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RCA Red Book, “The Equipment”…Holy Grail Of Early Color Television History, Part 1 of 2

In 1953, RCA submitted 700 pages of documentation to the FCC as a “Petition For Approval of Color Standards for RCA Color Television System.”  Due to the bright red cover, it is generally referred to as “The Red Book,” and every detail you could possibly want to know about RCA’s color system is included.  I have extracted two segments of the original to make it easier to get to the information that we are most interested in…the equipment and the history.

This is The Equipment part, with 74 pages of detail on everything from the cameras to the new color mobile unit.  At the very end of this section, there is even a price list for each stage of going color. The presentation of this rare document would not be possible without the help of our friend David Gleason and his one of a kind resource site, http://www.americanradiohistory.com/  The full 700 page presentation is at this link:  http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Catalogs/RCA/RCA-FCC-Color-Proposal-1953.pdf

rca-438-510

EXCLUSIVE HOWDY DOODY VIDEO…FIRST EVER LOOK

December 27, 1947…"Howdy Doody" Debuts EXCLUSIVE VIDEOThanks to Burt Dubrow, America's top Howdy expert, WE ARE ABOUT TO SEE SOMETHING MOST HAVE NEVER SEEN…THE ORIGIANL HOWDY PUPPET ON ONE OF THE EARLIEST SHOWS RECORDED! This kinescope is only 21 minutes long, and most likely was done as a test of the new kinescope system introduced by RCA and Kodak in September 1947. Sometime in April of 1948, the month this was shot, three new RCA TK30 cameras replaced the three big silver RCA A500 Iconoscope cameras in Studio 3H where this was done. This could either be one of the last Iconoscope shows or one of the first Image Orthicon shows. Given the many dub generations this is away from the original, it is hard to tell what cameras may have been in use, but it looks like Iconoscope to me, as the TK30 was more crisp. The actual date of this show is not known, but is most likely from Tuesday, April 6, 1948, which would be the first Tueday show after the birth of David Eisenhower on March 31, who's birth is featured in the newsreel. The baseball score is from a spring training game as the regualar season did not start until April 20. At this link, you will find the "Early History Of Howdy Doody", that Burt Dubrow helped me write a couple of years ago, and it is packed with information you will not find anywhere else. http://eyesofageneration.com/the-early-history-howdy-doody-televisions-first-hit-show/A few notes to help you "see" the history in this. (1) When the show started, it ran only on Saturday afternoon from 5 till 6, but after about 6 weeks, the show began a Tuesday-Thrusday-Saturday schedule from 5 till 6. On the 11th show, Howdy announced he was going to run for President of the Kids of the USA. (2) The show was origianlly called, "Puppet Playhouse" featuring Frank Paris' "Toby At The Circus" puppet troupe, and on the first show, which Bob Smith was the host and MC for, there was no Howdy puppet, as there was no time to make him, but Howdy was heard! He was in a desk drawer and to bashful to come out. I mention these points because the first thing I noticed was the opeining title is now "Howdy Doody Time", which is finally proof that the name changed long before many other sources say it did. It probably happend when the show went to 3 days a week, which would be about the second or third week of February 1948…possibly February 10th or 17th. Also, the Howdy for President banner is up. By the way, this would be the first show of the day, as only a test pattern preceeded the show, and when it eneded at 6, there was not another show until 7:15, so there was another hour and fifteen minuets of test pattern. When the show starts, notice not only the look of the first Howdy (built by Frank Pairs), but also how different the voice Bob uses for Howdy is. Remember, the voice was developed for the original "Tripple B Ranch" radio character named Elmer, who became Howdy Doody after the kids started calling him that becuase of his greeting of "Well, howdy doody everybody". Notice also that the kids are seated in a way that they can only see Bob and Howdy on the monitors, and not at the desk…since Bob was not a ventriloquist, he moved is lips when he voiced Howdy, so it was best to hide that as much as possible. That kind of set up, with his back to the kids when Howdy was talking, continued for the life of the show. At 13:45, when they go to what would later become the "peanut gallery" the kids are sitting on two, four seat "horses" which were brought over from the place Howdy was born, "The Tripple B Ranch" radio show. It was a kids quiz show and the contestants sat on these glorified sawhorses…when one of the kids got a wrong answer, they were "bucked off" the horse. At 15:03, there is a really special moment! A clown comes in with peanuts for the kids, which seems to catch Bob off guard as he says "Who you?" and then, recovers after a second or two and says thanks "Robbie". This is most likely the first time assistant stage manager Robert "Bob" Keeshan (Clarabell) had ever worn anything other than street clothes on the set while handing things to Bob Smith. Before the Clarabell costume, it is known that Director Roger Muir had gone to NBC's wardrobe department for something to dress Keeshan in, and this classic operatic style clown suit was probably thier first try. Many thanks agian to Burt Dubrow for letting us see this rare and historic clip from his collection. I hope you enjoyed this very special few moments with the original Howdy on this, the 69th Anniversay of what would later become America's first daily televison program, and the world's first daily color television program. It was also the first program to log over 1,000 episodes. Since this is the only place to see this video, please share it! -Bobby Ellerbee

Posted by Eyesofageneration.com on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Thanks to Burt Dubrow, America’s top Howdy expert, WE ARE ABOUT TO SEE SOMETHING MOST HAVE NEVER SEEN…THE ORIGIANL HOWDY PUPPET ON ONE OF THE EARLIEST SHOWS RECORDED!

