By Ray Barfield

Tracing public and demanding responses to television from its pioneering days, this ebook gathers and offers context to the reactions of these who observed television's early broadcasts—from the privileged few who witnessed experimental and limited-schedule programming within the Twenties and Thirties, to people who got television units and hoisted antennae within the post-World conflict II tv growth, to nonetheless extra who invested in colour receivers and cable subscriptions within the Sixties. whereas the 1st significant sections of this learn express the perspectives of television's first wide public, the 3rd part exhibits how social and media critics, literary and visible artists, and others have expressed their charmed or chagrinned responses to tv in its earliest decades.

Media-jaded american citizens, in particular more youthful ones, will be stunned to grasp how eagerly their forebears expected the arriving of tv. Tracing public and demanding responses to television from its pioneering days, this publication gathers and provides context to the reactions of these who observed television's early broadcasts-from the privileged few who witnessed experimental and limited-schedule programming within the Twenties and Thirties, to people who got television units and hoisted antennae within the post-World battle II tv increase, to nonetheless extra who invested in colour receivers and cable subscriptions within the 1960s.

Viewers' reviews remember the thrill of possessing the 1st television receiver in the community, exhibit the vexing demanding situations of reception, and checklist the excitement that every one younger and lots of older watchers present in early community and native courses from the start to the fast-changing Nineteen Sixties. whereas the 1st significant sections of this examine express the perspectives of television's first vast public, the 3rd part exhibits how social and media critics, literary and visible artists, and others have expressed their charmed or chagrinned responses to tv in its earliest decades.

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Extra info for A Word from Our Viewers: Reflections from Early Television Audiences

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I always went to my friend’s house to watch Bandstand where even her mother would sit down and watch. When I was a kid, we played outdoors a lot, whereas kids these days sit in front of the “boob tube” and don’t get that enjoyment of playing outdoor games like “Red Light/Green Light,” hopscotch, jacks, and all those other games you don’t hear about these days! It seems like I was around 11 or 12 when we finally got TV. I must admit it was exciting. I recall making it a tradition on Saturday nights to sit down in the living room with my folks, sipping cocoa, eating Archway cookies, and watching Gunsmoke.

My masculinity and maturity were questioned, but my spirit was quite satisfied, and my nostalgic soul was nourished. Those were some wonderful days and nights with my grandparents, and I couldn’t tell you when they concluded. In fact, they didn’t end. The moments before the television together just simply tapered off. Those extra meals had placed me in the fast lane on the road to obesity, so I didn’t stop in for supper as often as I had in the past. My brother, sister, and I began settling our differences without my grandmother’s help, and Mom and Dad finally reached the point where they would purchase a color TV for our family.

I must tell you the story of how our family got our first TV,” Sara Robertson says: It was about 1957, I think. We were rural South Carolinians, poor as the proverbial church mice. My daddy worked in the cotton mill and farmed. Our mother had died a couple of years before, leaving Daddy with five children at home and twins at Thornwell Home for Children. All of our friends and cousins had the wonderful new TV, and of course we had seen theirs and yearned for one of our own. All of a sudden the AM radio was just old hat.

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