What makes TV work?

What makes TV work?What Makes TV Work?

Love this cover!  Actually given the age, this particular book was in great shape.  I do have issues with the currency.  No mention of digital tv, DVR or hundreds of channels.

I had to explain to my kids that I only had 3 channels growing up and that was depending on the weather.  In addition, we actually had to get up out of a chair to change the channel.    I also remember having to stand with the rabbit ears in a certain place to get a decent picture.  Kids today have it so easy!


  1. Not counting UHF (in which only two channels really came in, KCET and KDOC) I had a total of 11 channels growing up – 2-13, channel 3 was nothing but snow. We had two dials, one for the other channels and one for UHF.

    I actually miss those days. Seem like I got more exercise before having a remote. Now adays it actually dumbfounds my parents when I turn the TV off by pressing the button on it rather then using the remote.

    But while this book makes me all nostalgic for the days there was only one tv in the house and I often had to give up watching my cartoons in favor of Donahue or Days Of Our Lives, it doesn’t belong in a public library. Library Of Congress, maybe, but you gals need to weed!

  2. We lived in the middle of nowhere and had to go outside and turn the aerial. Sometimes I had to stay there so the reception would come in for the ONE channel (CBC) that we had. 🙂

    1. Good old CBC
      I am kind of curious why someone who could barely get one channel would have a TV… especially in the days before VCRs

  3. How are you using the word “currency” – are you using it as in “timely” or “outdated”? Where did this originate? Is it library-speak slang? Just wondering.

    1. Beth, Never thought about it much maybe it is library slang! It sure isn’t money! LOL!

  4. Not to mention black and white TV. When my kids were much younger and an old b/w show came on TV I used to try to convince them that color wasn’t invented until around 1970, that the whole world was black and white. Even at a young age, my kids knew me too well to really fall for this story.

  5. We only had three channels and if the president was on, you were out of luck. I always thought the TV worked like it did in the original Willie Wonka movie. Little bits moving through the air. 🙂

  6. Love the “infinity” cover! I always like that stuff. After my telephone story I’m sure you don’t want t o hear about the TV saga, suffice it to say I grew up without it. As for “currency” it is a bit of libray in speak like “she’s a cataloger” wink.

  7. My mother’s parents, back in the 1950’s, were among the first families to get a new TV on her street, which made her among the most popular kids on her block!

  8. There’s still a TV repair shop in my town. It’s a dusty little building with tons of old TVs visible through the window. I often wonder how they manage to stay in business, given that nowadays if your TV gives up the ghost, your choice is to buy a new one or go without. I don’t think the market for vintage TV refurbishing is that great.
    I often wonder if the shop could be a “front” for something else–that would make a great plot point for a mystery.

    1. Maybe like our local tv repair shop, they do more then tvs. Besides, there are people, like my parents (and myself), who don’t want flat screens and all that crap. My parents have a beautiful tv from the 70s (repaired a long time ago so it can be controlled by remote then dials) that is big enough to use as a small table. I can’t imagine having any other kind of tv in the living room. I think flat screens are ugly and worthless.

  9. I remember we had a black-and-white tv until I was ten or so. It had rabbit ears that frequently need adjusting to get a clear picture. I don’t recall how many channels, but it certainly was limited!

  10. I do not miss the days when we had to tune the antenna. Dad would go up in the attic while I ran around the house checking all three TVs to see which channels were coming in and which weren’t. Then he’d adjust it and I’d do it all over again. We still have the giant antenna on our roof, but my husband swears there’s no way to reach it from inside the attic, so I guess Dad was just having fun with me though I really do remember him doing something up there that changed the reception somehow. (Lord knows what!)

  11. I also remember turning the outside antenna for a better reception…and sometimes when you got it just right, if you took your hand off of it the picture was lost again!
    My parents had the first color TV in our large, extended family. They bought it right before the first moon landing, so everyone made a big deal out of coming to our house to watch the moonwalk on color TV. It wasn’t until years later that it dawned on me: the broadcast was in black-and-white!

  12. And lets not forget how long it took for the tvs of yore to `warm up’ – I’m really showing my age with this comment! I think we got about 3 channels – CBC the best reception (and yes we also had rabbit ears) – who could forget Don Messer’s Jubilee and those Kraft cheesewiz recipe ads.

  13. Not just warm up, but cool down too! I remember turning off the tv and being mesmerized by the little white orb that would slowly fade away into nothing. It kind of scared me a bit though. I remember that if I was the only one in the room and it was after dark I would run out of the room immediatly after turning it off for fear of what that orb may turn into.

  14. We still have a Zenith run repair shop not far from us. I don’t know, maybe they work on flat screens now…

  15. In Sweden we only had two channels when I grew up. When something new started on channel 1, a small triangel appeared in the upside corner of the tv-screen on channel 2. Then it was possible to change channels to see which new programme was starting… Now when we have many channels it would be impossible to have small triangels all the time on the tv-screeen… 🙂

  16. What?!? There weren’t tiny little people inside TV when I was small? Nooo!!

    This book is lying. There were really little people in the TV we had when I was a kid. I know. I used to watch them on the screen all the time 😉

  17. At least back then you could watch TV if you didn’t have an absolutely perfect signal. With DTV even the slightest signal problems make the channel unwatchable.