with an evening of nothing to do. I, however, cheerfully picked up my backlit Kobo and began to read. Ironically, my battery was low and I only managed an hour of reading before I too was "in the dark". Technology...it's a love/hate thing for me.

Will said...

My parents bought their first TV set the week that Dr Who first started broadcasting, although in reality it was driven by educational programmes for my brother. I recall many significant early TV moments - Winston Churchill's funeral, the Moon landings.
As we lived in Sussex we were able to get BBC2 when first broadcast and the delight of three channels to watch compared to just two.

Barbara Anne said...

When I was about 5 years old, our neighbor got a color TV so I was invited over to see Captain Kangaroo in color. To my surprise, a character called Mr. Greenjeans actually wore green jeans! That was not apparent in black and white.

In 1969 at the time of the moon landing, we were driving from our home in suburban Chicago to Virginia where most of the family lived. For the first time ever, we stayed overnight in a motel so we could watch the moon landing.

These days, we're cable-free and streaming.

Hugs!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Melinda I have a lovely wooden salad bowl on my dining table which I bought in Chetticamp - isn't that in Nova Scotia?

Chris said...

There have been some engaging dramas and thank goodness for iplayer as we often dose off and miss the endings. I didn't have TV while growing up, and lived my life in books.

Country Cottage said...

It's funny how people rely on TV - my hubby and I haven't had a TV in 30 years, young people at work think we know nothing of what happens in the world but actually we are more up to date on world affairs than they are!

Bonnie said...

My parents got their first TV around the time I was born. Before that my two brothers listened to their favorite shows on the radio each night. I'll never forget the first TV show I saw in color at my uncle's house. It was Bonanza and we were amazed at how all the details stood out in color. Now it seems like there are so many different ways to watch TV. Some people use cable TV and others stream all of the TV programs. It is changing just like everything else.

Heather said...

I remember our entire family watching the Coronation on Granny's tiny TV. It was a momentous thing for us. Back then there were variety shows and plays which were very popular, in which quite a few of today's revered entertainers and actors honed their skills. I don't think that the addition of goodness knows how many extra channels has improved the quality of programmes. It's rather a case of repeats of repeated repeats. I can't imagine what the next 'wonder' will be and am glad I'll probably not be around to have to learn how to use it.

Melinda from Ontario said...

Pat, your beautiful wooden salad bowl most definitely came from NS. Cheticamp is located on the beautiful Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I've only been on the Cabot Trail once and it was memorable. The road snakes along the ocean, at a fairly high elevation, making it a drive to remember.

Linda from Alabama said...

My brother had just gone to work with NASA at Cape Canaveral in 1969 at Cape Canaveral. My family intently watched the TV coverage of the moon landing back at home in Alabama. It was an exciting and proud time.

Debby said...

Buzz Aldrin once punched a man in the nose for insisting that the moon landing was a lie.

I am afraid to predict what comes next. I just feel as if no matter what it is, it will simply divide the world even more. With all the opinions out there at the touch of a finger, I feel people just listen to the opinions that affirm their own feelings on the topic.

marlane said...

It is amazing that we have come so far with televisions and computers too, and really what will be next ?? I remember at age 16 watching the moon landing on a black and white TV I can not believe that that was over 50 years ago. I remember seeing a color TV for the first time in 1972 and I was totally riveted !! Now my husband and I have a flat screen TV that is 4 feet across and is amazing. If anyone is interested I have two blogs that I am writing. Here is the link to one about my horse memoirs, starting in the UK in the 1960's I live in the US now. http://picturepedigree.blogspot.com/

Cro Magnon said...

I think the Kubrick story could be true. I did see a well known USA Politician talking about it on TV (I can't remember who it was) and laughing about it. Of course the film wasn't required as the real thing did actually happen.

Hilde said...

I don´t think TV was a thing in Nazi time. Most families were happy to be able to buy a "Volksempfänger" (People´s radio). There were some prototypes, but no mass production, and the regular TV broadcasting began in 1952. Our neighbours got their first TV in 1959, and my family some years later.
Hilde in Germany

thelma said...

I remember when the first television came into the house and my brother and I sat with our noses a few inches from the set. Muffin the Mule, and Bill and Ben for children.
As for not believing there was a moon landing, I am not sure how people can convince themselves as we now travel back and forth from the space shuttle.

Librarian said...

Hilde is right; the average family in Germany did not have a TV set until well into the 1950s and 69s, it was all radio until then. What the average person did get to see in terms of Nazi propaganda, though, was the Wochenschau, a weekly news program shown in cinemas before or after every film. And going to the cinema was cheap, almost everyone could afford it back then, which was of course part of the system to get propaganda to the masses.

Rachel Phillips said...

I don't know anybody who had a tv set until 1960 or late 50s at the earliest. All this war amd after the war stuff and tvs must have been for the wealthy. The ordinary man in the street didn't have one. We watched Pathe news at the pictures. Has the Times misled you? As for Germany, as for Britain.

Derek Faulkner said...

I feel sure that Rachel and others are right about the TV in WW2.
A lot of the German propagandor in WW2 came on the radio via an English traitor known as "Lord Haw Haw"

The bike shed said...

I remember my father renting our first ever colour TV and us thinking it was wonderful - we must have made it, I reckoned. How things change!

A Smaller Life said...

I don't mind admitting that I love my television.

How many of us would have gotten through the first and second lockdowns still in a reasonably sane state of mind without our TV's. And over the past 8 months I would have been lost without it. It's hard to read when you are in pain and sometimes letting a tv programme just be there for company and needing little concentration means you can relax a bit more.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes bike shed - I remember doing just the same and feeling the same.
Don't know about that Rachel.
Thelma well there is still a Flat Earth Society.
Melinda we were on the Cabot Trail and stopped the night in Chetticamp ho.ping to go whale watching but it was too rough so we spent a day wandering around. I bought the bowl and we toured a beautiful exhibition of quilts I remember. n Was there also a wooden church which had been rebuilt after being burnt down?

Thank you for all your comments - so interesting to read of all your memories - we a ll
have them of that day don't we.