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No Remote Control

Updated on September 30, 2017

So different now

When I was a little boy television was so different. Television sets were like a piece of furniture with beautiful wooden cabinets. We had no remote control. If we wanted to change the channel we actually had to get up from the chair or sofa, walk to the TV set and manually change the channel ourselves.

To make it even more difficult we only got five channels, three from New York City and two from Philadelphia. The antenna was mounted on our roof with a rotor attached. By using the rotor box on top of the TV we could turn the antenna toward New York or Philadelphia.

All TV shows were in black and white back in the 1950s. At midnight the stations would play the national anthem and go off the air until 6 a.m. in the morning when the news would come on. Now we have TV shows on twenty-four hours a day, something we never would have imagined when I was a little boy. It was in the early 1960s that we got a color television set. That first year there were only one or two shows that broadcast in color. The next year more were added and soon all shows were in color.

Television sets in the early years had many tubes that often went bad and a television repair man would come to the house and replace the tubes. Several times something else would go wrong and he had to take the set back to the shop for repairs.

Years later cable television service came about and even later satellite television. Now there is always something to watch on TV, no matter what time of the day or night. I had cable television service for years and a couple of years ago I decided to do away with it because of the cost.

I bought an indoor television antenna that looks like a sheet of paper. They are plastic on the outside with the antenna embedded inside. The antenna I purchased is a MOHU antenna that is manufactured right here in Raleigh, North Carolina. With this antenna that I attach to the wall I get 30 channels. A one time purchase, no contract or monthly bill, I save nearly $1,000 a year.

I still look at many of the old TV shows from the 1950s, I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Honeymooners. They are classics and will always be in my heart. With television now we can see what is happening anywhere in the world as it is happening. One of my favorite inventions is the TV remote control, hahaha.

Televisions for years were so heavy and bulky, very hard to move around. Now with the flat panel televisions they can be mounted on the wall. I wonder what will be next, I have seen only black and white TV shows, color television coming into being, the remote control, and the flat panel TV. Yes, what is next?

Copyright Larry W. Fish 2017


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    • Larry Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Larry W Fish 

      13 months ago from Raleigh

      Eric, it is nice just to get away from everything for a while. When I was growing up our family used to go on a fishing trip to Quebec, Canada ever other year. It was 12 miles from the nearest town by a narrow dirt road, a cabin with no electricity, no running water, an outhouse. It was a great two weeks. I remember those trips like it was yesterday. The last one was in 1964.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So cool friend. I will go in a month where there is still no internet connection and no TVs. And the five of us will play music and have a dance party under the stars.

    • Larry Fish profile imageAUTHOR

      Larry W Fish 

      13 months ago from Raleigh

      Hari and Eric, I often think back to when I was a kid growing up in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern PA. It was such a rural area in the 1950s. Sometimes I wish that I was back in that time, tough, but simple.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 

      13 months ago from Bangalore

      Nostalgic. Thanks Larry for the retroscopic hub. I as a kid had tough time rotating the Yagi Uda antenna climbing the terrace.

      - hari

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lucky you, we only got KTLA out of LA Ca and KPHO(I think) out of Phoenix Az. Weren't those furniture style ones cool and I think the screen was about 10x10.

      Thanks for this well written trip back to a different time.


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