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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Red Channels: 1959

Red Channels: 1959

August 5, 1959. "Russians looking at television sets and radios at the USSR Exhibition in Sokolniki Park, Moscow, next to the American National Exhibition." U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

TV land Moscow, 1980

Those of us covering the 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow stayed at the enormous Rossiya hotel, just off Red Square. Which had no TVs in the rooms, just the old wooden cabinet Muzak-style speakers on the walls, with a volume control and a four-position switch for choosing a "station." Every morning as I left for work, I would turn to the speaker and tell it that I was gone for the day, and when I would be returning...

TV Land

Interestingly enough these TV sets may have played a part in the downfall of the Soviet Empire. There was at that time 3 basic TV Broadcast Systems, our NTSC, the European PAL and the French Secam. They were incompatible. The NTSC was the first, the PAL was next improving on ours and Secam came after and had the best picture. The Russians chose Secam and modified it to what was called Secam D so that only their broadcasts could be seen there. In the 1980s Multi-System VCR units made their appearance and allowed VHS tapes to be played on any TV. They were bootlegged into the USSR and the tapes were copied and black-marketed. Soviet Block citizens now had the ability to see what was going on in Western Europe and the USA and their dissatisfaction led to the eventual changing of the guard in the 1990s.

Soviet Television

It watches you.

All these sets

And nothing to watch but that Khrushchev test pattern!

More like 1989 right?

Soviets were a bit "behind the times" when it came to personal electronics back then.

No Satellite TV Yet

Of course, the US pavillon would not only have been able to display maybe ten times the number of makes and models, but would probably also have been able to show a different channel on each and any of them once somebody had built the neccessary networking. Not to mention that the US procedure would have been to order, rate-pay and take delivery the next day, rather than order, bribe and wait two years for delivery.

I wonder what would have been more bewildering to the world elite of the working class.

By the way, a significant number of consumer products in the USSR came from other East Block contries. And were generally much preferred by the Soviet citizens on account of the relatively lower level of shoddiness. They were paid for with oil, gas, MIGs and tanks. A fair number of TV sets came from East Germany, for instance.

I love the stamp!

Shorpy looks almost cyrillic.

They look just like real television sets

When broadcast signals go on the air they'll be even more remarkable.

This one gets the award for the cleverest "Shorpy" placement ever.

I like the Shorpy reflection

But shouldn't it be Cyrillic?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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