Wirth Watching: Utah's first glimpse of Television

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) - In a circus like atmosphere, our original station owner Sid Fox put on a TV show in 1939. He billed it as the miracle of science… and the marvel of the ages. Thousands saw a faint image on one set as a sign of what was to come.

Fox created incredible promotions for his radio station… including burying a live person and having crowds parade past a wooden shaft where you could see her listening to his radio station.

He was Utah’s Barnum.

TV was his ultimate promotion. In the late 1930's, traveling TV demonstrations brought crowds to tents and auditoriums. Sid Fox bought a demo unit and brought it to Salt Lake City.

He got the old Paris department store to be his stage. It was his circus… crowds pushed their way into the store. He had one set in the corner where they filed by.

More crowds waited for hours for a glimpse of Sid Fox's show.

Yes, in 1939 he put on a week of shows. This would all eventually become channel four.

And Utah had one of the first examples of TV ever. The set featured a small screen and a mirror that reflected the picture.

He took his camera and set to the state fair. He was just beginning. He was 75 years ahead of reality TV.

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