Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1950s Big Idea, The

Big Idea, The

1 9 5 2 – 1 9 5 3 (USA)

This unusual show displayed new inventions with commentary by a panel and interviews with guest inventors.

Most of the inventions were prosaic aids to everyday life, though there were a few screwball exceptions.

A sample of inventions featured on the series included; a woman’s inflatable bathing suit, an inflatable coathanger, a dartboard that lit up, a golf bag that stood up by itself, a lunchbox with self-contained hot plate, a refrigerated lunchbox, a self-snuffing ashtray, a collapsible smoking pipe, spring-loaded shoe heels, rotating shoe heels, a clothesline with permanently attached clothes pegs, a device to allow cars to park sideways, and individual plastic nose filters for allergy sufferers.

The Big Idea was a production of the DuMont Television Network and originally scheduled against CBS’ I Love Lucy, where it was probably seen by nobody except friends and family of the inventors. The show later moved to Thursday nights but expired after a one-year run.

Donn Bennett