On A Related Note…1954; The Year In Color At NBC
Just a month before NBC Brooklyn Studio I went live in September of 1954, the NBC Color Caravan wrapped up a three month sojourn through the midwest and mid Atlantic states, but that was just a small part of a year brimming with color at NBC and RCA. Here are the highlights of that industrious year.
January 1, 1954: ‘The Tournament of Roses Parade’, from Pasadena was telecast in color by twenty-one stations of NBC’s first coast-to-coast color network. This colorcast also marked the first use of NBC’s new mobile color TV unit and the first West-to-East transcontinental transmission of color television.
February 16, 1954: NBC transmitted the first newscast in color… ‘The Camel News Caravan’, including the first integration of 16-mm color film into a live program.
March 4, 1954: The first shipment of RCA TK40s, and associated studio equipment was made from RCA’s plant in Camden, N.J. This was after two years of testing of the TK40 prototypes at NBC’s Colonial Theater.
March 19, 1954: The first colorcast of a boxing match from Madison Square Garden, was presented by NBC and was their first color sports event.
March 25, 1954: Production of RCA’s first commercial color TV sets, the CT 100s, equipped with a 15-inch picture tube began at Bloomington, Indiana.
June 25, 1954: NBC made the first network transmission of 35-mm color film, on ‘The Mrs. USA’ program.
July 8 – Aug. 19: NBC aired the first network color series, ‘The Marriage’, a situation comedy with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn.
July 15, 1954: RCA announced development of a new and improved 21-inch color kinescope with a picture area of 255 square inches.
September 12, 1954: NBC presented the first of its 90 minute color spectacular, ‘Satins and Spurs’. The program also inaugurated NBC’s new Brooklyn Studio I.
September 15, 1954: RCA demonstrated its new 21-inch color picture tube and a simplified color TV receiver.
Oct. 14 – Dec. 30: ‘The Ford Theatre’ was the first network sponsored TV color film series to be presented on a regular basis.
November 28,1954: First two-hour color production of a Shakespeare play, “Macbeth” on ‘Hallmark Hall of Fame’.
December 1, 1954: RCA began commercial production of color TV sets with a new 21-inch picture tube.
Presented with thanks to Ed Reitan and Novia.net for the detials and all his many contributions to the perservation of television history and his archival efforts, which are many. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee