On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I was coming flying back to New York through San Francisco, which was a bit longer than I had originally planned, but while there, I had the pleasure of carefully studying, Television: TV in the Antenna Age, the exhibit of vintage television hardware (and some memorabilia, too) at the SFO Airport Museum.
If you know me, you know that this is exactly the kind of thing that excites so many of my interests—television, once new but deprecated technology, some history, and, yes, the airport location. When I used to travel through here more often when I was younger, the museum had some pretty bland exhibits. I can’t even remember any of them, except for a sports-related one around football season, that were as exciting as the current exhibit.
I spent about an hour going through all of the hardware, and I snapped a lot of photos. Some of the my favorite pieces were the various TV-radio combinations. I like the idea of all-in-one devices, and one was designed to have programmed all of the New York City radio and television stations that you could press a button and it would automatically tune to that station. “It just works.”
The portable television sets were also novel since portability in the 1960s was remarkably advanced fifty years ago. Some of those sets were as small as 4-inches in size, which isn’t much bigger than a current smartphone screen.
If you’re at SFO and have a layover (or, more likely, a delay) stop by Terminal 3 and have a look, or just look at my photo album.