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  #16  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dieseljeep View Post
It looks like Detroit got TV almost a year before Milwaukee did, May 1948.
When we got a TV, I was about 4YO. The local programs weren't that great and programing first started at 3:00 PM. One channel carried all the programing from the various networks, NBC, Dumont etc.
Earlier than that even. WWDT signed on temporarily in October of 1946, conducted unpublicized, but frequent, tests in November and December of 1946, went dark for January 1947, then resumed tests in February for a planned March 1947 introduction of regularly scheduled programs 5 to 7 days a week.

This didn't pan out due to techincal issues. Tests continued through May, and finally in June 1947, WWJ started regular, daily programming.

I consider the station to have brought television to the city in October of 1946, as at least some members of the public purchased recievers in advance of the test as reported by the newspapers, and thus could have, and likely did, see the October telecast from the comfort of their living rooms.
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  #17  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:00 PM
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I've also found FCC applications from 1945 for TV licenses in Detroit. The city was originally to have 7 VHF allocations: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13. Among the applicants were United Detroit Theaters and members of the Hudson and Grinell families. Why so many VHFs? Remember that in 1945-1946, Detroit was still either the fourth or fifth largest city in the nation, behind NYC, Chicago, and Philly, and either ahead of or behind Los Angeles depending on the population estimates you choose to believe.

Channel 9 was quickly given to the Canucks and would become CKLW many years later.

Channel 5 was sent up to the Tri-Cities, and WNEM would sign on in 1955.

Channel 13 was sent down just past the state line and WSPD signed on in Toledo, Ohio in 1948.

That left 2, 4, 7, and 11 for Detroit. The FCC declined to assign a station to 11, and eventually that allocation was given to Toledo instead. This was in large part due to the slow withdrawal of FCC applications in early 1946. With only three applicants left by mid-to-late 1946, there was nobody to assign 11 to.
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2019, 06:41 PM
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I'm disappointed that I couldn't watch the film, but, thank you for a most interesting history, and, a wonderful job done. Speaking of first., We were the first family on Woodcrest, in Harper woods, to own a 1950 RCA Victor 6T74 16" TV. All the neighbors used to come to watch it. Years later, someone gave me just the tv guts for the rare combination 10" tv AM-FM table model tv. That's how I first found out they made such a set...
Thanks for a wonderful job, guys......................

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  #19  
Old 02-20-2019, 11:41 AM
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Wow--this is terrific stuff. Thank for putting it together and sharing it. I'm fascinated by the arrival of television in various markets. In Pittsburgh, my great-grandmother bought a set (Dumont console!) in 1948 even though the first station didn't go on the air until 1949. She was from the old country and I think she saw it as a way to show off to the neighbors how well her family was doing in America.

Also, I wonder what the ratings were like for "Study in Slides!" Probably a 100% share...
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  #20  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:44 PM
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Wow--this is terrific stuff. Thank for putting it together and sharing it. I'm fascinated by the arrival of television in various markets. In Pittsburgh, my great-grandmother bought a set (Dumont console!) in 1948 even though the first station didn't go on the air until 1949. She was from the old country and I think she saw it as a way to show off to the neighbors how well her family was doing in America.

Also, I wonder what the ratings were like for "Study in Slides!" Probably a 100% share...
That sounds very similar to my Grandparents' story, but with a twist. My Grandfather had just returned from the Navy and married my Grandmother. My Grandfather purposely scheduled their wedding so that my Great Uncles Neil and Skip would be on leave from the Navy, and therefore able to attend.

Neil and Skip both had BAs in Physics from UM Ann Arbor (back in the prewar era most EEs still earned physics degrees), and they were radar men during the war. Anyway, they were dumped off in NYC for leave, and they decided, being electronics "nerds" to go down to radio row to pick out a wedding gift for my Grandparents. To make a long story short, the gift they picked out was a brand new Viewtone television set.

My Grandparents weren't enamored with it, initially anyway, as there wasn't anything on the air in Detroit yet! But, when broadcasting officially began in October 1946, they likely would have been the only middle class couple in the entire city capable of watching television from the comfort of their own living room. Whether or not they did watch the inaugural broadcast, I don't know. Neil and Skip were living with my Grandparents after their discharges as they had a rocky relationship with my Great-Grandfather, and the postwar housing crisis made getting homes of their own impossible. I only ever met Neil and he couldn't recall if they watched the October telecast or not. He did recall that by March of 1947 the set was receiving regular, if infrequent use, and that my Grandfather gradually warmed up to the whole idea of television.

