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Cable television, formerly known
as Community Antenna Television or CATV, was born in the mountains of Pennsylvania
television (now called cable television) was started by John Walson and Margaret
Walson in the spring of 1948. The Service Electric Company was formed by the
Walsons in the mid 1940s to sell, install, and repair General Electric
appliances in the Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania area. In 1947, the Walson also
began selling television sets. However, Mahanoy City residents had problems
receiving the three nearby Philadelphia network stations with local antennas
because of the region's surrounding mountains. John Walson erected an antenna on
a utility pole on a local mountain top that enabled him to demonstrate the
televisions with good broadcasts coming from the three Philadelphia stations.
Walson connected the mountain antennae to his
appliance store via a cable and modified signal boosters. In June of 1948, John
Walson connected the mountain antennae to both his store and several of his
customers' homes that were located along the cable path, starting the nationís
first CATV system.
John Walson has been recognized by the U.S.
Congress and the National Cable Television Association as the founder of the
cable television industry. John Walson was also the first cable operator to use
microwave to import distant television stations, the first to use coaxial cable
for improved picture quality, and the first to distribute pay television
programming (HBO). Source Service Electric
Cablevision, Inc with special thanks to Rob Ansbach
Magazine: 50 Years of Cable Television Technology
A retrospective of the last 50 years
of cable TV technology.
History of Cable Television
With the help of Milton Shapp's
innovation, cable television spread quickly throughout the country to remote
and rural areas far from broadcast origination in cities.
National Cable Television Center and Museum
The history, development and pioneers
of cable television with photos, regional information and you can learn
how cable works.
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