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This Week in Tech History: Television in Color

On this edition of “This Week in Tech History”, we’re headed back to the mid-20th century for the release of the brand new RCA color television sets. Also this week, the Russian Mir Space Station meets its fiery end.


1797 – Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire patented an early form of washing machine for clothes, called the “box mangler.” It had a heavy frame containing a large box filled with rocks on a series of wooden rollers. Two people were required to move the box back and forth in order to clean the clothes.

1857 – Elisha Otis installed his first elevator at 488 Broadway in New York City. This was the first elevator used to move people. It was installed in a department store in what is now New York’s SOHO District.

In 1954 – The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) began commercial production of TV sets that were equipped to receive programs in color. To buy one of those huge sets, consumers spent upwards of $1,000. That’d be about $8,500 today.

2001 – The Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji. Mir had been in orbit around the Earth since 1986.

Written by Chris Graveline

Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for 14 years. He is a producer of Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline and the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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