A new age was beginning while I was growing up, an age of new Inventions.Some of them were Diesel Engines were now pulling Trains, Steam was being phased out. Cars were getting more rounded and streamlined. Colors were being offered in cars now. Even the Streetcars and Busses were taking on a new look, also the Elevated Cars. The Mom and Pop grocery stores that were part of the neighborhood were disappearing in favor the large Grocery stores that were popping up. Hellmann’s, National Tea, Krogers and Jewel Tea.
They offered larger selections, Refrigeration, better cuts of meats and Deli cuts. Bread Butter and Milk. Soon to be gone were the Saturday deliveries of Milk and Butter from Dairies to your House. The Vegetable Wagon that came down the Ally’s selling Fruits and Vegetables from a Horse Drawn Wagon. The Man who walked down the streets with a push cart offering to Sharpen your Knives, Life as we knew it was changing right before our eyes. You still had your Family bakeries were one would go for fresh Bread, Rolls (sweet and baked) and that Frosted Cake Mom would serve after Dinner. (Mine was Chocolate Rum.) Then the whole Family would sit around the Radio and Listen to Radio Shows such as “The Jack Benny Show and the Fibber mcGee and Molly Show. “The Bickering Bickersons, and the Burns and Allen Show”. The whole Family together for a Meal and Entertainment via the Radio.
But wait, a new entertainment venue was on the doorstep. and my Dad had to have one. Television!. It was 1948 and who could have foreseen that this Box with a moving picture in it would soon close down so many places of Business. Bowling Alleys , Movie Theaters, Bingo parlors. I remember going down to the Appliance Store on Lincoln Ave, known as Polk Brothers with my Dad to buy a Television Set. The price Tag said $180.00. My god I thought, that’s more money than I could ever imagine. Well my Dad bought it along with the Rabbit Ears , wires. It was a Hallicrafter with a 7 inch screen and I remember my Mom saying when we brought it home, “Well where will we put that thing.” She moved furniture every which way trying to make room for the TV. It was a Table model and the only table we had big enough to hold it was Grandma’s Mahogany Drum table and my Mom was very animated about not putting the TV on that table, for it was the perfect place to show off Moms big Table Lamp she bought from Marshall Fields. So for a long time it sat on our Metal Kitchen serving cart now in a place of Honor in the living Room with a sheet draped over it and the TV on it.
This thing had so many knobs on it ,both front and back that controlled how the picture would look. The owners manual had words in it that I never heard before and trying to read it to my Dad who was postured behind the TV turning knobs every which way trying to get a perfect Circle On a the screen. Vertical Hold, Horizontal Hold, Contrast, Picture Stabilizer. Geez It’s been an Hour and we still haven’t seen a picture. Finally my Dad called the Appliance store and they sent out a guy who would in a matter of Minutes had a picture on the screen. Everyone in our household took a solemn oath never to touch any of the knobs behind the set.
So it was that every Sunday Night, after Dinner we would form the Dining Room chairs in a semicircle in front of the TV and watch Television. A new tradition was started. By the 50’s, Television sets got bigger and became user friendly and the more shows that begane to be Televised during the day and evening. Mom would always set her self down in afternoon and watch “As the World Turns”. No longer did she have to listen to it on the radio. The ironing Board moved from the Kitchen to the living Room.TV Trays were purchased, We could now see the the people that unto now were only heard on the raidio. My God, The Electronic Age has begun!