chapter  1
19 Pages

The Beginning of Everything

John Pavlic was amazed on April 30, 1939, when he saw television for the first time. “I can’t believe it. I must be dreaming,” the Navy sailor from Youngstown, Ohio, told a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune.1 Pavlic was among hundreds of Americans who watched television for the first time that day, when the New York World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadows, Queens. Dozens of American companies showed off their latest products in pavilions at the Fair, taking advantage of the press and spectacle that surrounded the Fair’s opening. The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was one of these companies, unveiling a display of its first TV sets for sale to the American public.