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The first predictions regarding the development of a technology for vision at a distance, called telephonoscope, can be found in some literary works of the late 1800's, like Albert Robida's La vie électrique (1883). However, more concrete experimentations did not begin until after the First World War, at first on the basis of the mechanical technology defined by the English inventor John Baird, then by the electrical one developed by the Russian-American Wladimir Zworykin. Germany in 1935 and the United Kingdom in 1936 started regular broadcasts, but addressed to a very limited number of listeners.

The real television boom occurred after the Second World War. It began in the country which had been its main victor, the United States, where a television system, entirely based on advertising, had come to affirm itself. By the mid Fifties the new means of communication was fully integrated in the USA, and regular television broadcasting had begun, or begun again, in almost all of Western Europe, where a system of public control prevailed.

In Italy regular television broadcasting commenced in 1954. Probably no other means of communication in history ever enjoyed such a spectacular success: in the USA, seven years after the first regular transmissions had begun, more than half of the families were connected; in Italy, already by the mid Sixties, the television competed with the refrigerator as the most popular household appliance. Also in the Sixties, initially in the USA and in France and then in other countries, the first systems of color transmission were launched.



















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