What Did We See In Color TV?

Laura Kalba at Public Books:

How much our historical context informs our perceptions of and beliefs about color is ably illustrated by Susan Murray’s award-winning book Bright Signals. Tracing the evolution of color television in America from the late 1920s to the early 1970s, the book successfully demonstrates how the medium reflected and refracted American social and political history, despite its initially halting, tentative development. Industry leaders, Murray shows, only progressively overcame regulators’, advertisers’, and the public’s initial resistance to color television as a finicky luxury.

The television industry’s strategy was twofold. First, manufacturers and regulators subjected electronic color to the same processes of measurement and standardization adopted in other industries (such as paints and plastics). Second, and more controversially, industry leaders actively promoted the medium as a new, more immersive, and emotionally engaging form of vision.

more here.