Today in 1969. 1969. 1969!
On July 20, 1969 I was 15 years old and sitting in front of the family TV with my little Kodak Brownie Fiesta, and I snapped this shot off the screen…
The TV was a monochrome unit powered by vacuum tubes and had a tuner that picked up VHF channels 2 through 13 and maybe also UHF channels too, although there wasn’t much to see on UHF and on VHF you just had the three major networks and maybe one or two local independent stations. It got its signal with rabbit ear antennas. Cable TV was for the rural folks who lived too far away from the city transmitters to get a good signal. The household telephone (there was only one) was hard wired into the wall and had a rotary dial. The household music player was a German made console unit, also powered by vacuum tubes, that had an AM/FM radio that also picked up four shortwave bands, plus an automatic turntable you could stack up to five records on. It would play record speeds of 16, 33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm. It was however, not a stereo unit. We wouldn’t get a stereo record player in the house until I was 17 and mom bought me a small portable unit for Christmas. Cameras used photographic film, you wanted to read the news you bought a newspaper, school teachers handed out assignments and tests printed on mimeographs, and if you wanted to listen to music on the go, something small enough to fit in your pocket say, you bought a small transistor radio. These typically only picked up AM radio signals and had a jack for a single earphone to plug into one ear. The Sony Walkman would not appear for another decade. Computers took up entire floors and were programmed with punch cards and paper tape, and the “user” was considered to be the programmer who submitted the job, not the poor schlep who needed the output. I was sitting in front of the TV with a camera on that day because the first mass market home video recorders would not appear until 1975.
And we were putting human footsteps on the moon.
It was 1969.