Television Facts: Firsts In The TV Industry

History of Television

The History of Color Television

Television Facts

Inventors of Television


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The television has come a long way from its initial avatar, that of a radio with visual projection capabilities. Since then, till now, the television industry has witnessed many firsts. Here’s looking at some first facts on television.

First Facts On Television Stations and Television Sets

  • The first mechanical television station in America was called W3XK. This station was the brainchild of Charles Francis Jenkins, who is also remembered as the father of American television. The station aired its first broadcast on 2nd July, 1928.
  • WRGB television station in New York is the first American station that has the honor of being a continuously operating station from 1926, when television was invented, till date. The station began as W2XB, but the name was changed to WRGB in 1942, in memory of Mr. Walter R. G. Baker, who was a leader in the radio and television industry.
  • The first commercially produced television sets were based on the mechanical television system. These sets were made from John Baird’s designs for television. The sets were shown to the public in September of 1928.
  • The first ever American electronic television sets were produced in 1938 and were an instant hit.
  • The first ever remote control for television was invented in 1948. Known as the ‘Tele Zoom’, it cannot be called a remote control in the true sense of the word, as the device could only enlarge the picture on the tube and not change any channels or turn the television set on and off. The Flash-matic from Zenith, produced in 1955, was the first ever real remote control that could do all of the above and was completely wireless.

First Facts On Television Programming and Advertisements

  • ‘The Queen’s Messenger’ is believed to be the first television program in America. It was broadcast by WRGB station in 1928. We say believed because the program was broadcast to only 4 television sets in existence at the time, and thus the ambiguity.
  • 1st July, 1941 is the day when the first ever commercial broadcast took place in America. All broadcasts prior to this day were regarded as experimental by the FCC, thus making this day very important in American TV history.
  • 1st July, 1941 is also the day when the first American advertisement was aired. The commercial was for a Bulova Watch and lasted all of 10 seconds. It was aired on the NBC network.

These are just some of the many firsts that were, and continue to be associated with the television industry.

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