Welcome to the 50’s

This week we were asked to speak to someone older than ourselves about their experience of television when they were younger. My grandmother is always telling me about all the TV shows she loves to watch so I thought, whom better to ask than her!

My grandmother was born in Sydney in 1942. She grew up in Hurstville with her older brother, her younger sister, and her parents in a one story brick house. Her family was quite well off and her father always had to have the latest and greatest item on the market.

She was 14 (1956) when her father bought their first television home. My great-grandmother was apparently very against the idea of buying a television, as it would take the focus off the family interacting with one another. Nevertheless, everyone else was very excited about the newest addition to the household. My grandmother was one of the first to own a television out of all her friends and was therefore always hosting ‘TV viewing sessions’.

Their television lived in the lounge room, along with a lounge, piano, coffee table, fireplace and ashtray. She described the black and white Kreisler as a large cube on four legs, which was “quite fancy at the time” and the “centre piece of the room”.

My grandmother remembers watching many detective and cowboy movies with her family, however their favourites were the variety shows like the ‘Bobby Limb Show’. If like me, you’ve never heard of it, here’s a short promo to the show.

I asked my grandmother why she thought the introduction of television was so exciting and she said she felt that it was because it was a “universal experience”. People all over the world, were seeing just how amazing technology truly was. Entertainment was no longer a single sensory experience and people were able to directly see events that were happening all over the planet. Australians felt as though they were no longer disconnected from everyone else on the other side of the world.


2 thoughts on “Welcome to the 50’s

  1. What a lovely story. This is so interesting — it confirms that Australians who got television early really didn’t know much about how many other Austraians waited years to get their first glimpse of the “universal experience”.

    I love the detail about the TV itself, and the hosted viewing sessions. Thank you both so much for finding this stuff out together. Curious to know: did her mother get used to it, or continue to worry about impact on family time?

  2. I really liked how descriptive you were I was able to visualise her lounge room perfectly so it added to the story. I was interested to find out about someone from the 50s as I interviewed someone a bit younger. It was also interesting you noted about the “universal experience” I think that puts it very nicely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s