Today, the requirements for TV are simple: it must be at least a meter and show in 4K. But once everything was different – our grandmothers and grandfathers were sitting by the bulky box that displayed the picture on a tiny screen. In order to see at least something, I had to go for tricks – this is how a special magnifier for TV appeared. We tell about the strangest accessory of the 50s.
Big box, small screen
The first commercial CRT TVs were made by the German company Telefunken in 1934, and two years later analogues of English and French production appeared. These were gigantic wooden boxes that weighed 35-45 kilograms each and took up almost a meter of space. But the main thing – they had a tiny screen.
How do you get 3, 5, 7 inches diagonal? In the TV. With a CRT screen – which was infinitely far from the resolutions of current smartphones.
And they were worth absolutely crazy money. The cheapest 12-inch version was given for $ 445 – about eight thousand dollars by today's standards. It is not surprising that TV was a sign of deafening luxury – in 1946 only half a percent of US families had such a gadget at home.
But by the end of the 40s and the beginning of the 50s, television receivers began to appear more often in apartments. The whole street ran down to look at the magic box. However, on the 7-inch screen you can not see anything even completely alone – what can we say about group viewing. Some trick was needed to increase beauty.
How to make the screen bigger
And resourceful entrepreneurs began to sell loops. They were made of glass and plastic, and the internal cavity was filled with distilled water, but since it evaporated over time, oil or glycerin was sometimes poured. Did for every taste: large, small, square, round, rectangular. "Threefold magnification, glare protection, simple and quick installation" – read the advertisement for accessories Superview Magnifiers in 1949.
And for special aesthetes even came up with different colors.
It was possible to give a black and white image a little yellow or, say, purple – who liked what. Sometimes the illusion of color worked as it should: when airplane scenes were shown through a blue filter, for example. Attached these things directly to the case, or they could stand on legs or attach themselves to the shelf of the cabinet. The same Superview Magnifiers had a “trombone” modification – the sliding structure was fixed on the top cover of the device.
Magnifier our way
The invention came to the Soviet audience. At the end of the 1940s, the production of the first KVN-49 series USSR CRT TV sets began – the abbreviation was immediately decoded as “bought, turned on, does not work” . Low reliability was compensated by a small weight for those times – only 30 kilograms! – yes the screen size is seven inches. The device was supplied without “enlargers”, but the lens with liquid was separately sold. They were made by different companies, so the Soviet man even had a choice: the Leningrad Machine Building Plant stamped rectangular , and the Moscow Stekloprodukt round . Unheard assortment for the postwar USSR.
The popularity of enlargers began to decline with the advent of picture tubes bigger – in the mid-50s, the USA was swept by a wave of 17-20 inch gadgets. However, in the Union, loops were used until the 1960s, and various versions of KVN were released until 1962. Transparent bubble with liquid remained a solution for those who could not afford more modern equipment for a long time.
Today such lenses are a museum wonder. But once no family evening could do without them. Nothing – in 50 years and our two-meter LCD panels will look just as ridiculous.