This kinescope is only 21 minutes long, and most likely was done as a test of the new kinescope system introduced by RCA and Kodak in September 1947. Sometime in April of 1948, the month this was shot, three new RCA TK30 cameras replaced the three big silver RCA A500 Iconoscope cameras in Studio 3H where this was done. This could either be one of the last Iconoscope shows or one of the first Image Orthicon shows. Given the many dub generations this is away from the original, it is hard to tell what cameras may have been in use, but it looks like Iconoscope to me, as the TK30 was more crisp.

The actual date of this show is not known, but is most likely from Tuesday, April 6, 1948, which would be the first Tueday show after the birth of David Eisenhower on March 31, who’s birth is featured in the newsreel. The baseball score is from a spring training game as the regualar season did not start until April 20.

At this link, you will find the “Early History Of Howdy Doody”, that Burt Dubrow helped me write a couple of years ago, and it is packed with information you will not find anywhere else.

http://eyesofageneration.com/the-early-history-howdy-doody-televisions-first-hit-show/

A few notes to help you “see” the history in this. (1) When the show started, it ran only on Saturday afternoon from 5 till 6, but after about 6 weeks, the show began a Tuesday-Thrusday-Saturday schedule from 5 till 6. On the 11th show, Howdy announced he was going to run for President of the Kids of the USA. (2) The show was origianlly called, “Puppet Playhouse” featuring Frank Paris’ “Toby At The Circus” puppet troupe, and on the first show, which Bob Smith was the host and MC for, there was no Howdy puppet, as there was no time to make him, but Howdy was heard! He was in a desk drawer and to bashful to come out.

I mention these points because the first thing I noticed was the opeining title is now “Howdy Doody Time”, which is finally proof that the name changed long before many other sources say it did. It probably happend when the show went to 3 days a week, which would be about the second or third week of February 1948…possibly February 10th or 17th. Also, the Howdy for President banner is up. By the way, this would be the first show of the day, as only a test pattern preceeded the show, and when it eneded at 6, there was not another show until 7:15, so there was another hour and fifteen minuets of test pattern.

When the show starts, notice not only the look of the first Howdy (built by Frank Pairs), but also how different the voice Bob uses for Howdy is. Remember, the voice was developed for the original “Tripple B Ranch” radio character named Elmer, who became Howdy Doody after the kids started calling him that becuase of his greeting of “Well, howdy doody everybody”.

Notice also that the kids are seated in a way that they can only see Bob and Howdy on the monitors, and not at the desk…since Bob was not a ventriloquist, he moved is lips when he voiced Howdy, so it was best to hide that as much as possible. That kind of set up, with his back to the kids when Howdy was talking, continued for the life of the show.

At 13:45, when they go to what would later become the “peanut gallery” the kids are sitting on two, four seat “horses” which were brought over from the place Howdy was born, “The Tripple B Ranch” radio show. It was a kids quiz show and the contestants sat on these glorified sawhorses…when one of the kids got a wrong answer, they were “bucked off” the horse.

At 15:03, there is a really special moment! A clown comes in with peanuts for the kids, which seems to catch Bob off guard as he says “Who you?” and then, recovers after a second or two and says thanks “Robbie”. This is most likely the first time assistant stage manager Robert “Bob” Keeshan (Clarabell) had ever worn anything other than street clothes on the set while handing things to Bob Smith. Before the Clarabell costume, it is known that Director Roger Muir had gone to NBC’s wardrobe department for something to dress Keeshan in, and this classic operatic style clown suit was probably thier first try.

Many thanks agian to Burt Dubrow for letting us see this rare and historic clip from his collection. I hope you enjoyed this very special few moments with the original Howdy on this, the 69th Anniversay of what would later become America’s first daily televison program, and the world’s first daily color television program. It was also the first program to log over 1,000 episodes. Since this is the only place to see this video, please share it! -Bobby Ellerbee

Source

The Early History of Howdy Doody…Television’s First Hit Show

If you’ve never seen this image, you are missing a key part of the early TV history, and just added to this…the earliest known kinescope video of the show from April 6, 1948  “The Howdy Doody Show” was network television’s first daily show, and later, the first daily color show. With the help of Howdy expert Burt Dubrow, I have attempted to fill in some hard to find history, for a better understanding of just what a pacesetter this show was…even in advertising.  -Bobby Ellerbee

howdy122816

RCA Red Book, “The History”…Holy Grail Of Early Color Television History, Part 2 of 2

In 1953, RCA submitted 700 pages of documentation to the FCC as a “Petition For Approval of Color Standards for RCA Color Television System”.  Due to the bright red cover, it is generally referred to as The Red Book, and every detail you could possibly want to know about RCA’s color system is included.  I have extracted two segments of the original to make it easier to get to the information that we are most interested in…the equipment and the history.

