The 1960 broadcast begins with an explanation of how NBC counts the votes using "computers".
"That tape is fed, electronically, into banks of magnetic tape storage reels... Within the computer, tonights returns are compared to 200,00 factors of past elections."
Instead of checkmarks for the winners, they put Vs (for Victory!) decided by the NBC Victory Desk (which is the predecessor to what we now call the Decision Desk)
The way NBC had the numbers flip up as they increased in the 1960 election broadcast is pretty great
They didn't really have very many maps in the 1960 Broadcast, just these cool number displays (some of which ticked up!) - except for a decorative map behind the anchor in one of the shots.
In 1968 they've moved onto checkmarks for (projected) winners.
Also check out that pan to reveal!
They "Victory Desk" seems to have now become the "Projection Desk".
Even fewer maps in this broadcast than in 1960- not even a decorative one in sight (that I could see). Lots of reading numbers that are on the screen.
Fast forward to 1984. There's a map now, and it blinks when states are called. You'll notice that Ronald Reagan, the republican, has his states colored in blue.
A small inventory of graphics in NBC's 1984 election broadcast. They have this cool 3D vote bar chart, and a sort of oblong US map.
In 1992 they have snazzier graphics overall, but still just a simple state-by-state map. The flag background is timeless. Republicans are still being shown in blue, democrats in red.
Things continue to get fancier in 2000 as more animations and graphics are introduced. The map has much more detail. Republican states are now colored in red (as they have been ever since)
Tim Russert's white board predecessor to the "Big Board" in the 2000 election coverage is fascinatingly close to what Steve Kornacki does covering races on air today
2004's coverage includes the first electronic Big Board- which mirrors what Russert draws on the tablet. Exit polls are visualized in a 3D cylindrical bar chart. They projected the US map onto the Rockefeller Center ice rink too.
2008 has some of the first county-level maps. It also has a very floating-in-space vibe, especially in the VR sets. Lester Holt plays out some senate scenarios on a tablet in front of him (mirrored to a bigger screen)