JF Ptak Science Books Post 2172
In 1947 the future looks a little red, and sparky, and filled with television.
This image is that of the television antenna of station WNBT and for many years it sat on top of the Empire State Building. WNBT was the flagship station of NBC, which was owned by RCA (Radio Corporation of America, 1919-1986) which (according to its name) was really the first national broadcasting radio network in the United States, and which (as experimental station W2XBS) became the first to broadcast a television picture (of a papier mache Felix the Cat) in 1928. This fantastic cover art for a 1947 promotional for the company pictured the famous antenna, the great visual of the company's external hardware, right there on top of the world's tallest building.
This was really a picture of the future, and in 1947 the future of mass communications and entertainment (and in making money in the two) was seen in television, much more so than the formerly gargantuan radio.
And why red? Was it latent images for a few decades of seeing Lenin marching forward with a poiny figure and folllowed by legions againsst a background of deep red? Or is it the hundreds of years of red being associated with power--it did cost a fair amount, centuries ago, given the difficulty of its manufacture.
And in the history of red the business of its business was obtuse and secret. The Spanish began exporting the source of red--the cochineal bug, which was a tiny cactus-borne bug--from Mexico. They sent barrels of these bugs back home, where they were pounded and prepared for the Spanish worthies' textiles. The source of the color was held as secretly as possible, making the bug as odd a guarded source as the secretive history of medical forceps so long shrouded in mystery by their progenitors, the Chamberlain family. So red was expensive, limiting its use to the ruling/economic powers. It would also start showing up in art in the depiction of robes for royalty, or for robes for Mary and Jesus, and occasionally in Renaissance skies. Alternatively, it is also associated with Hell and Satan, I assume that is the case since red was not-often used (given the cost) and so it was a rare-ish color that would strike the viewer as being exceptional.
That said, I'm not sure why RCA chose red for their sky in 1947, though the company did have its famous "red Seal" label beginning in 1902 and used the color freely in its logo. Aside from that, why there is a red sky is a bit of a mystery.