My first exposure to the wonders of television was shortly after the Second World War when a hardware store up the street put one in their front window. They turned it on when programming started which was, depending on the channel, sometime in the afternoon. They then left it on until the following morning when they shut it off to allow the vacuum tubes to cool.
It was the first one in our small town and a great draw, especially for us kids. We would carry a bench across the street from the front of the barber shop and stare at it, even after the programming quit, the Star Spangled Banner waved, and the logo of the station came on. Of course we couldn't hear anything, it was behind the window, but that didn't deter us from sitting there, completely enthralled, even watching the logo. I think there were two channels at the time.
I realize that to many of you young readers that should be in the category of “History.” It should be grouped with the Greeks, the Romans, Medieval Times, the Revolutionary War, and the Second World War. All ancient history. Ah, but to me it's quite contemporary.
Do you know how many TV channels there are now? The best total I could come up with after my research is 5,720. Besides the large networks, ABC, CBS, Fox, etc there are thousands that cater to a specific market. Most people would recognize many of them; sports, news, music, even the ones that go to a more limited audience such as health, movies, cartoons, shopping, even weather. Did you know that one of the largest number of channels are religious?
After investigating some of these small, mostly unknown channels I'm surprised some entrepreneurial spirit hasn't come up with the “Nose Picking and Ear Cleaning Channel.” Ridiculous you say? In my experience watching people waiting for their rides in bus stations, airports and train stations, I've noticed that it's a very popular occupation. Some go-getter will come up with the tools for this.
I can see it now, “For just $9.99 and a small shipping and handling charge you can have this wonderful all purpose instrument!
But Wait!! There's More!! We're going to give you FREE, that's right, another FREE doohickey for just a separate S&H charge.
And that's not all!! For a limited time and only to our first million customers we're including a fashionable bag to go over your head to be able to use this wonderful device in public without embarrassment or even anyone noticing. That's an amazing offer!!”
They don't mention that the shipping and handling charge covers their cost of manufacturing a few dozens of this thingamabob. I guess that no one is going to notice you have a bag on your head, but that's alright, it'll probably be plastic anyway.
Isn't technology wonderful? The next thing you know they'll have telephones with TV you can carry in your pocket. Yeah, I know, I'm just a fanciful dreamer.