Eventually Neil and Skip went to work for RCA in Cherry Hill, NJ, then down to Princeton, then finally they ended their careers working out in Los Angeles and later Silicon Valley.

My Grandfather, in the mean time, purchased a new set within a few years and relegated the Viewtone to his garage, where it sat until he died. The set eventually made its way to their attic, and eventually from the attic to one of my Aunts, and from her to my TV collection.

I've loaned the set out to a handful of local museums, but as of right now it's at our vacation home in northern Michigan. I feel lucky to not only have a Viewtone, but to have one that has never actually left our family.
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  #21  
Old 02-21-2019, 08:02 AM
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I'm disappointed that I couldn't watch the film, but, thank you for a most interesting history, and, a wonderful job done. Speaking of first., We were the first family on Woodcrest, in Harper woods, to own a 1950 RCA Victor 6T74 16" TV. All the neighbors used to come to watch it. Years later, someone gave me just the tv guts for the rare combination 10" tv AM-FM table model tv. That's how I first found out they made such a set...
Thanks for a wonderful job, guys......................

Bill Cahill
I forgot to mention that my father worked for JL Hudsons in both Detroit, and, eventually, the new JL Hudons at Eastland shopping center. He got the family tv as a Christmas present in 1949 at an employee discount. If you are interested in An unfinished Very long post I did in Antique Radio Forums some years ago with pictures. I have had a lot of health issues, so, set, and, interesting saga on the one I have Should make interesting reading. I also have started a posting on an RCA Victor 8TR29 in antique television section in my forum,Tube Radio and, appliances the friendliest forum in the whole world. I have two posts. One on the original junker I picked up years ago with many pictures. The other a recently started one wi5th a couple of starting pictures, not of my set, yet, that Tim kindly got for me. I decided to finish that one. Someone had done a lot of work on it.
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  #22  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:45 PM
kramden66 kramden66 is offline
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$55 for installation ? I will do it for $20 Lol
That is a lot of money back then for that , between the cost of the tv itself and the installation no wonder why there were so many not tossed and available today
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  #23  
Old 02-22-2019, 08:16 PM
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My mother told me that when they lived in Pittsburgh in 1946 the only tv station they could get was from Ohio...
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  #24  
Old 02-24-2019, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Cahill View Post
I'm disappointed that I couldn't watch the film, but, thank you for a most interesting history, and, a wonderful job done. Speaking of first., We were the first family on Woodcrest, in Harper woods, to own a 1950 RCA Victor 6T74 16" TV. All the neighbors used to come to watch it. Years later, someone gave me just the tv guts for the rare combination 10" tv AM-FM table model tv. That's how I first found out they made such a set...
Thanks for a wonderful job, guys......................

Bill Cahill
Bill
I never knew you grew up in Harper Woods. I grew up just a few streets down from you on Beaconsfield and Anita across from Eastland! Small world.

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  #25  
Old 02-24-2019, 09:56 AM
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$55 for installation ? I will do it for $20 Lol
That is a lot of money back then for that , between the cost of the tv itself and the installation no wonder why there were so many not tossed and available today
The first TV sets sold, the CRT was shipped separately, for sure the RCA's.
It seems the CRT's were damaged in shipment. The antenna was possibly included in the installation charge.
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  #26  
Old 02-24-2019, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tubesrule View Post
Bill
I never knew you grew up in Harper Woods. I grew up just a few streets down from you on Beaconsfield and Anita across from Eastland! Small world.

Darryl
It sure is. Do you remember ever seeing a small boy riding a bike looking through trash piles during pick up week on first week of May? That might have been me looking for throw away TV's.
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  #27  
Old 02-24-2019, 08:27 PM
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It sure is. Do you remember ever seeing a small boy riding a bike looking through trash piles during pick up week on first week of May? That might have been me looking for throw away TV's.
Bill Cahill
No, but that was me as well. 😀
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  #28  
Old 02-24-2019, 08:42 PM
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I lived on Woodcrest, five houses off the corner across the street by the old
Beacon school playground.....
I sure had a lot of fun getting those TV's......
One year, as a tean ager, I rescued a 1949 10" combination Admiral tv in the driving rain. Boss picked it up with me. We had it playing the next day. It played well, with the exception that he had to jury rig a resistor on filament of hv rectifier to get the arcing to stop, and, show a beautiful picture. It had all the literature. Yet, I didn't like the sound on phonograph, and, couldn't get it up the stairs of my second story ghetto apartment, so, I threw it out..
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