Televisions Used to be Furniture


Console television image

Televisions used to be furniture. I remember our first color television. It looked much like this one. Yes, everyone put pictures and things on top of them. Yes, we had to get up to change the channel.  I honestly believe for the baby boom was the fact you had to get up to change the channel. Children were the first “universal remote.”

My belief is somewhat born out by history. According to some universities, television rolled out across America during the decade from 1947-1957. Color television came out in the 1950s as did the remotecontrol. Of course at the end of the 1950s a 21-inch color television was around $500. Keep in mind minimum wage was around $2.00/hr so even union factory workers making a whopping $7.50/hr had to save up for it. By the end of the 1960s had some kind of remote control available if not standard. There were also an estimated 78 million television sets in American homes.

The baby boomer generation was born from 1946through 1964 (though 1964 is where it tapered off so people born then aren’t really boomers or gen-X). By the 1960s America was building everything for everyone. Good factory and trade jobs abounded. Minimum wage was around $3.25/hr and color televisions with remote were now significantly below $500. In short, the beautiful console color television with remote was the birth control which ended the baby boom.

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