This is The History part, with 89 pages of detail that will captivate you for hours! In essence, there are three phases of color development, once the process left the RCA Lab…The Washington Field Test, The New York Field Test in NBC Studio 3H, and The New York Field Test at The Colonial Theater. This is the most detailed description of these test, and locations ever set to paper. There are many rare photos included here too!  Presentation of this rare document would not be possible without the help of our friend David Gleason and his one of a kind resource site, http://www.americanradiohistory.com/  The full 700 page presentation is at this link  http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Catalogs/RCA/RCA-FCC-Color-Proposal-1953.pdf

rca514-602

 

RCA Color Television…Best Color History Primer Ever!

From the David Sarnoff introduction to the history highlights at the end, this is one of the best short study resources you will ever find. Every angle of the how, when and why are in this special December 1953 publication from RCA.

http://www.visions4.net/journal/wp-content/uploads/Sarnoff1-PDF.pdf

AT&T Book…Connecting The Continent For Radio And Television

By far, the most informative collection of information I have ever seen on early telephony and broadcasting. Without AT&T’s help, there never could have been radio, or television networks with such immediacy and reach. Until satellite communications, Ma Bell was the only way to connect, and overall, they did a great job, as did Mark Durenberger in creating this book. THANKS!

ATT-EBOOK-1

First Person Oral History

This is an ongoing project, and from time to time, we will add audio interviews to this list, but here are the first of the series with a short, one line bio on each but their full story is in these hour long sessions. Enjoy!

1. George Sunga: Producer of Smothers Brothers, All In The Family, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Three’s Company and the first Production Director at CBS Television City. He handled all the Edward R. Murrow’s Person To Person live interviews from the west coast.

2 .Lou Bazin: His entire carrier as one of RCA’s top broadcast engineers includes development of the TK44-45-46, TK76, TKP 45 and much more

3.. Don Kennedy: As “Officer Don”, he was one of the nation’s top kid show host, as Don Kennedy he was an owner/operator of TV and Radio stations

4. Arch Luther: Chief Engineer of RCA’s Commercial Communications Systems Division and later, Vice President of Engineering for the RCA Broadcast Division

5. Jay Ballard: One of Television’s most respected engineering historians. Veteran NBC and ABC Labs, engineer extraordinaire and former associate of NBC/RCA engineering legend Fred Himelfarb.

Total Color Camera Sales, USA, 1954-1982, RCA & All Other Brands

Total Color Camera Count for USA 1954-1982 from RCA, and 1964-1981 including all major brands

Thanks to our friend Lytle Hoover at Old Radio.com who has single-handedly collected volumes of information from the historic documents he has collected, we have for a few years now, had for a pretty good idea of how many RCA color cameras were sold in the US, and it’s all because of Lytle’s hard work on the charts below.

However, Lytle (below left, with Soupy Sales), has outdone himself. Under the RCA charts is a brand new creation that shows the total number of broadcast quality (High Performance) color cameras from all major brands that were sold in the US from the mid 1960s till the early 1980s.

Aside from the number of cameras sold, this chart is uniquely handy in determining when specific camera models were made, because there is rarely any dates of manufacture for these cameras available! The list includes Philips Norelco, Ikegami, Marconi, GE and more. Again, thank you, Lytle!

Here is a little background on Mr. Hoover: After directing television for 12 years (which included a long period working with Soupy Sales in Detroit), Lytle joined RCA’s Broadcast Equipment Division and became the Marketing Research Director from ’68 though ’82. Unfortunately, a lot of the valuable research Lytle compiled for RCA was lost…fortunately though, Lytle did have the foresight to save some of this information in his private files and has painstakingly reassembled these databases by hand. If you have for some reason not ever seen his photo history of RCA’s Broadcast line of studio, transmitter and videotape equipment, as well as the Virtual Library of cameras held by private collectors, including yours truly, please visit the “Old Radio” site.

RCA MARKET ESTIMATES OF CAMERAS SOLD

Below are four charts compiled by Lytle Hoover and show the estimated number of cameras sold by RCA over the 30 year period of 1954 to 1984, starting with the TK40 and ending with the TKP47. Unfortunately there are no figures available to date that show the 1947 – 1953 information or any black and camera sales figures.

