Tuesday, September 28, 2010

28 September 1956 “Transatlantic Telephone, Global Warming Discussion from 1956, and the first Morning Shows”

On 25 September 1956, the first Transatlantic telephone cable (TAT-1) is successfully laid.
This video is not long and worth the watch. It shows this historic moment. It has Mr. Craig, the head of AT&T making the first transatlantic call through the cable. It shows now how every continent on earth is now connected with these cables. And, fairly recently, the use of fiber optic cable has actually reverted the use of cable over the satellite system we were beginning to rely upon.
Though we had trans-Atlantic calls since 1927, they used to rely upon radio waves. But  the cables provide a much higher signal quality, avoid atmospheric interference and offer a greater capacity and security. The initial capacity is 36 calls at a time at a price per call of $12 for the first three minutes (that’s about $85 dollars in modern terms) so this didn’t cease letter writing, but (no pun intended) the writing was on the wall.
Again, so much of what is part of this modern world we now inhabit was created in the 1950’s. Think of just the move from last year, 1955, to now 1956, the very way we communicate to our friends and neighbors overseas has been radically changed. Again, the cost would be prohibitive at first, but in time it would reduce and soon calls would replace letters to catch up with old friends and family.
This is really worth listening. It is from a Radio Broadcast from this year 1956, where they are talking of Global Warming. I love that they say, “Well, Grandpa might have been right, it was colder when he was a child” It is also nice to hear it on the old LP, as this is the sound quality you would have heard in 1956.
Here they are talking already about how the burning of coal and other human forms of carbon dioxide is greater than any other natural phenomena. At this point, here in 1956, we are discussing the fact the the increase in industry and cars WILL increase global warming. Why did we never hear this continue? This really is worth a listen as it gets to the end it discusses how much man is affecting this change. I wonder how many people wrote to get this science paper number 646? I would love to get my hands on a copy.
With the assumption that no one would watch a tv program before 7 a.m., morning radio programs were presented. Here Ernie Kovacs was willing to prove them wrong. I always remember Ernie Kovacs from the later 1950’s move Bell Book & Candle, staring Jimmy Steward and Kim Novac.
This is an early version of his morning TV show. It is in three parts. The beginning starts with goldfish and then points the camera at people in the audience ( a good view of the average 1956 person).
Enjoy and Happy Homemaking.


  1. Donna, This was a Very interesting post. I'd never really understood what the "Green-house Effect" was before. It is nice to get a very simplified explaination in scientific terms.
    I also love the guy who sang, "Jennie with the light brown hair". What a lovely voice he had.
    Julie in Wa

  2. I guess no one cared about the old Global Warming discussion. I really thought many of you would find it fascinating how we were discussing it in 1956. What I really liked is the rational way in which they discussed the natural causes (without man) and of course the result of man. It was done very adult with just the facts presented. No media hype or flashing words on screens or buzzwords to scare people. I honestly feel today all the shows and the so called 'news' is merely Romper Room (kid's shows) for adults. We are treated like children, and so act accordingly. We don't get our way (rather it is rational or not) so we get mad and have a tantrum. Very sad indeed and to think our world is now in the hands of the adult babies. Now, THAT is scary!

  3. They had stopped talking about the Global Warming because they started scarying everyone with Global Cooling and the new Ice Age.

    Now we've come full circle as they start calling Global warming the Global Climate Change and some experts already predict Global Cooling.

  4. Anon-that's so odd. I don't understand why they are talking about global cooling. I have to really suspect these 'experts', it most likely is just another smoke screen to protect the 'big boys'. Oh, well.
    The data and information has not changed since 1956, it is rather a simply revelation. The increased energy created by we humans as production and increased cars and even the over production of cattle all contribute to the temperature rise. I am not sure who is talking about cooling, but they must be a little coocoo. Funny, isn't it, how in order to protect today and some monied interest, lies seem some how justified. It makes me so sad, because the children and grandchildren of the future have to contend with the silliness and sheer greed of today.
    What makes me upset is so many people would probably really love the world we could make if we really cut back on big production and big oil, we would have to have more small community and really have a sort of 'old fashioned' way of life where we were dependent upon one another and ourselves to entertain and supply our goods. More would benefit. Yet, I think we must have gone too far and the few who it would greatly affect are too far in control of everything to ever change it. At least I have no child who will have to inherit the world as it gets increasingly more blatantly wicked and full of self-interest.But, I feel for those who do have children and wonder what their children's children will have to inherit. There was even a study written up ( I haven't talked about it yet) from this year (1956) that stated without any hoopla, just plain ole facts, that as the 20th century ended and the next began, there would be marked decline in fossil fuels. Sad, really. Maybe they will run out BEFORE we have made the planet uninhabitable, and that might be fine. Only, if we follow that path and make it, I feel we may have to simply live a Medieval life style. I just don't understand why we cannot be rational and prepare now for a better future with the facts we currently have. Oh, well. What can one lil ole' aponed gal do?

  5. I too remember growing up and hearing that the sun would burn down and we would have a cooling thus bringing the ice age again. Also we heard the earth could spin off it's access and go to far away or close to the sun. No one knew what to think and we all knew we had no control in the matter and just kept going with life. With war on our plate over and over again, we had enough to think about.
    now we have come full circle.

  6. Thanks for posting this global warming science record. I was too young to remember the 1950's (being born in 1960) but I DO remember watching an early NOVA PBS special in the early seventies (about 1974) that talked about CO-2 measurements in Hawaii that had been ongoing since 1958, showing a dramatic increase in global CO-2 and how this would heat up the earth's average temperatures significantly -- that it was already happening "today" in the early 1970's! Through reading I discovered that the "greenhouse effect" was first discovered in the late 1800's and that scientists had been following this for some time, trying to measure atmospheric changes.
    Global warming is a very real and very dangerous threat.

    However, just as there were many who hid their heads in the sand and denied that Hitler was building a dangerous military in the 1930's (the GOP Taft-led "Isolationists") there are many today who still want to cover their eyes and pretend that global warming will just 'go away'. And like the cigarette industry denials, there is big money being spent by the Koch brothers and by Big Oil and Coal to try to hide the facts -- just as Big Tobacco tried to cover up the dangers of nicotine addiction and lung cancer. It will take many people opening up their eyes and educating themselves to the dangers of heavy fossil fuel use before changes are made to the way we collect and consume energy. I would like to think that we won't have to wait for a "Pearl Harbor" before the climate change deniers wake up and realize that we must retool to fight this menace, before it ruins the planet.

    The deniers (mostly in the GOP) may finally wake up and see the reality, just as on December 8, 1941 there were very few isolationists any longer. Most of those who had been isolationists were so embarrassed by their prior ignorance that they quickly got on board the anti-fascist effort that became America's involvement in WWII. The wealth and prosperity that became the 1950's grew in large part because of the massive industrial retooling of the war, which broke the back of the Great Depression for good.


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