USA – Prepares for Colour Television in 1954

Quite a while before we introduced a Colour Television programme in 1967 in Britain, the USA were preparing for such an event 12 years before this. It was always said – and I could well be corrected on this – that their TV Colour in the early days was not that good.  Ours, years later, was in fact very good.

US Colour Television 1954

Anyway regardless of the merits or otherwise this short snippet from the TV Mirror magazine on 12th January 1954 is interesting.

The above pictures were taken in a factory of the Radio Corporation of America ( RCA ) where Colour Television Sets were being made.

On the Left is a close-up of the screen,  which is an essential part of the Cathode Ray Tube. Through its Thousands of holes race the streams of electrons, which produce the colours Red, Blue and Green.

The picture on the Right shows a girl wearing special safety glasses and she is putting the delicate colour picture tubes through one of the final tests.

I do remember in England a tinted screen going on sale – which was placed over the existing 12″ or 14″ screens of the day, to give the picture a tinge of colour. It didn’t seem to catch on though.

Fifties TV Tinted Screen

ABOVE: This was a plastic screen to make a B&W TV look colour.  This comment from the USA – It was awful, didn’t work very well. Green grass and blue skies.

It had a Blue Tint at the top and a green one at the Bottom of the screen with the middle a sort of non descript beige.  In theory-  on an outside shot it would look ok with the sky blue and the grass at the bottom green. I suppose on the very occasional shot it would look good.

Also we had the magnifying glass / screen – again placed over the existing Television screen – which made the picture larger. This was effective if you were sitting facing the screen straight on – however if you were to one side it tended to distort the picture.

My Grandmother had one of these fitted. I remember. They were quite easily removed.

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “USA – Prepares for Colour Television in 1954”

  1. Alan Keeling says:

    On the 1st of January 1954, NBC broadcast the Tournament of Roses Parade in full colour. The first TV Western series filmed in colour was The Cisco Kid (1950/56). From 1954, the 3rd season of The Adventures of Superman was filmed in colour.

    • Movieman says:

      Alan, Once again Thanks for this information – and again I was not aware of this and hadn’t realised that the Cisco Kid was filmed in colour either as we only saw Black and White. However these TV series would be made on film I am quite certain – and then transmitted on Television – as opposed to using Television cameras which would not be up to it as regards location filming etc. Thanks, Neil

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