In a world where you can watch 800 channels of television shows not only on your flat screen TV but on your laptop, iPad, or iPhone, choose between a soccer match in South Africa or football in Florida, it’s hard to imagine a time when getting a sports program from Jacksonville, Florida to your TV set in Wilmington North Carolina was newsworthy.
But as this 1951 advertisement from General Electric shows, it was nothing short of a miracle.
Poor Warren Bell.!
The president of Tidewater Power Company pictured in the ad above was seemingly out of luck if he wanted to catch a regional football game from Charlotte or Jacksonville in the comfort of his Wilmington wood-paneled den.
After all, Wilmington, North Carolina was 350 miles from Jacksonville, 210 from Norfolk and 180 miles from Charlotte. One look at the map and you’d think Mr Bell would be out of the TV picture.
That is until he got a GE Black-Daylite Television. Now we learn, our well-heeled, corporate fat cat gets all 3 stations with ease on his GE set.
Football Fans -Put Your Confidence in General Electric
“Reports from remote spots all over the country testify to the quality and pulling power of G-E Black-Daylite television,” the ad informs us.
“Many a happy owner points with pride to the picture he gets on his G-E-even in spots where good reception was considered impossible. And right in the heart of the throbbing cities where tall buildings stand in the way-G-E overpowers interference and shows up best.”
Lucky Warren can sit back, relax in his suit and tie and watch his favorite college game. “It’s so real it’s like a seat in the stadium,” boasts the ad. And thanks to the larger than life 20 inch screen, our buttoned-up businessman could “roar with the crowd! Sway to the band! And watch from the edge of your chair!”
Postscript . By the end of the year, On December 23 1951 Du Mont televised the first ever live coast to coast professional football game the NFL Championship game between the LA Rams and Cleveland Browns thanks to the transcontinental cable lines that had been set up earlier that fall.
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2014.