A Brief History Of: Television

Alamy

In 1960, 87% of U.S. households had a TV.

The panic was palpable as the June 12 switch to digital television loomed. With the nation's over-the-air analog stations about to go offline, 3 million Americans were reportedly unprepared. Fast action was necessary, said President Obama, so that no one missed news or emergency information. Fear of going tubeless would have been hard to imagine in the 19th century, when inventors first dreamed up devices to let people "see by electricity." Some thought the idea foolhardy. An 1881 article in Nature speculated that transmitting images over distance was possible — but questioned whether the idea warranted "further expense and trouble."

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