Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Although invented many years before, television did not become popular in the United States until the mid-twentieth century. After WWII, many Americans wanted to purchase televisions while returning to a comfortable, secure post-war life. In 1946, there were only 7,000 television sets in the United States; however, four years later, in 1950, there were over 50,000,000 TV sets in the country. As televisions became more affordable and more common in American households, television broadcasting became the leading form of communication among various nations, and Americans relied on TV news for information previously found in newspapers and on the radio. Furthermore, the images portrayed in television programs, “sitcoms,” and “soap operas,” became accepted as normal. For example, wholesome family images presented on shows such as “Father Knows Best,” “I Love Lucy,” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” became viewed as ideal. Because the majority of television programs watched in the early 1950s promoted good fortune and American values, television presented a positive image to viewers worldwide. At a time where war, chaos, and tension plagued many countries, television consistently presented images of tranquility, happiness, prosperity, and safety. This technological advancement provided many with a sense of security that, while enjoyable and entertaining, did not truly resolve the many problems of the early 1950s.