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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The 10 Gadgets That Changed the World

December 11, 2006

1. RCA Model 630TS TV (1946)


When soldiers returned home from World War II, they could finally kick back and watch TV. More often than not, they flipped on this set, which sold for a cool $350 –- that’s $3,600 in today’s dollars. With a 10-inch black-and-white screen and enormous speakers packed into a fine wooden cabinet that weighed almost 100 pounds, the Model T of televisions was the first mass-produced postwar boob tube. The set could receive a dozen broadcast channels, including the ill-fated Channel 1, and was considered the standard until 1954, when RCA's 12-inch color set took center stage. It was the golden age of television: Dragnet, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and I Love Lucy were all on the air, and TV became the center of the family room.

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