The Physics
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Number of Televisions in the US

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Jordan, Winthrop. The Americans. Boston: McDougal Littell, 1996: 798. "By 1960, there were 52 million sets in American homes, one in almost nine out of ten households." 52,000,000
"Television." The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book Inc., 2003: 119. "In 1945, there were probably fewer than 10,000 sets in the country. This figure soared to about 6 million in 1950, and to almost 60 million by 1960." < 10,000 (1945)
6,000,000 (1950)
60,000,000 (1960)
North American TV Market and Its Relevance [pdf]. Energy Star Research, 6 January 2006. "According to data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), there are currently 285 million televisions in use in US households." 285,000,000
"Television." The Encyclopedia Americana. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing, 1984: 433. "Televisions played a part in the presidential elections in 1948, but its nationwide influence was limited because only 35,000 sets were in use and only 37 stations were on the air." 35,000
United States. The CIA World Factbook, 10 May 2007. "Televisions: 219 million (1997)" 219,000,000

Millions of people in America watch television. To be exact, according to the A.C. Nielsen Co., an average American watches more than four hours of television a day. This is because television not only offers resourceful and quick information to its viewers, but also a variety of programs that almost anyone can find an interest in.

Over the past years, television has not only been a form of entertainment, but also a form of life. Therefore, it is not surprising that an average household in the United States has more than two television sets, as supported by the Nielsen Media Company in a 2001 research.

Many people across the nation rely on television for information and entertainment as they did many years ago. In 1948, television played a significant role in presidential elections, however, its influence was limited because there were only 35,000 sets with 37 stations at the time.

The American public continues to purchase television sets for their homes. In the year 1945, there were fewer than 10,000 sets in the country. By 1960, there were 52 million sets in American homes, which is one in almost nine out of ten households. This figure soared to 219 million in 1997.

The number of television sets in the United States increases annually, as people stay up to date with events around them. This is why there are currently 285 million televisions in use in US households, according to the data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Tamara Tamazashvili -- 2007

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Herr, Norman. Television & Health . Sourcebook for Teaching Science, 20 May 2007. "Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24"
249 Million (2007)
Nielsen Reports 1.1% Increase in U.S. Television Households for the 2006-2007 Season. Nielsen Media Research, 23 August 2006. "The total number of television households within the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) is now estimated at 111.4 million"
United States. The CIA World Factbook. 31 May 2007. "Televisions: 219 million (1997)" 219 Million (1997)
Goldfield, D. Statistical Analysis of the US. 1960: 520.
By Number of Sets: June 1955 Jan 1958 May 1959
No Set 33 17 14
One Set 65 76 78
Two Sets or More 2 7 8
39 Million (1955)
49 Million (1958)
52 Million (1959)
Households, Families, and Married Couples, 1890-2002. Infoplease, 2002
All households
Date Number
April 1955 47,874,000
March 1960 52,799,000
Kaufman, Ron. Television's Hidden Agenda., 2004 "The number of television sets in U.S. households in 2001: 248 million" 248 Million (2001)

The television today is arguably one of the most popular home electronic devices. Since it became commercially available in the 1930’s, the television has skyrocketed in popularity, with nearly 77% of households owning at least one television set by 1955. Today, the television is almost a necessity, with 99% of households owning at least one set.

In the majority of cases, the television relies on a device called the cathode ray tube, or CRT for short. Inside this CRT, a stream of electrons is focused into a tight beam and then accelerated. This beam is directed at a phosphor coated screen at the other end of the tube, which glows when struck by electrons. However, with only a CRT, the beam cannot be focused, and you would simply get a dot of color. This is why several coils, called steering coils, are wrapped around the CRT. These coils are used to create a magnetic field, which can be used to steer the beam of electrons and create the image you see.

Other types of televisions used today are liquid crystal display TVs and plasma TVs, which both operate in different ways from the CRT. However, the CRT still greatly outnumbers other types of television.

The television is considered by many to be the greatest (or the worst) advancement ever in entertainment. Ever since its introduction, the TV has risen in popularity immensely. Today, very few people are without a set in their own home, and many even have two or more. According to the World Factbook, published by the CIA, there are currently over 219 million TVs in the United States, and that number appears to be getting even bigger in the future.

Adam Lefky -- 2007