For many of us, it would be virtually impossible to imagine life without television ever having been in existence. Believe it, or not, there really was a time when it didn't exist! Prior to September 1948, there was no television in Newcomerstown and the locals all relied on the radio for entertainment, and obtaining the latest local and national news.
According to the Sept. 23, 1948, edition of the Newcomerstown News, the very first television set installed in Newcomerstown was for the C.E. Ortt Company, on the second floor of the Ortt building on Main Street. The television had been installed the week of Sept. 13, 1948. On Monday that following week, a small group of local Newcomerstown citizens tuned into the Cleveland Indians baseball game that evening. The Indians played the Philadelphia Athletics, and beat them 6-3. A fireworks display was televised afterwards. The signals came from a Cleveland television station. On Oct. 18, 1948, another Cleveland station with twice as much power than the other one is scheduled to go on the air. It is believed the new station will have even better clarity.
The group of viewers from Monday night said the picture was very clear, and they felt that good television reception for Newcomerstown was very possible for others that might be interested in purchasing a television.
Next year, Canton and Akron television stations are slated to begin broadcasting. The antenna for the Ortt building is about sixty feet from the ground. Robert Ortt said the first few days after the antenna was installed that the reception was very poor, and then improved greatly when the antenna was re-adjusted.
According to the news feature, the American Legion had also purchased a television and were getting ready to have their antenna installed soon.