This may come as a shock to many of the younger readers, but there was a time when televisions didn’t come with a remote control. What’s that you say, how did we change the channels on televisions back then? Well, it was really tough, we had to actually get up from the couch and turn the channel selector knob on the TV, phew, what a workout that was. I guess back then, they hadn’t come up with the phrase, Couch Potato yet. But actually, back in 1950, Zenith Radio Corporation had come out with a corded (not wireless) remote, called the “Lazy Bone”.
All joking aside, remotes started coming out in the mid ’50s, early ’60s, that’s when the wireless remote control first appeared for consumer televisions. My first encounter with a remote control was at my aunt & uncle’s house, the remote was very clunky and the buttons had a mechanical click to them. From my research, I believe this was the ultrasonic style remote that mechanically (no electronics involved) hit a bar inside the remote that would sound a high pitched (beyond human hearing) tone that the television interpreted to either turn the TV on or off or change the channel, my we’ve come a long way since then.
Here’s a link to some interesting details about the remote control: