SciTech Tuesday: The First Transcontinental TV Broadcast
Innovations in telephone and television broadcast have linked Americans coast to coast over the past 60 years. On this day in 1951, President Truman addressed the nation regarding the Treaty of Peace with Japan, marking the first live transcontinental television broadcast.
Originating in San Francisco, the broadcast signal was transmitted to the East Coast via microwave radio and coaxial cable. Microwave radio relay first transmitted high frequency microwaves between directional antennas positioned at 30 to 40 mile increments. This technology allowed the signal to span the continent, traversing geographic obstacles such as the Rocky Mountains. Once the transmission reached Chicago, existing coaxial cables linked the signal to stations along the Eastern Seaboard. For the first time people from coast to coast viewed a television broadcast simultaneously.
Post by Annie Tête, STEM Education Coordinator at The National WWII Museum.