Not too long ago, in the days before there was a television on every smartphone, it was a rarity for a household to have more than one television. This advertisement, from 1953, encourages the consumer to “Make Everybody Happy! Buy Your 2nd TV NOW!”
It is unclear when Don Massa began and ended his time as an electronics salesman, but according to a 1940 Census, he sold electronics in 1940, he was selling them in 1953 when this advertisement ran, and it’s possible he sold them until he passed away in 1985. His store was located at 3817 N. Illinois, which is listed as a business location, however, GoogleMaps shows little more than a vacant lot.
The history of Zenith, the television brand advertised here, is a little clearer. Zenith was founded in Chicago as a radio manufacturer, and made its first black and white television in 1948, just five years before this ad. In 1954, Zenith introduced the first television with a three-electron-gun rectangular color picture tube (the black and white model only had one electron gun). In 1955, Zenith introduced the first remote control called the “Flash-o-matic.” Zenith products can still be found today, though the company was sold to LG in the early 2000’s.