This week is the 50th anniversary of the arrival of television in our home. I know because the date “Nov 28, 1957” was scribed into the concrete base for the antenna. We had the TV going 2 days later.
We weren’t the first or the last family on our street to get TV but we must have been in the middle somewhere. I think my Dad made the decision to buy after we got tired of walking over to my grandparent’s place to watch ‘Wyatt Earp”. There was always “Hockey Night in Canada” as an added attraction.
The TV and the antenna cost about $450. My Dad made about $60 a week at the time so it was a major purchase for the family.
The technology was not well developed either as we seemed to have the TV repairman at our house every 6 or 8 months replacing tubes that had burned out. The tube replacement costs ran about $5 a visit and my mother was always shocked at the expense.
Television changed our family life. Even though I was only 8 at the time, I remember before the TV, that my parents went out to visit friends and relatives more often in the evenings. After the TV arrived, we hardly ever visited, except to watch TV together.
For me, TV was a big learning tool. It opened up the world to me. Ironically, I don’t watch much TV now – I spend too much of my free time on the Internet.