The Famous NBC Peacock

COLOR TELEVISION

In 1954, Color was added to the Television image. Manufacturers and Television Networks had been working to achieve color in as short a time as possible.  The competing systems that battled it out were CBS's incompatible Field Sequential System, which required modifications to existing black and white sets in order to produce a viewable B&W picture.  To reproduce color, a mechanical rotating color wheel had to be placed in front of the B&W picture tube.  The system was incompatible with the millions of existing B&W receivers owned by the public.  The other system was RCA-NBC's Compatible Color System which required no changes in existing sets to reproduce a color picture in B&W.  The FCC initially approved the CBS Field Sequential System, but then after court battles and a weary public that was not ready to dispose of their existing sets, the FCC reversed their decision and approved the RCA-NBC Compatible Color System as the standard for American Television Reception. 

Here are some examples of early color receivers.  All of these sets except the RCA CT-100 employed round 21 inch color picture tubes.

RCA Victor CT-100 Color Television Receiver.  Circa 1954.  NOTE- This set utilized a 15 inch Color picture tube.  This was RCA's first mass-produced color TV set.

RCA Victor 21CT55 Color Television Receiver.  Circa 1955.  This was RCA's first 21 inch Color TV set.