LIVE COLOR CAMERAS SOLD IN THE US BY YEAR AND MAKER

1964-1981 Includes all major brands other than RCA; H.P. = High Performance or commercial broadcast quality

Ellerbee Classic Camera Census

This is the world’s first and only count of the remaining studio size television cameras from the Golden Age and beyond.

Over 60 years of history is represented in this survey. The sad news is, there are very few that have made it. Included in the census are the RCA, Norelco, Marconi, GE and Dumont studio size cameras, and for the first time, I’m adding the Ikegami line to the list.

Also for the first time, I am attempting to count cameras on a worldwide basis. Most cameras are in the US, but thanks to Dicky Howett in England, we have a more comprehensive count on cameras abroad. I have now included the RCA and Marconi cameras at Dicky’s Golden Age TV Recreations prop house and some others in UK museums, at the BBC, and in Australia and New Zealand.

No ENG, or shoulder-mounted cameras are included, nor are Sony or Ikegami cameras. Fortunately, two compete TK41 camera chains have been found since our last update, as have a few TK41 camera heads. A few more GE and Marconi cameras have surfaced and so have a few early RCA black and white camera heads. A large number of cameras from History For Hire have been added too. Since our last update, a few collections have been sold and a few added to. I am also happy to report that a very rare 1939 RCA Iconoscope studio camera has surfaced to join Steve McVoy’s field version of the 1939 RCA Iconoscope camera. That makes a grand total of 324 RCA cameras left.

I’m sure there are others out there, but my bet is, less than 50 more than the 459 total cameras listed here. I have tried to be as inclusive as possible and have been in touch with not only private collectors like myself, but all of the major museums and archival sources that I know of including the sources below. If there are collections or sources that you would like me to know about for inclusion in the list, please feel free to contact me.

THANK YOU ALL for Participating!  Bobby Ellerbee

SPECIAL NOTE: To see some great charts and tables that show when certain cameras were manufactured, please see in this same section (Archives), TOTAL COLOR CAMERA COUNT by Lytle Hoover.

ABBREVIATIONS:
SSM = Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History; information provided by Elliot Sivowitch (curator and “great grandfather” of all Television collectors)
MBT = Museum of Broadcast Technology in Woonsocket, R.I. (curators, Paul Beck and Tom Sprague)
MBC = Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago (curator, Bruce DuMont)
NEW = The Newseum in Washington, DC (curator, Carrie Christofferson)
VM** = Virtual Museum Page on Old Radio.com (curator, Lytle Hoover)
**For clarity, to avoid double counts, the cameras on the VM site have been included individually in the counts below
UCLA* = University of California at Los Angeles, Television Archives (curator, Dan Einstein)
*see other cameras at end
PIC = Private Collection, owner wishes to remain anonymous
ETF = Early Television Foundation, Hilliard Ohio (curator, Steve McVoy)
UN = University of Nebraska College of Jrl. and Mass Comm. Lincoln, Nebraska
HFH = History For Hire, the top prop shop for TV equipment in Los Angeles
MRT = Museum of Radio and Technology, Huntington, W. Virginia
SM = Schenectady Museum, a major repository of GE archives
HFM = Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan
MBC = Museum Of Broadcast Communications, Chicago, Illinois

tk-10a

 

 

 

RCA TK10 (left) – TK30 (right) Series:
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 TK30, The Pat Weaver NBC Camera, presented to first President of NBC TV in appreciation for his achievements in programming. See the Ellerbee Collection for more.
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 TK10, one of the original 8 bought and used at WGN in 1948
Billy Graham Museum: 1 TK30
Chuck Pharis: 1 TK10, 7 TK30
Allan Weiner*: 1 TK10, 4 TK30
Tom Long: 1 TK30
UCLA: 1 TK10, 1 TK30
SSM: 1 TK30
PIC: 1 TK10, 1 TK30
Dicky Howett: 1 TK10, 1 TK30 (England)
Steve Selinger: 1 TK30A
ETF: 3 TK30A (on loan with 1948 RCA TJ 48 remote truck from Ohio State Historical Society)
UN: 1 TK30A (serial # 24, originally owned by WOW-TV Omaha)
Julian Burke: 1 TK30
Bill Kuhar: 1 TK30 used at CBS Studio 55 in NYC
Edwardo Suarez: 1 TK10
HFH: 3 TK30, 1 TK10
Ed Sharpe: 1 TK30
VM – KFOR: 1 TK30
Total TK10 and TK30 = 38 (Running Total = 38)

 

 

 

