From the Collegian Archives: The birth of television


Today we feature a piece that reminds just how far technology has come in the past 50 years. Published in February 2nd, 1954, this brief article is about the acquisition of Kenyon’s first television set. Located in Peirce Hall, the set was a mere 21 inches but was a source of fascination for many Kenyon students. The students who experienced television coming to campus are now in their 60s and 70s. In the past 50 years they have seen that television transition from a single item on campus, to a five inch device that almost every Kenyon student has on them at all times.

Thank you to Greenslade Special Collections for access to the Collegian archives


By Ron Kuchta 

For the Past few months, Kenyon men have been enjoying a TV set in the lounge of Peirce Hall. Although everyone knows the fact of its presence, how it got there remains a mystery to many, despite several rumors that have been circulating. AMong these is the story that Dean Bailey contributed the set as a gift to “the boys” of Kenyon. This, the Dean says, is unfortunately an absolutely false rumor.

The administration reports that the 21” Stromberg Carlson was purchased with college funds to increase the recreational facilities of the campus in an effort to keep men in Gambier (and out of Mount Vernon’s less desirable  “recreational” spots.) The Dean admits that the idea of obtaining a TV set for the lounge had been discussed previous to the tragic incident involving two Kenyon men in Mount Vernon last semester, but the need for added precautions that had to be taken to maintain our generally good relations with the townspeople gave the final impetus for the purchase. SInce December, the South-East corner of the lounge has been surrounded, usually at mealtimes, by loyal fans of the new medium, together with some of Kenyon’s more “western” minded intellects.


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