Cartrivision was the first VCR marketed to the American public, back in the early 1970s. It predated VHS and Betamax. However, it soon failed, for a variety of reasons. First, it was sold as a TV/home entertainment center/movie camera combo, which made it very expensive. That is, you couldn't buy just the player alone and attach it to your existing set. You had to buy the whole bundle. Second, you could rent movies for it, but you couldn't rewind the movies, so you could only watch them once. This limitation was designed into it at the insistence of the movie industry. Finally, perhaps its slightly creepy ads played a role in its demise. Maybe it's just me, but I definitely sense a pervy vibe coming off of the dad in the scene below.
The Miss America pageant has been conducted since 1921, but it's only been televised since 1954. Before then, it briefly had competition when the Miss U.S. Television contest, conducted by the DuMont Television Network, aired in 1950. Watch the full pageant at the internet archive, or a version edited for length below. It has a strange opening segment in which the contestants introduce themselves, framed by a fake TV set. Then they go on to their talent performances, some of which were truly awful. The winner was a young Edie Adams.
According to wikipedia, the Miss U.S. Television contest only took place once, but there must have been subsequent pageants that used the same title, since once can find women being crowned Miss U.S. Television in later years, such as Phyllis Maygers (below), who won the title in 1952.
I am taking the liberty of "reprinting" a page from the latest SpongeBob comic because it features the newest work from our resident genius artist Rick Altergott. The whole issue is hilarious, and you should grab one for yourself or any young budding WU-vie.
Anyone who ever fell for Diana Rigg as Emma Peel--and judging from the comments lately, there are many such among the WU-vies--will have their heads (and possibly other body parts) explode upon viewing this clip, which was banned in the USA at the time of its release.