RCA TK11- 31 Series:
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 TK11-A-1
VM – Kennedy Library: 2 TK11 from WBBM Chicago (original Kennedy-Nixon Debate cameras) with thanks to the SSM
VM – Lloyd Scott: 1 TK11
VM – WHIZ-TV: 1 TK11
VM – Sarnoff Library (Courtesy of Dave Abramson): 1 TK31
MBT: 4 TK11/31
Chuck Pharis: 8 TK11/31
Jay Ballard: 1 TK11
Allan Weiner *: 2 TK11, 4 TK31
UCLA: 1 TK11 (from KTLA, donated by Steve Dichter)
Michael Aisner: 1 TK11 (from the Chuck Pharis Collection)
UCLA: 1 TK11, 1 TK31
SSM: 1 TK 11
Julian Burke: 3 TK11s
MBC: 1 TK31 (the remaining Kennedy-Nixon debate camera that was originally gifted Northwestern University)
David Johnson Collection: 1 TK31 (complete chain)
NBC: 1 TK31 (Rockefeller Plaza display)
Ronald Purtle: 2 TK11A
ETF: 1 TK31
Jan Lowery: 1 TK 11A (purchased from Chuck Pharis)
UN: 1 TK 11/31 (serial # 1420, originally owned by KUON-TV at UN)
Jim Bragg: 1 TK11
Edwardo Suarez: 1 TK11
Bill Howard, KOCO: 1 TK 11
HFH: 3 TK11
Chuck Conrad: 1 TK11A (Serial # 1475, from KIIV Sherman TX)
Dicky Howett: 1 TK11 (England)
Ed Sharpe: 1 TK11
VM – WHIZ lobby: 1 TK11
VM – Bill Howard: 1 TK11
VM – WEWS lobby: 1 TK11
VM – Oklahoma Historical Society: 1 TK11 (from KETA)
Total TK 11/31 = 54 (Running Total = 92)

 

 

 

RCA TK14 (left) and (right) TK15:
Chuck Pharis: 2 TK15, 2 TK14
PIC: 1 TK15
Alan Weiner: 2 TK15
MBT: 1 TK14, 1 TK15
Ed Sharpe: 2 TK14
Total TK 14/15 = 12 (Running Total = 103)

 

 

 

RCA TK40 – 41 Series:
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 TK41C (from KTLA: former ‘4th sister’ to the Red Skelton TK41A cameras now at UCLA)
Ed Reitan: 1 TK40A (one of the first CBS Television City color cameras, Los Angeles)
Kris Trexler: 1 TK41C (from KSTP)
MBC: 1 TK41C (from WGN)
UCLA: 3 TK41Bs (the Red Skelton, Red-E-O Video cameras were sold to KTLA; now archived at UCLA)
David Woods/WCOV: 1 TK41C
Chuck Pharis: 1 TK40 (“1952 earliest known RCA color camera. This is a 1 of only 2 prototypes built and used for testing by NBC on sports coverage. It bridges the gap from ‘coffin cameras’ to production model. RCA/NBC later updated the viewfinder and some internals on this camera as it entered regular service at NBC Burbank when the TK40 production models arrived.)
Chuck Pharis: 5 TK41 (one with complete chain, twin of Rick Wold’s new TK41)
MBT: Jay Ballard’s 1 TK41B and 1 TK41C on permanent display
Allan Weiner *: 1 TK40, 1 TK41
Bob Ennis: 1 TK41C (from the Chuck Pharis Collection)
Steve McVoy: TK41C (no viewfinder…yet) Early Television Museum in Hilliard, Ohio
SSM: 1 TK41 (from WALB-TV, Albany, Ga.)
PIC: 1 TK41C
Axeman Army-Navy Store: 1 TK41 (on display at their Minneapolis store)
Chalina Johnson: 1 TK41C (bought from Chuck Pharis)
Leonardo Ferraz: 1 TK41C (complete chain)
Oklahoma State Museum: 1 TK40A twin of the MBT TK40A from WKY-TV, one of a pair (see MBT below)
MBT: 1 TK40A, one of a pair of the first 2 color cameras delivered to a local station WKY-TV; twin at OK State Museum
Julian Burke: 2 TK41C
Rick Wold: 1 TK41C (complete chain, twin of new Chuck Pharis TK41)
Jim Bragg: 1 TK41C
HFH: 3 TK41s from CBS
Ed Sharpe: 1 TK41C
PIC: 1 TK41C (a former director in LA has one but wishes to keep his name private)
MBC: 1 WGN TK41 on display in Chicago
Total = 36 (5 TK40s and 31 TK41s) (Running Total = 140)

 

 

 

RCA TK42 – 43 Series:
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 TK42
Julian Burke: 2 TK42, 1 TK43
Chuck Pharis: 1 TK42
Allan Weiner *: 1 TK42 , 2 TK43s
Tom Long: 1 TK42
Jay Ballard: 2 TK42s
WAVY-TV: 1 TK 42
UCLA: 2 TK42s, 1 TK 43
DC Video: 1 TK42 with chain
Ed Sharpe: 1 TK42
Total = 17 (Running Total = 157)

 

 

 

