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Color TV Day – June 25 – History and Facts about Color Television

Most of us take for granted watching color television, but this wasn’t always the case. It’s time to celebrate Color TV Day on June 25.

In the early days of TV viewing, we were only able to watch shows in black and white. It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that color TV viewing became the norm.

It is only fitting that color TVs would have their own special day – Color TV Day. This holiday celebrates the beginnings of color television and its place in our society.

Keep reading to learn about the history of color TVs, the first color TV shows, and get other interesting facts about color TVs.

A white text overlay in a red box that says Color TV Day is June 25 in the top left corner on top of an image of nine vintage televisions stacked on top of each other in front of a teal wall.

History of color TVs

In 1904, a German patent for a color TV system was mentioned. Later, in 1925, Vladimir K. Zworkykin, a Russian inventor, filed a patent disclosure for an electronic color TV system.

These designs were not successful but were the first documented proposals for color television.

The first working color TV systems was developed by Scottish inventor, John Logie Baird in 1928.

Researchers at CBS invented a color television system in 1940 that was based on the 1928 mechanical TV designs of Baird.

However, picture quality of the first color TV sets was terrible and the technology was not compatible with the earlier black and white televisions.

An old color television set which is turned off in front of a teal brick wall.

Another early patent for a color TV was granted in 1942 to a young Mexican inventor named Guillermo González Camarena. His patent was for an “improved chromoscopic adapter” using the “Trichromatic” system for color television transmissions.

He is known for introducing color television to the world.

Although some limited color television viewing was possible in the 1950’s, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that color TV viewing became more of a norm.

By the 1980’s, most of the black and white TV’s manufactured were small portable sets used as computer monitors, and the switch over to color TV was complete.

Fun facts about color TVs

Brush up on your knowledge of color TVs with these fun facts. Some may surprise you!

A color TV in a on top of a wooden cabinet with a yellow chair the the left of it under a window with a hanging plant trailing in from the window.

  • The cost of the first color TV for consumers expensive!  The model was an RCA set with a 15 inch screen which sold for $1.000 (comparable to $7850 today!)
  • In 1951, CBS made a television program that is regarded as the first color television broadcast. The program was called Premiere and was an hour long variety show.
  • The first live national TV broadcast in what was called “living color” was made in 1954 on New Year’s Day. The event was the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
  • The production of color TVs was stopped during the Korean War because metals needed for the war which were also needed to produce color TVs was scarce.
  • By 1958, there were about 350,000 color TVs in the US, mainly manufactured by RCA.
  • September of 1961 was a turning point for the purchase power of color television, when the Walt Disney World of Color made its debut appearance.
  • The cost of a color TV in 1960 was approximately $300 – equivalent to $3.26 today!
  • The first television season when all three major networks showed their Prime-time TV lineups in color was the 1966-67 season.
  • The Perry Mason TV series experimented with just one episode in color.
  • The first cartoon shows shown in color were in the fall of 1962 – The Flintstones and The Jetsons. 
  • By 1966, all of the news on NBC was shown in color.
  • Daytime soap operas were some of the last shows to switch over to color.
  • Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs) were first introduced in 1952, but didn’t become popular for home use until the 1970s.
  • By 1972, there were more color televisions than black and white TVs in the USA.
  • Many early TV shows switched over to color part way through their runs. Lost in Space had three seasons but only season 2 and 3 were filmed in color.

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How to celebrate Color TV Day

National days of the year are a fun way to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with. Be sure to check out this national day’s guide for more fun days to celebrate.

There are about 2000 national days every year and approximately 150 of them are honored in June.

Would you like to celebrate Color TV Day in a special way? Try one of these ideas to celebrate this June national day.

A little boy sitting cross legged on the floor holding a soccer ball watching a soccer match on a retro color tv which is sitting on top of a cabinet in a living room.

  • Spend the day by having a movie marathon of a series of color movies through the years. 
  • Listen to the music Dramarama – Color TV.
  • Have some fun with Color Me as seen on TV – a coloring book of classic TV shows.
  • Watch some early black and white TV shows to see how far we have come.
  • Do the word search puzzle for June to see if you can find Color TV Day in it.
  • If you’re interested in the different roles color plays in our lives, check out our posts about the meaning of the colors of Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #ColorTVDay.  Here is a link to get you started:
June 25 is #ColorTVDay.  Brush up on your trivia facts about color television and find some ways to celebrate the day at Always The Holidays. #colortv Share on X

Pin this post for Color TV Day for later

Would you like a reminder of this post for Color TV Day?  Just pin this image to one of your trivia boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Watch our YouTube video to learn about more national days in June.

A stack of vintage TVs in front of a rainbow gradient background with a text overlay for Color TV Day on June 25 that says learn history and fun facts about color TVs.

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