JF Ptak Science Books Post 2577
As much into the future as this demonstration and photograph looked, the Viewtone Company would not be a part of it. They were offering their TV at a very substantial reduction than would normally be expected in 1945, which perhaps lead to the company disappearing by mid-1947, just before the massive explosion in television ownership.
The TV-ubiquity that Viewtone missed out on is now about 60 years old. In 1949 there were about 3.6 million1 TVs in U.S.. homes; by 1955, the number was 42 million, and by 1959, 67 million. By percentages2, in 1950 9% of U.S. homes enjoyed a television, while just a year later, the number shot up to 23%; by 1955 it was 64%, reaching 87% by the beginning of the next decade, in 1960. In just ten years the television went from being a luxurious oddity to an essential societal portal. It completely dislodged the massively dominant radio by the mid-1950's and nearly killed it by the next decade; television continued to thrive, and has accommodated the introduction of the home computer. The TV was able to adapt and strengthen itself, even though the manner in which stuff is put into the television for viewing consumption.
It strikes me as a little odd that such a push for a piece of under-priced piece of advanced technology would have such a haphazard display--the floral background standing only about six feet high, quickly hand-painted no doubt, while the television itself was placed on a lunch table--not much of an effort.
A few months later there was a public demonstration of what the unit could do, attracting an audience in the "thousands". The instrument was well-received, and the cost seemed very low--perhaps that was the culprit that forced the company into producing semi-primitive and not-well-made units and then right into oblivion right on the cusp of the coming TV fantasicalopolis.
In any event, I just wanted to reproduce the photograph introducing the Viewtone television (above), if for no other reason than its breezy and familiar approach to the introduction of something new and, well, spectacular.
1. TVHistory.tv, http://www.tvhistory.tv/Annual_TV_Sales_39-59.JPG
2. TVHistory.tv, http://www.tvhistory.tv/Annual_TV_Households_50-78.JPG