This Was Television On July 1

1941: The first TV ad is broadcast

Bulova, a timepiece manufacturer, bought a 10-second spot during the Brooklyn Dodgers-Philadelphia Phillies baseball game on local New York station WNBT. It cost $9, or roughly $140 in 2012 dollars. That price is generally in line with today’s average cost for a 30-second local spot, which often runs a few hundred dollars outside of prime time.

It didn’t take long for advertising to form the linchpin of broadcast TV’s economic model. Over the decades, commercials have evolved from mere tagline delivery systems to what some consider an art form all their own, not to mention the primary outlet for elderly women inquiring as to the whereabouts of beef-A.D.

Today’s BirthdaysPamela Anderson, slow-motion lifeguard (45); Dan Aykroyd, blues brother (60); Andre Braugher, man of a certain age, specifically, (50); Hilarie Burton, white collared (30); Jamie Farr, fashion plate (78); Alan Ruck, mayoral aide (56).

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