JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
On the anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing (today being August 9) I found this old friend down in the studio: People's Television, Survey and Popular Guide to What You Want to Know..." (possibly) by Walter J. Greene, which was published about a year after the bomb was dropped, received by the Library of Congress in December 1946. In a full twenty-four pages the author laid out the future of the young ("virile youth returned from war") television and how signals could be transferred across the country for transcontinental broadcast, setting up the reader for the appreciation of the coming boom in the new medium. It includes a small section on how television programs are made (I've included a scan of a small diagram of the Du Mont-John Wannamaker Television Studios located at the Wannamaker store in NYC), a chapter on how the public will determine the content of television programming ("The Public is the Final Judge, Television can "Grow Up" More Quickly than Radio"), a bit on the future of television reception, color television ("A Cause for Some Speculation"), all followed by a reader quiz and a list of televisions and their prices.
Of course the major draw for me in this pamphlet is its cover--one of many efforts using imagery of nuclear explosions to sell an idea or a product. The image is a famous one, being the second airburst test shot at Bikini, Marshall Islands, on July 1, 1946. The image has been cropped a bit, the full versions showing a beach and palm trees in the foreground. Although it seems as though this was a mass-produced item, it just doesn't seem to show up anywhere, nothing substantive in the intertubewebs, and the trusty WorldCat/OCLC finding hardly anything--surprising.
And a map of the coming transmission scheme:
And a list of televisions available--remember that $1 in 1946 is about the equivalent of $12 today, so, $1000 for an upper end model would have been about $12k today, which is considerable:
And of course the television studio of 1946: