The TVzophrenia Quiz ( the split personality of early TV)

  • (see above)


    The photo above is the Russian inventor Vladimir Zworykin, demonstrating his newly invented TELEVISION in the year 1929.     Few Americans, and hardly ANY Russians, had a really  reliably functioning RADIO in 1929. 


    As for commercial television, it didn't really take off until after the second world war, around 1948 or so.


    But when it did, it brought a visual IMMEDIACY into our living rooms.  ESPECIALLY the evening news.


    Cinemas had of course had "newsreels" for decades, but they often were cast as propaganda---or at the very least, they emphasized good news over bad news.   Even radio news often was glossed over and/or required a good deal of imagination----with some notable exceptions, the explosion of the Hindenburg in 1937 in Lakehurst, NJ, for example (see below).  The radio report was gripping, bit  the still photos came out hours after the event. 


    Take a look at the still photo below.  Horrifying? Yes.  Terrifying?  Unquestionably. 


    But compare it to 9-11 or the Challenger explosion, which we saw LIVE and AS THE EVENTS HAPPENED.  


    TV made our lives BOTH more and LESS naive.