Watch 1967 TV Channel Go From Black-and-White to Color for the First Time

We're never short of stuff to watch, thanks to streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV and more. We're currently living in a golden age of television, where we can stream thousands of movies and TV shows wherever and whenever we want.

But a post on Reddit is taking users back to before you could binge your favorite shows at the touch of a button. Footage of a TV news station going from black and white to color for the first time has gone viral, and it's reminding viewers of a simpler time.

The video (which can be viewed here) was posted to the subreddit "interestingasfuck" on Wednesday April 6 by u/Slick0strich, and shows the moment the WMT-TV channel (now KGAN) switches to full-spectrum color live on air.

The 58-second clip, originally broadcast in 1967 in Iowa, starts with TV news anchor Robert "Bob" Bruner (right) asking station manager Doug Grant (left) what the change will mean for viewers watching at home.

Grant replies: "Well, we think you'll see a big difference on black and white receivers. The new color cameras will give an improved monochrome picture and all of our new color sets in the studio were designed with that in mind."

Bruner then gets up and walks across to a new set on the other side of the studio, where he is prepared by a studio hand in front of a new color camera.

Grant can be heard asking: "Are you ready Bob?" Take it away in full-spectrum color."

The frame then switches over to Bob, no longer in monochrome, as he delivers his first report in the new palette.

He said: "Well, first I'd like to say this. I feel very honored to be chosen to be the first one involved in our big change, because there are so many, much more colorful characters around here than this reporter."

The footage received 118,000 upvotes and more than 1,600 comments, many from users touched by Bruner's humility.

OMGBeckyStahp said: "'There are a lot more colorful characters than this reporter...' And a pretty great opener too Bob!"

Paggo_diablo agreed, saying: "I kind of want to go back in time and tell him 'hey bob. I think you're pretty cool.'"

Fatkidddown commented: "You're a good egg Bob."

Bruner worked at WMT Radio before transitioning into TV news. As well as being the reporter who took WMT-TV from black and white to color, Bruner also led the first midday news segment for the channel. He retired in 1982 and passed away in 1999 at the age of 81. First broadcast in 1953, WMT-TV was the first TV station in eastern Iowa. It changed its name to KGAN-TV in 1981 after it was purchased by Guy Gannett Publishing.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, color TVs became available to American shoppers in 1954, but they were hugely expensive at first and only 1 percent of homes owned a set by the end of the year. It would be a while before the medium took off — in 1964, 98 percent of Americans still didn't own a color TV — but primetime networks began broadcasting in color.

More than 50 years after color TV first aired, the COVID pandemic has transformed viewing habits across the globe once again. Worldwide streaming subscriptions reached 1 billion in 2020, and in 2022, that figure is 1.3 billion. More TV shows were released in 2021 than ever before — 559, compared to just 182 in 2002 — with everything from revivals and reboots to K-dramas hitting screens.

The post also made Redditors nostalgic for the old days of television.

ConDog1993 said: "This must've been incredible to see at the time."

While Gizm770o commented: "This was a time in the world where people were hanging out outside electronics stores to see big world events, and watch parties were less about being social, and more about which of your neighbors has a decent tv."

ExistentialTenant added: "Nowadays, we can get a huge TV set for relatively cheap that has incredible features and can control the TV with our mini supercomputer phones.

"History is incredibly interesting. One doesn't have to go far back to realize we progressed immensely."

This fascinating clip isn't the only piece of screen history to go viral recently. Footage of a little girl playing with her cat lit up the internet in March for proving that felines have always "been jerks." The video was a colorized version of the Lumière Brothers La Petite Fille et Son Chat, filmed in Lyon, France in 1899 by the sibling pioneers of early cinema.

Newsweek has contacted Slick0strich for comment.

Bob Bruner takes WMT-TV to Color
Redditors couldn't help but be charmed by TV reporter Bob Bruner's first statement in color. Bob Bruner taking WMT-TV from black and white (left) to color (right). KGAN/YouTube