RCA TK60:
Bobby Ellerbee: 2 TK60s
VM – J.F.K. Library: 1 TK60 (from Paul Beck with thanks to the SSM)
MBT: 9 TK60s
Chuck Pharis: 5 TK60s
Jay Ballard: 1 TK60
Allan Weiner *: 1 TK60
UCLA: 2 TK60
Julian Burke: 1 TK60
DC Video: 1 TK60
SSM: 1 TK60 (at Kennedy Library)
Robert Voll: 2 TK60
Jan Lowery: 1 TK60
Bob Blauvet: 1 TK60
Brian Summers (UK): 1 TK60
Jim Bragg: 2 TK60s
HFH: 4 TK60s
Ed Sharpe: 2 TK60
James Patterson: 1 TK60 (Australia, oldtvgear.com)
Total = 38 (Running Total = 195)

 

 

 

RCA TK 44 (left) – TK45 (center)  – TK46 (right) Series:
Bobby Ellerbee: 2 TK44s, 2 TK46s
VM – Bob Meza: 1 TK44 (Bob was the last engineer at NBC Burbank to work on the 44s)
Jon Lessa: 3 TK44s
MBT: 3 TK44s, 4 TK45s
VM – WLIO-TV: 1 TK44
Chuck Pharis: 3 TK44s, 2 TK45s, 1 TK46
Jay Ballard: 3 TK44s
VM – Lytle Hoover: 1 TK44 (curator of the Virtual Museum at oldradio.com)
Ed Sharpe: 2 TK44
DC Video: 2 TK45s, 5 TK46s
PIC: 1 TK44
Ronald Purtle: 1 TK45
Jan Lowery: 1 TK44
UN: TK44B (serial # 08043; original owner WOWT-TV, Omaha)
John Bolin: 2 TK44s
Jim Bragg: 1 TK44
HFH: 4 TK44s, 2 TK45s
Joe LaRe’: 1 TK44
James Patterson: 1 TK45 (Australia, oldtvgear.com)
VM: 1 TK44, Dennis Lamb
VM: 1 TK46, Carl Bergquist
Total = 52 (Running Total = 250)

 

 

 

 

RCA TK47:
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 TK47
VM – Lytel Hoover: 2
Ed Sharpe: 3
Chuck Pharis: 2
Jay Ballard: 11
Lou Gordon: 4
Tom Long: 1 TK47C Model
MBT: 5
Jan Lowery: 1 TK47
Brian Summers (UK): 2 TK47
John Bollin: 1 TK47
Jim Bragg: 2 TK47
HFH: 4 TK47s
Jodie Peeler: 1 TK47 with chain (formerly of KCET-TV)
Total = 40 (Running Total = 290)

 

 

 

RCA 1939 Iconoscope:
MRT: 1 1939 Studio Camera, (Model MI-21081-A) Very rare field camera, recently acquired and on display.
ETF: 1 1939 Field Camera. A very rare and historic camera. Steve McVoy has had this a few years and a great page of pre 1945 cameras on his site can be seen by clicking here
Total = 2 (Running Total = 292)

End of RCA Cameras: counting 292 known, remaining RCA studio cameras.

 

 

 

Norelco PC60 – PC70:
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 PC60, 2 PC70s
NEW: 4 PC70s (CBS – Cronkite Studio cameras)
MBT: 4 PC60s, 6 PC60-70s, 4 PC70s (+ 1 PCP 70)
Chuck Pharis: 2 PC-60s, 4 PC-70s
UCLA: 1 PC 70
Allan Weiner *: 1 PC70 + 2 PCP 70s
Ed Sharpe: 3 PC70
Martin Perry: 1 PC60
HFH: 10 PC70s
DC Video: 2 PC70s with chains
Julian Burke: 1 PC70
Total = 48 (Running Total = 340)

mark-7

 

 

 

 

Marconi: Mark V – Mark VII
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 Marconi Mark IV, 1 Mark VII (Sesame Street, Tele-Tape Productions)
Guy Spiller: 2 Mark VII
Chuck Pharis: 2 Mark IV
UN: 1 Mark VII, original owner KOUN-TV at UN
Chuck Conrad: 1 Mark IV head with 3 ccus (WFAA/Dallas, Kennedy – Oswald)
James Patterson: 1 mint condition Mark IV, 1 Mark VIII, Melbourne, Australia…OldTVGear.com
Dicky Howett: 1 Mark II, 1 Mark III (see all his cameras in the Collections section)
Golden Age Television Recreations: 1 Mark ll, 10 Mark llls, 6 Mark IVs, 2 Mark Vs and 7 Mark Vllls
(this is the top UK TV prop house owned by Dicky Howett).
Special Note: In a conversation with Dicky Howett, he estimates there is 1 more Mark IV in Australia, 2 more in New Zealand and 4 more in British museums, including the BBC, for 7 more surviving Marconi cameras.

