This Time In Tech History… Fascinating Tech Facts…

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Let’s go back some 50 years ago. The Beatles were the hottest group. AM radio is where we got our music – and, NBC-TV had the most color  TV transmitted programs – over 50%.

Here Are Some More Fascinating Tech Facts From Year 1964:

Video or “see-as-you-talk” telephone service becomes a reality in a three- city demonstration staged at Grand Central Terminal in New York City. The first call was from Mrs. Lyndon B Johnson in Washington DC to Dr. Elizabeth Wood of Bell labs at Grand Central. The second call was between two lip-reading deaf children, between New York and Chicago. Commercial service officially begins after the demonstration between public locations in New York, Chicago and Washington. Rates for “Picturephone” service are $16 for the first three minutes between New York and Chicago, $21 between Chicago and Washington and $27 between Chicago and New York…

Some trends in high-fidelity equipment recently seen at an electronic parts show in Chicago –More transistors are being used instead of tubes in pre-amps and amplifiers… More modular equipment – separate AM/FMreceiver, turntable. Also, walnut seems to be a big favorite for speakers and components.

Also seen – miniature tape recorders. The Norelco Carry Corder 150 is an example. It’s an all-transistor unit about the size of a small cigar box. It uses a new type of cartridge with two tiny reels or spools of tape (later to be named cassette cartridge or just plain cassette ). The cartridge plays for 30 minutes on each side at 1 7/8 inches per second. Priced at $150.00 with carrying case, remote-control microphone and four cartridges…

Ad seen – for the tiniest TV in the world – a Sony – with a four inch screen. Take it anywhere. Black and white

Five companies apply to wire Manhattan for community-antenna television (later known as cable-TV). The petitioners are R.K.O General, the TelePrompter Corporation, Teleglobe, Sterling Information services LTD and lawyer Theodore Granik. Supporters argue that the need in overcoming reception problems in the city’s concrete jungle is essential, especially with color-TV, which won’t tolerate ghosting etc. Opponents argue that the terms of the franchise applications do not allow sufficient regulation, paving the way for a monopoly and pave the way for pay-TV. Most of the proposed systems offer between 12 and 15 channels. The empty channels will be used for new UHF TV stations waiting to sign-on in the New York area, including WNJU-TV, channel 47, which is set to sign-on sometime next year…


Gary West

Historian Gary West built his first website in 1998 with That addressed now forwards to - an amazing pop culture/news database with 25,000 pages, covering the years 1955-2014. He's also the author of - covering consumer technology from 1952 to the present. West has been a contributor to numerous books, radio-TV shows, CNN & USA Today & the History Channel.

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