"At various points in its nearly 100-year history, the television has been an item of furniture designed to match a living room set, a high-tech piece of media equipment, and just one of the many functions of a computer or a smartphone," says Sarah Archer. "Soon, television will even be wallpaper: In January of this year, LG announced the Signature OLED TV, a new product line that will allow consumers to roll a device onto a wall anywhere they choose. The Victorians would no doubt be confused, but perhaps also impressed. The history of television’s place in domestic interiors fits into a much larger story about the look of technology in the home. Are pieces of consumer technology machines, furniture, or something else? In the second half of the 19th century, when the Singer Corporation began developing the sewing machine as a consumer product, it found that models that looked too industrial—that is, too much like factory equipment—failed to spark shoppers’ desire. Singer added decorative touches that gave sewing machines the look of Victorian furniture, with gold decoration on the device itself, and a dainty, carved stand for the cast-iron treadle that powered it. In order to be appealing to consumers, the machine needed to be disguised."
TOPICS: TV Sets