It was on the night of July 21, 1931, that an upstart radio network called the Columbia Broadcasting System put on a program of celebrities and dignitaries who could not only be heard on all eighty-odd affiliated stations, but seen as they paraded before a mechanically operated electric-eye monstrosity known as television.
Not only that, but CBS kept messing about with the thing for a good two years before the Depression finally did it in. Radio nuts all over the country were building homebrewed sets, trying to bring in pictures from several experiment stations - and often succeeding.
The advent of CRT-based TV technology made the whole thing look pretty sick, and since the two methods had nothing at all in common, all the money spent experimenting up to then was effectively wasted. Neither CBS nor anyone else was very proud of their pioneering in later years.