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The First Television Remote Control! (1961)

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Published on Apr 20, 2011

The Remote Control used to be more complicated than setting the clock on your microwave.

It's no wonder that the word "couch potato" is a recent term and not an old adage. People before the 1950s actually watched TV without a remote, as I'm sure all of your elders have told you about already. That means no channel surfing, no immobility for hours, no perfect modern-day relaxation/fattening and, most importantly, no DVRs.

Instead, they had to sit up close to the TV to manually push buttons to change the channels or lower the volume. That, or walk back and forth from their seat. It's a real toss up on which one's worse.

So, you can imagine the great fanfare that came with the invention of the remote control. In all its black and white glory, the video on the right exhibits the grandeur of the 500 pound-looking remote control meant to make life so much easier. See the brick for yourself at 0:49, complete with awesome narration.

The amount of programming and complication that went with these early TVs is amazing. It's great when technology actually scales back and makes things simpler to move forward.

When I get home, I'm going to hug my remote.

Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor: RCA Victor

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