It’s hard to believe in these days of internet video streaming, smart phones and satellite reception that there once was a day when reception of a signal source relied on antennas attached to your house.
When television was first introduced in this area, massive towers with large antenna arrays were required to even pick up local channels. This area, like many rural areas, was locked in for decades to the local programming that could be received by whatever the homeowner was able to achieve with an outside antenna and was usually limited to WSIL in Harrisburg, KFVS in Cape Girardeau and WPSD in Paducah, if you were lucky or resourceful.
That all changed in 1971, when the first cable television system operated by Marion Cablevision became active. For the first time, Marion residents could watch major market stations from outside of the area like Chicago and St. Louis, shrinking the world just a little bit more.
The following article appeared in the March 4, 1971, Marion Daily Republican.
“Marion Cablevision announced today it is taking the final steps to putting signals into subscriber’s homes.
Tom Miller, manager, said that the system is being “proofed” this week and next week.
The firm contracted with RCA to build the system and RCA subcontracted with the Williams Construction Company of Kentucky to build the system.
Miller explained that Marion Cablevision wants to make certain the system fully meets specifications before accepting it.
“It should take another week to check the system unless we run into problems,” Miller said. “Prewired homes will be turned on beginning on the day it is accepted.”
Thus far 650 applications for service have been made and of these 400 have received prewiring. About 30 home are prewired each day.”
(Article extracted from the Marion Daily Republican on March 4, 1971; compiled by Sam Lattuca on 09/01/2013)