The Old CATV Equipment Museum
The Early Years: Before CATV

Products developed during the 1940s and 50s for use by homeowners
and MDU owners before before cable TV came to town

Antenna Signal Boosters
Master Antenna System Amplifiers
Distribution Amplifiers
This section describes products manufactured during 1940s and 1950s.   At the time, the new communications medium of television was sweeping the country.   Residents in larger cities were able to receive television signals from local broadcast stations using rooftop antennas, or even indoor "rabbit ear" antennas.   But for residents at more distant locations — so-called "fringe" areas — television signals were difficult to receive.   Rabbit ear antennas were useless, and even rooftop antennas often failed to provide adequate reception, especially in mountainous areas.   Although cable television systems began to appear in 1948, cable would not be widely available for several years.

Several companies manufactured products to address this market.   Among the products offered were antennas, towers, and a variety of amplifiers designed to improve reception.   In many midsized cities, lacking either cable television or a local television station, elaborate rooftop or tower-mounted antennas were common features in residential neighborhoods.

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