Visitors to the RCA Building at the fair were given the chance to be "televised" to a row of receivers in an adjacent room. They were given this card as a momento of their experience.

These four young ladies worked at the Fair producing many special programs, which were broadcast over the local experimental RCA station, W2XBS.

TELEVISION AT THE FAIR

For many fairgoers, the RCA exhibit at the fair was the first time they had actually seen television first hand. Development of the new medium had been slow. The first television systems, developed in the mid 1920s, relied on an awkward metal disk to scan the image. It was not until the 1930s that all electronic television was possible.

Although there were only about two hundred television sets in New York at the time, the opening ceremonies were televised and NBC began regular broadcasts over their experimental station, W2XBS. RCA heavily promoted their new line of receivers, both on and off the fairgrounds. Their top of the line model, the TRK-12 could be purchased at Macy's and Bloomingdale's in New York for $600, the equivalent of $10,000 today. Although middle class visitors were fascinated by the new medium, they could not hope to own a television for at least a decade.

RCA President David Sarnoff at the dedication of the RCA Building at the Fair.

BUD DISCOVERS TELEVISION

This short demonstration clip features Jimmy Lydon as Bud Middleton from the promotional film The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair.

Play

RCA PRESENTS TELEVISION


Press the play button to view an informative film about the development of television at the time of the fair.