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

By | March 20, 2020

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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.

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The start of a new colorful era (soundandvision)

The color television stands as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Today, it’s how many of us get our news, entertain ourselves, even improve ourselves with the litany of educational programs. However, the historic invention of the color television reads like the space race between Russia and the United States.

Only this race was between Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and Colombia Broadcasting System (CBS). There was also an army of engineers fighting over who would invent the best system and most crucially, who got credit for the invention.