Total Mark ll is 5 worldwide Total Mark llls is 11 worldwide
Total Mark IVs is 16 worldwide Total Mark Vll is 11 worldwide
Total = 48 (Running Total = 388)

dumont

 

 

 

DUMONT:
HFM: 1930s era Iconoscope camera from WWJ TV
Alan Weiner: 4 TA-12 complete chains
Chuck Pharis: 1 124B studio camera with chain, 1 Electrocam with film camera attached
PCI: 1 studio camera
SSN: 1 studio camera chain
UN: 1 Pickup head 5098C and Viewfinder 5099B, original owner KOLN-TV, Lincoln
Chuck Conrad: 5095A IO (thought to be from WFAA / KBTV Dallas)
South Carolina State Museum: 2 studio cameras (one ex-WNOK-TV, with chain; one ex-WCSC-TV)
Total = 13 (Running Total = 401)

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General Electric:
Bobby Ellerbee: 1 PE 350, 1 PE 400
SM: 2, 1930s era Iconoscope cameras from WRGB-TV
Ronald Purtle: 1 PE 250
DC Video: 1 PE 350 with chain
Chuck Pharis: 3 PE 250, 2 PE 11 (5-lens cameras)
UN: 1 I/O camera (no model) from 1953, original owner NTV network stations, KHOL and KHGI
UN: 1 color (no model) 1967, original owner KOLN-TV
ETF: 1 PC 11 I/O model, 1 PE 250
Martin Perry: 1 PE 250, 1 PE 400, 1 PE 15 (The PE 400 may be the first color camera used in the Goodyear blimp)
Chuck Conrad: 1 4PC 121 A1 IO (KRLD Dallas TX), 1 4PC 14 A2 Videcon (SMU, Dallas) chalkhillmedia.org
Julian Burke: 1 PE 250, 1 PE 350
Eduardo Suarez: 1 PC 11B
Total GE cameras = 22 (Running total = 423)

 

Starting From Scratch…The Earliest CBS Grand Central Studios Images

Starting From Scratch, Earliest CBS Grand Central Studios Images

In the fall of 1939, CBS began work on the area they had chosen to become their premier television studio facilities. When it was all said and done, Studio 41 and 42 were created in this space you see below, in this one gigantic hall. Studio 41 was 44 x 60, and 42 was 44 x 76, and they were divided by a removable wall.

As you look, keep the round windows in mind as that is the outside wall, and the arched windows on the opposite side are above an internal hallway. When the round windows are on the right, you are looking at Studio 41 and 42, when they are on the left.

There will be more detail on the photos, but before CBS took over, this had been the offices of the Grand Central Terminal’s Federal Credit Union, that served the workers of the New York Central Railroad. A lot of television history was made here, and here is the starting point. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

The photo at the top of the page shows where the Studio 41 control room will be built. All of the railing and stairs will come down and the CR will be built in the lower opening. The small office with the many windows will remain intact as the film projection room and film will be projected directly into an Iconoscope camera suspended on a rolling track in the control room.  

Above is the Studio 42 end with another set of small offices that will be torn out to construct the control room for 42. Notice that camera lights are already here, even before construction has started on this end. As you will see soon, camera work was being done in the studio, and I think Studio 41’s control room was the first to be built and operative.

Above, we are looking from where the Studio 42 control room will be, toward the future Studio 41 control room area. Notice the outside wall is on the right, and the hallway that that access this space with doors is on the left.

Above, we are looking toward the future Studio 42 control room, from the Studio 41 control room area, with the internal hallway on the right.

Above, Studio 41 control room with light grid hangers going in.

This is the first ever sighting of electronic cameras in use at CBS. Photo is dated September 1, 1939. This is an RCA Iconoscope camera is broadcasting test images of live subjects over the newly operational transmitter at The Chrysler Building. Notice these are the same lights that we saw here a month or so before while construction on the Studio 41 CR was going on. The walls are all covered with sound proofing now too.

In the next 2 photos below, we can see a door to the hallway on the left wall, which makes this shot in Studio 41 with the CR behind the large set in the back.


Source

Gray Research Telop Machine, Television’s First Optical Projection System

Here is a rare copy of the 1953 Gray catalog with a price list at the end. This machine was able to televise opaque cards, which was the forerunner of transparent slides. It also had add on features that would allow a news type horizontal ticker scroll across the bottom of the screen (on real ticker tape) and a vertical scroll for credits. All the networks depended on them heavily for station breaks and promos, and the were also widely used at local stations.

 

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NBC’s Former Brooklyn Studios

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Blueprints of the former NBC studios in Brooklyn.

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RCA Broadcast News, January 1954

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“Color Television – What It Means To Broadcasters” is the tile of this issue, and this was the first issue ever wholly devoted to one subject. That subject is color TV, and this is a fascinating time capsule. On page 62, there is a multipage, photo-filled introduction of the RCA TK40 color camera, but all through this issue, everything color is examined, from film chains to transmission, colorplexers and much more.

