November 16, 2007, Newsletter Issue #38: What Happened in the 1950's with Cable TV?

Tip of the Week

After much work by John Walson in the 1940s to perfect the rudimentary cable TV system he had originally started, coaxial cable was put to use, thus making Community Antenna Television (CATV) extremely popular. 

Because of Walson's work in the 1940s, cable television grew in popularity in the 1950s. By 1950, there were 14,000 customers throughout the nation who were utilizing CATV in their homes with around 70 CATV systems available throughout the country. 

In the 1950s, Milton Jerrold Shapp came up with a plan to get rid of those antennas that sat atop stores and apartments. He called it the Master Antenna Television (MATV), which got rid of antennas that made the tops of these buildings look like an antenna graveyard.   

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