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How far does the coronation explain the growth of television viewers in the 1950's?

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How far does the coronation explain the growth of television viewers in the 1950's? During the nineteen twenties and thirties, depended on each other for entertainment. The wealthier people would go to the opera to see other people perform or to a play. One source tells us of other activities that people used to do to amuse themselves before television became popular: 'I can recall great big picnic parties. We used to go off on our bikes. About seven or eight families would get together and ride off to the North Downs for a picnic and rounders and cricket'. The people who could not afford these things would settle for a more low key form of entertainment such as picnics and family outings. As time progressed, televisions began to emerge but only the very wealthy were able to afford them. If you had a television it was a symbol of how much money you had and showed your social status. ...read more.


Many people who had not previously owned a television, bought a set especially to watch the coronation. One report says that over a million new television sets were sold in the weeks leading up to the coronation. Second hand television sets were also being sold in the lead up to the coronation for which made it easier for people to obtain a set. Many people believe that people wanted to watch the coronation as they had more respect and interest for the royal family than we have today. In their opinion watching the coronation was a way of getting closer to the monarchy and the television was the reason that this was possible. Others believe that the television was simply something new to indicate how technology was advancing around the time of the coronation and people wanted to be part of it. However other statistics show that the rise in television viewers was increasing steadily throughout the fifties with no unusual rise around the time of the coronation. ...read more.


One source suggests why having a television set was so important: 'I remember that we were one of the first three in the road to get one. If you had a car and a TV set, you'd really arrived'. This gives us one reason of why people wanted to get a new television set and why the number of television viewers increased in the 1950s. Another reason why television was so popular was that more companies were broadcasting programmes and different channels emerged meaning that there was something to satisfy everyone. The number of television viewers rose during the 1950s due to all of the factors mentioned and also simply due to the fact that technology was developing. For some people the television was a reminder of just how fast technology was developing and of course it was a new form of entertainment. The coronation was an opportunity for people to see exactly what a television could do. This probably gave people the incentive to purchase their own television sets. However it was not the sole reason for why the number of viewers increased in the 1950s. ...read more.

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