Segments in this Video

Role of Television (00:37)


Invented in the 1920s, television grew to be the dominant mass medium for information and entertainment in the twentieth century. Programming reflected and taught society’s values and became a window to view ourselves.

Invention of Television (02:51)

The inventions of Vladimir Zworykin, a Russian immigrant, and Philo T. Farnsworth, a child prodigy, combined to develop the medium that changed the world. RCA paid a license fee so Zworykin's iconoscope could use Farnsworth's image dissector to make the first television.

Television Networks (07:49)

The 1939's World Fair introduced television to the world. The three major networks controlled the air from 1948-1952, but a fourth network, DuMont, mass-produced and marketed television and brought radio programs to television.

TV Comes of Age (04:47)

Television's early days brought families together as America's storyteller with various genres, including the western that depicted American themes. Families dominated the shows of the 1950s. Color and the video recorder advanced television technology.

Power of Television (05:18)

The 1960 Presidential debate between Nixon and Kennedy, Kennedy's assassination, and the Vietnam War proved the power of the visual image that television brought into America's homes.

TV Reflects America's Mood (04:27)

Fantasy and escapism dominated the 1960s while relevancy and taboo subjects in adult sitcoms dominated the 1970s. Television remained a source of information and entertainment in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Television History

Part of the Series : The Story of Film, TV, and Media
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Few innovations of the 20th century can top the television in overall effect on culture and daily life. This program covers the development of TV from the labs of John Baird, Philo T. Farnsworth, and Vladimir Zworykin to the present day. Pioneered as a futuristic and somewhat farfetched experimental branch of radio technology, television began as a very expensive luxury. Though its progress was slowed by World War II, the television industry exploded in the 1950s and now enjoys a 99 percent penetration of American households, with U.S. viewing reaching 250 billion hours per year. This program is an excellent tool for anyone studying the techno-cultural phenomenon of television. (28 minutes)

Length: 29 minutes

Item#: BVL8519

ISBN: 978-0-7365-6045-0

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.