The Small Screen in Britain (1951) …
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was established in 1927 to develop radio broadcasting, and inevitably became involved in TV in 1936.
Television caught on in the United Kingdom in 1947, but its expansion was slow. By 1951, with only 2 transmitters, near London and Birmingham, only 9 percent of British homes owned a TV. The United Kingdom was the first country to have a regular daily television schedule direct to homes and it was the first to have technical professions to work on TVs.
Televisions were very expensive back in 1951. This Pye television with a 10×8 inch picture would have set you back 76 guineas. The average weekly wage was in the region £5.8s. That’s about 3 months wages!
Less expensive televisions were available such as those featured in Pye’s 1951 catalogue above. Each model had 2 choices pre-tuned to either London or the Midlands. They came with two ontrols: volume/on-off and picture contrast. Most had 14 valves which had to warm up before it worked.
BUT WHAT COULD I HAVE WATCHED ON THE BBC IN 1951 ?
Well … if you click on the link below you can find out the listings for every day in 1951. I was born on 20th November 1951. I suppose I could have watched Andy Pandy! (Note: using this link you can also see the BBC Broadcast Daily Schedules for 1936-1939 & 1945-1964.)