This nifty and attractive invention was known as the SoloVision. Had it been invented recently instead of the early 1960’s it would have been called the iScreen or MyTube. Though the joy of being able to watch “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” while riding the commuter train or simply in an upstairs closet to hide from the family had appeal, the SoloVision was a flop. While the small screens delivered a CinemaScope experience, being a mere 3/8th of an inch away from the eyeballs, heat from the miniature cathode ray tubes caused 2nd degree burns after 53 minutes, just shy of 2 sitcoms or a full episode of “Bonanza.” Many people, wanting to find out how feisty Little Joe was going to get out of his latest scrape, were rushed to the hospital with painful blisters around their eye sockets afterward.
Also problematic was adjusting the antenna, which, if done in any public place, inevitably poked someone in the face, causing mild lacerations. The sound had to be played at annoying loud volume as the SoloVision did not come equipped with headphones, which would have rendered the device unusable except for those with necks the size and texture of a honey-baked ham.