This page is a timeline of important dates and events that
occurred in the 1950-1959 time period.
- CBS presents color television system using a spinning mechanical color
wheel. In October, the FCC approves CBS color for commercial
broadcasting. Sarnoff orders his "holy crusade" at RCA to
perfect electronic color television. Click here for the company
booklet issued in December 1950, telling about the success of their intense
- June 25th: CBS broadcasts a one-hour Ed Sullivan show, but only two dozen
CBS sets can receive the color broadcast. By the end of June, RCA
demonstrates its electronic color system, and the industry takes notice.
- October: All color TV production is suspended for the duration of the
- December 6th: Code of Practices for
Television Broadcasters is adopted for USA. Also known as the "Seal
of Good Practice".
- March 25th: CBS gives victory to RCA in color war.
- December 17th: FCC approves electronic RCA color system, reversing its
prior decision to accept CBS mechanical system. It calls this new RCA
color system "NTSC" color.
- RCA places its first all-electronic color set on the market, early in the
year, the CTC-100, with a 12-1/2" screen, for $1,000. Sales were
predicted to be 75,000 units -- however, only a reported 5,000 were sold.
Current belief is that the real number is closer to 1,000 sets sold to the
public. Many sets were donated to schools and also sold at a discount
- Time magazine calls color TV "the most resounding industrial
flop of 1956"