Most of us who care about media think of 1949 as the dawn of American commercial television broadcasting. In the immediate, post World War II era, people living in major cities. modest towns and sprawling suburbs were, largely, video virgins.Yet, with only a few hours of programming available each day, our national love affair with the amazing, magic box in the living room was heating-up.
In 1949,at NBC's Rockefeller Plaza headquarters ,in New York City, Milton Berle held sway with America's favorite, primetime comedy hour, TEXACO STAR THEATER in studio 6B. In cavernous Studio 8H, KRAFT THEATER was presenting some of the nascent medium's earliest,and most sophisticated, "LIVE" drama.
But, at 8pm ET on April 30th, 1949, in the confines of the network's first TV stage, Studio 3H,the venerable Ben Grauer hosted a program produced by the network's flagship, local station, WNBT-TV. This early B&W special celebrated the 10th anniversary of NBC's entrance into television.
RCA's vibrant, video experiment had begun with a LIVE broadcast , on then Experimental Station W2XBS, from the 1939 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, NY. RCA's patriarch, David Sarnoff, welcomed a handful of viewers to witness the modern miracle of television.
Regularly scheduled broadcasts continued until World War II erupted, when the federal government conscribed the materials used to make broadcast equipment and home receivers for the war effort.
After the end of the war, television exploded as a window on the world for the baby-boom generation and beyond.
The three vintage clips, posted below, from the MUSICOM67 YOU TUBE site, comprise the energetic, if primitive, special program from 1949. Enjoy!!!!!