RCA Manufactures The 1st Ever Color TV Set at 12.5 Inches, $1,000

By Kellar Ellsworth
Color television made its debut after the Federal Communications Commission accepted the RCA-developed "Compatible Color" System permitting colorcasting of programs without blanking the screens of black-and-white TV sets. Source: Bettmann / Contributor, v

The RCA CT-100 color TV was the first color television produced for the masses. The company began manufacturing it in 1954, when there were few color broadcasts, and its $1,000 price tag would make it a luxury item. This hulking beast, its innards packed with vacuum tubes, showed a picture that measured just 12 inches wide. About 4,000 were produced, and only 300 or so are known to exist today. While the CT-100 was, for consumers, the first color TV on the market, it wasn't the first color TV ever made.