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Radio Corporation of America
June 1948 Popular Science

June 1948 Popular Science

June 1948 Popular Science Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Popular Science, published 1872-2021. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Radio Corporation of America (RCA) engineers and system planners probably did not have the late-night Home Shopping Network (HSN) in mind when they ran this promotion in a 1948 issue of Popular Science magazine. Having their idea materialize in the form of pitching cheap jewelry, furniture, and clothing - and later computers - would likely have embarrassed them. HSN-type shows are routinely mocked and ridiculed. RCA actually envisioned what we have today in the form of e‚ąícommerce on the Internet. A lot of people use the same display for both Internet and television (smartphone and/or large screen TVs), so in a way, the original vision has come to fruition. What RCA futurists probably did not envision was a product delivery system which would in most cases move everything from friendship rings to bookshelves staged at warehouses into homes in a day or two. Credit cards were not widely available until the 1960s, but Cash on Delivery (COD) was, so that addressed the payment issue.

Radio Corporation of America Ad

Radio Corporation of America, June 1948 Popular Science - RF CafeDepartment store demonstrations show how television makes shopping easier - saves time!

Shopping by Television - a coming convenience

You know television as an exciting source of news and entertainment. But what about its many other uses?

250,000 people - at a demonstration arranged by RCA Victor - learned the advantages of "Shop-by-Television." Television receivers, located throughout a big store, showed customers what was going on in other departments ... saved time, made shopping simpler.

88% of these customers said television was a major help ... 62% said the program had drawn them to the store ... more than half intended to visit departments where televised merchandise was sold. Sales of many televised items jumped 200% above normal!

Beyond its value within a store, "Shop-by-Television" is already reaching across the air waves to enter customers' homes. How convenient it will be to see merchandise on the screen of your RCA Victor television receiver, and then be able to do much of your shopping by telephone!

Progressive research leads to new uses for radio-electronic products and services, and to the quality you associate with the names RCA, and RCA Victor.

When in Radio City, New York, be sure to see the radio, television and electronic wonders at RCA Exhibition Hall, 36 West 49th Street. Free admission. Radio Corporation of America, RCA Building, Radio City, N. Y. 20.



Posted February 12, 2024

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1996 - 2024


Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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