Category:
Television

AutoVision

Back in the 80s and 90s, Jay Schiffman had big hopes for his AutoVision system, which allowed a person to watch TV while driving a car. His device projected the image onto a small mirror positioned on the windshield, so that the driver could look at the road and a TV show simultaneously.

Schiffman always insisted that AutoVision actually made driving safer, not more dangerous. From the Chicago Tribune (Sep 6, 1998):

Schiffman says he was surprised to discover that television improved the drivers' concentration. He believed the moving and talking images enticed the drivers to keep their eyes on the road as they peeked at the projections in front of them.

In addition, the images kept the drivers alert, he said, stimulating their sympathetic nervous system, or fight-or-flight response.

I don't think many people were convinced by his argument. But maybe self-driving cars will create a new market for his invention.

More info: Patent No. US5061996A; "TV for Cars" Popular Science (Dec 1990)



Newport News Daily Press - May 15, 1998

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 10, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Television, Cars

Myrtle Young, the Potato Chip Lady

Myrtle Young worked as a potato chip inspector at the Seyfert Potato Chip plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During the course of her job, she would occasionally notice potato chips that resembled something, such as an animal or a celebrity. She began to take these chips home to show her granddaughter, and soon she had amassed quite a collection.

When the media became aware of her collection it led to numerous appearances on talk shows, including a 1987 appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. TV Guide named this as the funniest moment ever on television.

I don't know if it's the funniest ever, but it's definitely amusing. The noteworthy part occurs about a minute in.



The scene was later parodied in a 1993 episode of the Simpson's, 'Selma's Choice,' in which Great Aunt Gladys bequeathes to Marge, via video will, her collection of potato chips that look like celebrities. As the video will is playing, Homer is seen eating the chips. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a clip of this scene.

Update: Paul managed to get some screenshots of Homer and the potato chips!







Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 02, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Humor, Television, Junk Food, Collectors, 1980s

Channel Surfing in the 1950s

How did people channel surf in the 1950s, before the invention of remote controls?

Mrs. Cooper's solution was to own a different TV set for every channel. To change channels she just had to move to a different room.

Medford Mail Tribune - Mar 28, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 29, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Television, 1950s

Sesame Street Fever



The Wikipedia page

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 29, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Fads, Music, Television, Children, 1970s

Video Village

This is getting meta! A TV game show that uses people as living tokens on a board game set is later replicated as an actual board game. Wow, man!

The Wikipedia page.







The entry at Board Game Geek.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 28, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Games, Philosophy, Television, 1960s

Help…It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!

The Wikipedia page.

According to author Christopher P. Lehman, Hanna-Barbera "dress[ed] the bears in counterculture apparel" in order to stay on track with the "mainstream" fashion in the United States.






Posted By: Paul - Sat May 22, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Television, Cartoons, 1970s

The Cure

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 23, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Music, Television, 1960s, Diseases, Love & Romance

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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