Can You Remember Your Very First Exposure to TV??? Please Share Your “Very First” Story!!


Stan Speaks: TV (Television) hit Canada circa 1952. In 1952 I was 16 years old ~~ almost an adult or at least I thought I was!! Few homes had television. In fact, CBC TV made its debut on September 08, 1952. Percy Saltzman was the weatherman >> long before all the computer animation which we now have (now being 2007) and I must report that “Percy” passed away this very week in his home in Winnipeg >> 2007 01 18. Percy’s trademark was that at the end of his presentation he always tossed the chalk in the air and of course caught it. The weather presentation was done by chalk in those days!!! My grandchildren will no doubt wonder how “their Grandpa” survived without CBC!!! In fact, CBC Radio hit the airwaves the very year of my birth ~~ 1936!! Do you suppose that explains in part my loyalty and unqualified support and devotion for what has to be our most venerable institution? For the record our family did not listen to CBC Radio, rather our floor consular radio was most often tuned to CFRB Toronto which was and continued for many years to be Canada’s most listened to radio station.  I must regretfully acknowledge that I also have memories of listening to When A Girl Marries and Portia Faces Life. One began at 17:00 hrs and the other 30 minutes later. Television, television that had 2 stations at most, one from Toronto and one from Buffalo; TV that was only in Black and White; TV that required one to leave the chair to change the channel; TV that from time to time required adjustment of the horizontal oscillator or even the vertical oscillator; TV that regularly required adjustment of the horizontal and vertical width; TV that users believed was best viewed in a darkened room ~~ and seldom was casual conservation permitted. Our 1st family TV came sometime prior to 1952; 1952 is referenced because that is when Canada obtained their 1st TV Network >> CBC. I am guessing here, but it would have been 1948 or 49 when we won this TV and therefore watched Buffalo TV at least until CBC came on the air in 1952. Dad had purchased tickets in support of some charity. 1st place was a 17 Inch RCA Victor Floor Model TV ~~ top of the line. He had placed Phyl’s name on the tickets (Phyl being my sister). The TV was placed in the spare bedroom off the kitchen. The curtains were drawn, the lights turned off or very low, and the family hushed as we begin our marriage with Television. A couple of points. The TV Antennae had been erected and had been appropriately directed toward the Buffalo Station ~~ regretfully because my parents believed nefariously that Buffalo carried better programmes than did CBC!!!!! I guess it is true that intelligence is enhanced through the generations!!! He ha!! I have a specific memory of inviting the Snowdon’s down to watch a Horse Race ~~ perhaps the Kentucky Derby. Remember, TV was novel, TV was new and McCormacks were among the elite with this brand new wonder machine. All sat in quiet awe and wonder until the race had been concluded and the Snowdons left totally and absolutely impressed!! Some highlights; The Ed Sullivan Show that regularly had Wayne and Shuster; later on the Ed Sullivan show, we first saw the Beatles perform; Elvis Presley first appeared on the Dorsey Brothers Show; Arthur Godfrey had a great show; and Ted Mack and the Amateur Hour.

Stan McCormack.  2020 04 18. AND NOW, PLEASE SEND ALONG YOUR STORY.

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6 Responses to Can You Remember Your Very First Exposure to TV??? Please Share Your “Very First” Story!!

  1. Gary Pipher says:

    Great story Stan. Those are good memories of growing up in a different time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Evan Engell says:

    My brother and I still laugh about our first colour TV. It would have been about 1971. I was 8 years old. Mom and Dad brought home a colour TV “on a trial basis”. I was so shocked that Gilligan’s shirt was red (from Gilligan’s Island) and even more shocked that Barney Rubble’s hair was yellow. Who knew? Anyway, after a week or two, Mom and Dad figured they couldn’t afford it so the TV went back. I’ll bet it was another four or five years before we experienced our first permanent TV. Wow! Gilligan’s shirt is red. lol.


  3. Earl Ball says:

    I lived with my Grand Parents at a young age, probably 1950 to 1953. I remember TV somewhere in there but the only time the TV was turned on was Friday night boxing and Kid Gavilan was usually one of the boxers. I didn’t know anything else was on TV.


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