June 1948 Popular Science
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early
electronics. See articles from
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−commerce 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
Department 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%
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