Terry Teachout has an interesting piece at the Wall Street Journal about the 60th anniversary of the beginning of television as we know it. But wait, you say, TV was around back into the late 30s, certainly the late 40s. What was the big deal about 1951?
Network television as we know it came into being on Sept. 4, 1951, when AT&T threw the switch on the first transcontinental coaxial cable. Up to that time, TV had been an essentially regional phenomenon. The most important network shows were all performed live in New York, and the only way for West Coast viewers to see them was for fuzzy-looking film copies called "kinescopes" to be shipped to Los Angeles and broadcast a week later. The coaxial cable changed that by making it possible to transmit live video signals from coast to coast—in both directions. Within a matter of months, Hollywood had become a major center of TV production.
We should respect the other fellow's religion, but only to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is attractive and his children intelligent. —H.L. Mencken