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Rare Details Of RCA’s First Reseach Lab…7 Van Cortlandt Park South

On page 10 of this 1956 Radio Age, there is a short but sweet description of a “unicorn”…the rarely mentioned but very important Van Cortlandt Park lab and research center, which was RCA’s first. There, W2XBS (now WNBC) came to life, as did the first ever magnetic coil loudspeakers and much more!

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RCA Broadcast News, April 1961

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From April 1961, here is what EVERYBODY was doing with color. From networks to local stations and cameras to tape, this packed-with-pictures edition of RCA’s Broadcast News is all about color.

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RCA Broadcast News, October 1946

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RCA introduces television’s first workhorse…the TK30 Image Orthicon Camera…in a multi-page article. This was the first IO camera, the first camera with a rotatable lens turret, and the first to be mass produced. Many of these cameras were in use all the way up to the time that color finally took over in 1965. On page 20, there is another multipage article on the new RCA Microwave equipment, which was greatly improved and needed to make the TK30 images even better from the field.

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“Howdy Doody” Script, 1960

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Thanks to our good friend Gady Reinhold at the CBS Broadcast Center, here is one of the many treasures from his personal archives…a real script from The Howdy Doody Show,  Notice on the first page, C-K in the top right, which denotes a Chroma Key shot, with actors dressed in all blue, for the “invisible effect”. Enjoy this rare look at a script from the iconic children’s program.

1935: “The House That Radio Built”

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If you have ever marveled at the complexity of building a state of the art facility, like NBC’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, here is your chance to read about those well laid plans. In this rare, 1935 look at the construction and operation of NBC’s new Radio City facilities, you’ll see all the fascinating technical details, photographs and diagrams your heart could desire.

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NBC Broadcast Operations, Program Schedule Sheets, 1951-58

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-8-43-40-pmNBC broadcast schedules from 1951, 1952, 1954 and 1958. This is the best ever guide to see which studios were being used at a time when radio and TV were sharing space at 30 Rock, and looking for studio space around the city.

Here are some keys to the Abbreviations here, so you can better understand what is going on. First, the -L is for Local and -N is for Network. Studios A, B, C were live studios at NBC’s Uptown Studios at 106 Street and F was the film projection studio there. 3H, 3A, 3B, 6A, 6B, 8G and 8H are at 30 Rock. Intl = The international Theater, Cen = The Center Theater, Hud = The Hudson Theater. CHI means the show is being done at NBC in Chicago, same for Wash = Washington D.C. and PHIL = a feed from Philadelphia. Notice “Camel News Caravan”, and some others are (C & F) which means the show is live with some film inserts.

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1967: First Anniversary Of NBC’s Full-Color Schedule

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NBC heralds the first anniversary of being a full-color network, which occurred November 7, 1966.

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RCA/NBC Firsts In Television, 1923-1941

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RCA and NBC outline their early achievements in television. Notice that May 7, 1935 was the day that NBC Studio 3H at Rockefeller Plaza began it’s million dollar conversion to RCA Experimental Television Studio 3H. Read on…there is more treasure here for history buffs.

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1951: CBS Television At 20

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CBS looks back on 20 years of television innovation in this 18 page review from July 1951…smack dab in the middle of the Color War with RCA/NBC.

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1948: NBC Puts Kinescopes In Use

 

NBC announces the first use of kinescoped recording on its network, June 27, 1948.

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1950: NBC Converts Studio 8H For Television

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NBC’s announcement that the RCA Building’s largest studio would be making the switch to a new medium. This August 11, 1950 memo also mentions that Studios 3A and 3B will have finished conversion by Labor Day of 1950.

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1948: NBC Sums Up The Year

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NBC takes a look at the many big advances it made in 1948, like increasing the size of the TV network from 4 to 25 stations, introducing Kinescopes and much more.

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CBS Television City Documents

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Press releases and news articles about the construction and expansion of CBS Television City.

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CBS Color Studio 72

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A fascinating 27 page report on the CBS color facility in New York, Studio 72, from May of 1955.

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1931: Constructing NBC’s 711 Fifth Avene Radio Studios

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A look at how NBC’s radio studios at 711 Fifth Avenue were designed and constructed. Before the move to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in 1933, NBC’s called 711 Fifth Avenue home for five years, although they had custom built this location only 5 years before. While still crowded into their first office and studio location at WEAF, in the AT&T Building on 19th Street, they were making big plans, and here they are.

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Building Studios 6A And 6B

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A 1942 RCA Review look at the design and construction of NBC’s brand new, twin sixth-floor studios at Radio City. Built for radio, but planned with an eye on the future of television.

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1949: First West-East Kinescope

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A 1949 NBC press release notes the first transmission of a West Coast kinescope to the East Coast.

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