When Lenox R. Lohr, president of NBC, visited Portland in February 1937, he didn't think the TV age was ever going to begin.
"Sound broadcasting will continue to be popular," the executive declared, citing reasons that ranged from the demographic to the technical.
More than anything, Lohr
couldn't wrap his
mind around the physical demands imposed by audiovisual entertainment.
pointed out, you could listen to the radio and still do a million other things: cook, clean, shave, play tiddlywinks, whatever.
TV, on the other hand, would pin people down.
"It will require your absolute, undivided attention!
, as it turns out, was no Amazing Kreskin.
But then, Kreskin's no Philo T. Farnsworth.
That's a whole other story, however, and what matters here is that only 20 months after the skeptical Mr. Lohr's
visit to Portland, an experimental video setup called the Farnsworth Mobile Television Unit drew throngs of excited Portlanders to Meier & Frank's eighth-floor auditorium.