Profile America: Channel Surfing

TV RemotesThe reliable TV remote control, a crucial labor saving device for couch potatoes, was unveiled this month in 1957. Robert Adler of the Zenith Corporation received a patent for a mechanical unit that used a striker and four small aluminum chimes to generate ultrasound. The ultrasounds produced controlled on and off, and channel and sound up and down.


There had been remotes before, but they were attached to the receiver by an awkward cord. Adler’s remote eventually incorporated electronically generated ultrasound and was in use until the early 1980s. Today’s remote controls use infrared technology to operate the nation’s television sets, sold in nearly 39,000 radio, TV and electronics stores across the country.


Millions of American TV viewers use their remote controllers to go channel surfing.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau 

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