August 12, 2022


I’m old enough to remember when color televisions were considered “special”. At least they were considered special to me because we didn’t have a color television until 1976. I remember the event; the black and white television situated in living room atop of cabinet of some sort stopped working on a Thursday night. I remember being in a panic that I would not be able to see our cartoons on Saturday morning, but Dad went to the Zenith dealer in town and bought a 19-inch color TV and brought it home and we were able to watch ElectraWoman and DynaGirl in glorious color. We watched it on Channel 9, the local ABC affiliate, which at the time was WNYS-TV. The television looked pretty close to this:

Both sets of grandparents had color televisions in the early 1970s. Grandma and Grandpa Country had a Zenith console that sat on the floor that took a minute or so to warm up after turning it on. It looked like this:

I don’t remember Grandma and Grandpa Country getting this television, but I do remember Grandma and Grandpa City getting theirs in 1972 or so. I rode onto the west side of town with Grandpa City and he picked out a television to be delivered to the house. It was an RCA and it had a new feature of the time, turning on immediately when you flipped the switch. It would make a loud electric “hum” sound for a brief moment as the picture snapped into place. The controls were tucked behind a door that pivoted out the entire control panel. It was quite heavy.

A couple of years later Grandma and Grandpa City had cable television installed and I was excited to see shows on WPIX (11 Alive!) and WTBS from Atlanta. That was kind of a badge of honor amongst the geeks in elementary school, having grandparents in the city that had cable. To this day I can remember my grandmother mentioning my uncle had stayed up late “watching a movie on Home Box” (instead of today’s “HBO” we use today).

I sit here watching television with my husband on our new 55-inch Samsung flat panel television that was a third of the price of our previous television purchased 10 years ago. I wonder how the younger folks today would enjoy ElectraWoman and DynaGirl on a 19-inch Zenith.