JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 517
The war was over for a year, the soldiers were pretty much home, the atomic bomb had been used (three times) to morph the coming future--a future that a quick-artist tried to show in this catalog cover for Allied Radio in 1946. Probably the artist was just grinding out some more piece work when he did this cover, probably--though he did come up with something pretty interesting, whether he knew it or not. He did get a good strong sniff of the Something that was coming, and that was the reflection, or capture, or incubation, of the city in the iconoscope tube as it hovered over a verdant America. The tube was for the next generation of televisions in the post-War forties; by the 1950's, the television had actually captured most of the United States. The tube also looked a lot like the Mercury space capsule, but that I think doesn't mean anything.
The growth of the television world in the U.S. was extraordinary: from 6,000 sets in 1946 came the following growth:
1949: 3.6 mil
1950: 9.7 mil
1951: 15.6 mil
1952: 21.7 mil
1953: 25.2 mil
and by 1962, television set ownership reached 90% of the American population, or about 160 million sets.
So, the artist did capture something, though it wasn't the slightly science fiction-y image of the city in the tube; it was the city in the tube, that t he tube wasn't actually reflecting anything, but absorbing it.
In the 1950s there were at least 102 TV manufacturers in the U.S., which in light of what is going on in today's world, is epic. For example, I've included those companies beginning with ABC and S,T,U,W,Z to give you an idea of the scope of these companies:
Admiral, Aircastle, Air King, Airline,AMC,American Television, Andrea , Ansley, Arvin, ATR, Automatic Radio Manufacturing, Base Television Corp, Bell Television, Bendix Brunswick, Capehart-Farnsworth, CBS-Columbia (Air King), Certified Radio Labs, Conrac, Cornell, Crosley
Scott, Sentinel.Setchell Carlson, Shaw Television. Shevers, Harold, Gotham Television Corp., Silvertone (Sears), Singer, Snaider,Sonora, Sparton, Starrett, Stewart-Warner,Stromberg-Carlson, Sylvania, Tech-Master, Tele-King, Tele-Tone,Telequip, Television, Inc., Televista Corp. of America (TECO), Templetone Mfg. Co., Trad, Transvision, Trans-Vue, Truetone - Western Auto, TraV-ler, UST (United States Television), Vidcraft Television Corp., Video Corp. of America - Cornell Television Inc., Video Products Corp. - Sheraton Television, Warwick, Wells-Gardner, Western Auto - Truetone, Westinghouse, and Zenith.
It is just phenomenal. This list is lifted from a wonderful site that provide PICTURES of all of these sets, at tvhistory.tv.