The invention of cable television in the late 1940s has radically changed the way that the world communicated. Not only did it provide a source for entertainment and news, it disseminated an ideal of a middle-class world that to many people, was just a dream; a depiction of normal life portrayed on the screen.
Being pioneers in scientific discovery is something that Americans have had down since the formation of the country, but nothing like the invention of cable television had made such an impact on the world since the development of the telephone.
Getting television into the homes of everyday people was another feat that had to be accomplished through careful business maneuvering. An electronics salesman by the name of John Walson was the first to connect a cable television network to televisions in mid-1948, due to a few of his customers complaining of bad antenna reception, and afterward, it spread like wildfire.
John Walson has been credited with being the founder of the cable television industry, simply by trying to get better reception for his customers. This laid the foundation for cable television as we know it today.
Early cable television was usually reserved for people with enough money to enjoy it, as a television set was considered very expensive then and there were also fees and monthly charges incurred also. This is what made cable television, in its early days, a product that usually only middle to upper-class Americans had access to.
During its developing years, cable television was heavily regulated by the US Government. Important messages only were usually relayed through the cable television system, and it wasn’t until between 1959 and 1961 when Congress determined the role of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), 10 years after its formation that television really started coming into the forefront of the American imagination.
Programming including original programs and different television networks started popping up, mostly for a cost. The first basic cable network showed up in 1976, WTCG, the Turner Communications Group.
Cable television has been an integral part of life for almost everyone today. From grandparents to parents, to even a more recent childhood of Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows, life without cable television is very hard to imagine these days.
The culture was changed and then defined by what our television sets brought us. There are countless contributions that the invention of cable television has brought us over the last 60 years, and there are undoubtedly more to come.