We got our first TV set when I was about 3 years old. It was, of course, black and white. Captain Kangaroo, Howdy Doody. and Winky Dink were my favorite shows and most likely the only shows for kids. Technology was primitive, programming was limited. There were no shows late at night or early in the morning. Just that danged test pattern. Which also appeared without warning when there were technical difficulties. Which was often.
Depending on where you lived or what type of antenna you had, you might be able to pull in 2-3 channels. I remember two channels; channel 11 and 13, both originating from Toledo Ohio. Since we lived 50 miles south of Toledo, our antenna pointed north.
There were no remote controls. Just knobs. One knob for on/off another knob for changing channels. And several little knobs hidden by a hinged plate that would control horizontal, vertical, and focus.
It was possible to move the antenna in another direction to pull in a different channel. The process for changing the direction of the antenna varied. Ours went like this…
Since the TV was in the front of the house and the antenna was on the other side of the house (attached to an old windmill so we didnt have to buy a real antenna tower) we would set up a “bucket brigade”. My brother and I would space ourselves between the TV and the stairway and would shout “Stop!” when the picture on the TV would come in clearly. My dad would be hanging out the upstairs window turning the antenna with a pipe wrench. The process sounded something like this.
“Stop!” “No back the other way!” “Yeah, there!” “No, too far!” “The other way!” “Stop!” You get the picture.
High tech it wasn’t.
My Dad in later years, invested in a motorized antenna which could be turned from inside the house! He bought color tv’s, antenna boosters, and eventually his own satellite dish which took up half of the backyard. I guess he realized that when my brother and I moved out, it was going to be difficult to call out the bucket brigade.