Growing up television was vastly different than today, something I remind my two girls of it seems constantly. Today there are hundreds of channels on 24 hours a day. You can record TV, stop and rewind it and watch it "On Demand". All this programming shown in stunning clarity and color on massive thin screens. This is all a far cry from the three channels on the old black and white 19" TV with the rabbit ear antennae my family and I would gather round.
I also remember my dad telling us how much TV had changed from when he was young. Yes, it seems I have in some ways become my father.
I remember him speaking of the small round screens that produced pictures with no where near the clarity of our modern living room television. As he spoke I was fascinated by the thought of huddling around a tiny round screen. I could imagine myself squinting in the dusky room at the dull glow from the picture tube, trying to see the action unfolding in front of my eyes through the snowy static. When he stopped speaking I would snap back from my reverie and think, wow the old days really must've sucked.
A benefit of inspecting houses is that sometimes you stumble upon little bits of history. Stuff that at times holds more than a trace of personal nostalgia. So was the case just recently.
My client and I were in the attic of this older house she was looking to purchase. She likes older homes and antiques. Oddly the attic was full of belongings in what was otherwise a completely empty house. While I was trying to inspect around the heaps of boxes and other long abandoned belongings, she was browsing the stacks of stuff. After a few moments, she called to me from across the attic, her voice tinged with excited amazement.
I came over to where she was standing, she asked, "Is this a television?"
Looking at the stained wood cabinet with the large glass orb set squarely in the center, I realized, yes, yes it was a TV. A very old one. I noticed the brand name under the screen, Zenith.
No doubt this was a very old television, but the best was yet to come. On top of the TV were papers. One of these was the original receipt from 1949. According to Zenith's web site they produced their first television in 1948. More stunning was the price of $389.95 plus tax and installation. This is roughly equivalent to $3600 today.
Sometimes the things I find in houses are just plain interesting.