Before Television: Childhood

Before Television by Family Tree Video
Before Television by Family Tree Video

If you were born in the last 40 years, it might be difficult to imagine life before television, computers and cell phones. Modern technology is such an integral part of our life that we panic if the power goes out, misplace our phone or lose an internet connection.

But what did our parents and grandparents do before modern technology was so prevalent? What did children do outside of school?

Below are a few ways in which our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents spent their free time.

~ Before Television ~

Unstructured Play
One of the biggest differences between today’s children and when our grandparents were young is found in where most of their time was spent. Instead of glued to a television or computer screen, children went outside to play. Back then, there weren’t as many cars on the road as there are today so children often played in the street without fear. Kick-the-can, Hop Scotch, roller skating, marbles and such.

It may surprise you, but before television took off, radio was the medium of choice. Not just with music stations and talk shows, radio shows captured the hearts and minds of generations with the advent of the radio drama. The Lone Ranger, Abbott & Costello and Dick Tracy to name a few.

One of the most famous examples of the power of the radio drama was the 1938 performance of the H.G. Wells classic War of the Worlds. It was so impressive that listeners actually believed there was a real alien invasion from Mars!

Reading and Writing
Back then, there was also a greater emphasis on the written word than there is now. Reading and writing were much more valued and children often spent hours snuggled up with a good book or writing long letters to distant friends or family members.

All in all it was a more dynamic and healthy way to spend one’s childhood. It showed children the world itself, not an image of the world projected onto a screen. While it’s important to keep pace with progress, there are always lessons we can learn from the past.

Life Story Interview Questions

~ Legacy Videos ~

Give your parent or grandparent the gift of a lifetime by capturing their life story for your family to know!

Legacy Videos by Family Tree Video

Here at Family Tree Video we produce Legacy Videos, modern-day memoirs that weave a filmed interview together with family photos, documents, maps and other memorabilia. The result is a beautiful “moving portrait” capturing your loved one as they recount their life story, family history and memories – a gift your family will treasure for generations to come.

To learn more about giving the gift of a Legacy Video, visit us at

Family Tree Video, LLC
Legacy Video Production
(312) 402-6406

Susan Saunders
Legacy Video Producer

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Before Television by Family Tree Video

Before Television

Life Story Interview Questions

Legacy Videos

Capturing Life Stories and Family History
for Future Generations

~ The Gift of a Lifetime ~

Life Story Interview Questions
Legacy Videos
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Life Story Interview Questions

~ Before Television ~

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