Download A Word from Our Viewers: Reflections from Early Television by Ray Barfield PDF

By Ray Barfield

Tracing public and demanding responses to television from its pioneering days, this booklet 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 Nineteen Thirties, to those that received television units and hoisted antennae within the post-World conflict II tv increase, to nonetheless extra who invested in colour receivers and cable subscriptions within the Nineteen Sixties. whereas the 1st significant sections of this research convey the perspectives of television's first wide public, the 3rd part indicates 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, particularly more youthful ones, will be shocked 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 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 those that 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 1960s.

Viewers' reviews keep in mind the buzz of possessing the 1st television receiver in the community, express the vexing demanding situations of reception, and list the excitement that each one younger and plenty 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 learn express the perspectives of television's first huge 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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Frosty the Snowman was endured by my grandparents for the sake of the grandkids. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer was my favorite then and still is ’til this day. I saw it first at “Momaw” and “Popaw’s,” and I’ve made an effort to see it every year since. During my college years I once opted to watch Rudolph rather than attend a Clemson-Furman basketball game. 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.

Earlier television sets were expensive, and certainly more than I could afford as a graduate student. Even when I secured my first teaching position, at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and we at last had a home of our own (rented), money was still tight, and we felt no compelling need to own a TV set. Politics led to our acquiring our first television set. I became intensely interested in the 1960 presidential race and mentioned to my wife that I’d love to be able to see the Democratic National Convention, adding that it was too bad we couldn’t afford 13:9 P1: 000 GGBD175C02 C9870/Barfield 28 Top Margin: 5/8in Gutter Margin: 3/4in October 5, 2007 A WORD FROM OUR VIEWERS the $100-plus the cheapest TV set cost.

Just as a farmer’s mind must always be monitoring the weather, the owner of the pretransistor television set had to worry about tubes. Each turn of the “on” switch was an opportunity for a crucial tube to die in a sudden burst of blue-white light or to fade from its usual bright orange glow to a silver and gray-brown 13:9 P1: 000 GGBD175C02 C9870/Barfield Top Margin: 5/8in Gutter Margin: 3/4in October 5, 2007 Test Pattern Days 23 demise. While some owners obeyed manufacturers’ injunctions against venturing beyond the perforated back panel, others regularly lifted out suspiciously dim tubes and rushed them to the testing machine at the 7-11 convenience store or the pharmacy.

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