Ah, the TV dinner. We're not talking about the fancy frozen food stocked in today's freezers -- sirloin tips, grilled salmon or pasta primavera. Think 1950s, aluminum trays, and peeling back the foil to reveal steaming-hot turkey or Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and corn, and a bit of cherry cobbler. People would settle in with their TV dinners on trays in the family room and watch the tube while they ate.
The earliest "TV dinner" dates back to 1945, but it wasn't really a TV dinner; it was consumed on airplanes. Around 1954, though, Swanson took the idea and ran with it, pairing up the frozen meal with the latest technology craze -- the small screen.