Posts in Category: Broadcast History

Classic CBS! Dennis ‘Paddy’ McBride…From Sullivan & Gleason To Sports

Classic CBS

This is the late Dennis ‘Paddy’ McBride in command of a TK30. For many years, Dennis was one of the top cameramen for CBS. His specialty was sports and he won several Emmys for his work which included zoom lens techniques. Great photo.

Source

CLASSIC NASA! This CBS PC60 is ready for lift off.

CLASSIC NASA!

This CBS PC60 is ready for lift off. This is probably around 1967 or ’68 and we are either near the end of Gemini missions or at the start of the Apollo missions. If the top looks odd, it’s because the door on the far side of the camera is open. Notice the custom tilt head which allows the camera to shoot almost straight up. Great days these were! Thanks to John Bisney in Bethesda MD for the photo.

Source

CBS Modified RCA Cameras Into Color Cameras

Side By Side

On the left, the regular RCA TK30 monochrome camera, on the right, the CBS Field Sequential Color camera. As you can see, the color camera is a modified TK30. I’m sure that are some electronic mods, but notice the new box above the lens turret. That is the access to the red-green-blue spinning wheel that comes between the lens and the IO tube.

Source

CBS Television City: ‘Kids Say The Darnedest Things’

CBS Television City: ‘Kids Say The Darnedest Things’

This segment of the Art Linkletter House Party is the most famous of all. Linkletter interviewed schoolchildren between the ages of five and ten. During the segment’s 27-year run, Linkletter interviewed an estimated 23,000 children. The popularity of the segment led to a TV series with the same title hosted by Bill Cosby on CBS-TV from January 1998 to June 2000.

‘Art Linkletter’s House Party’ premiered on CBS television on September 1, 1952 and had become television’s longest-running daytime variety show by the time it completed its run on September 5, 1969. It ran first at 2:45 p.m. EST for only fifteen minutes, but by February 1953 it aired from 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 pm, remaining in that time slot for 15 years. It became a morning show titled The Linkletter Show from 1968 to 1969.

Source

CBS Television City: “Art Linkletter’s House Party”

CBS Television City: Art Linkletter’s House Party

Here in Studio 41, Art is doing a last minute run through on a Maytag live spot in the background. In the foreground, the children from the interview segment are made comfortable with the studio’s activity. Behind this TK11 is the ‘school days’ set for the ‘Kids Say The Darndest Things’ segment, and other sets for the sit down and kitchen segments.

Source

CBS Television City: Studio 41

CBS Television City: Studio 41

Each day on the ‘Art Linkletter House Party’, there was a segment where kids were interviewed. It was called ‘Kids Say The Darndendest Things’. That was always funny, but before the show they were always given a complete tour of the set to make them more comfortable. Here, they are looking at where some of the days Q Cards are kept.

Source

CBS Television City: Studio 33, Show prep for the lighting crew

CBS Television City: Studio 33

Show prep for the lighting crew. Off in the distance is a TK11.

Source

The Vinten Heron Crane: 1955

The Vinten Heron Crane: 1955

The Vinten Heron crane was developed for the BBC, which bought models for its London and regional studios. The biggest innovation in the crane was it’s ability to crab, thus allowing it to move freely in any directions, giving it the flexibility of a pedestal with increased height range and speed. This shot is from Radio Canada and there were a few in use at CBC and some here. I think WFAA in Dallas had one. Wonder where they all went? Anyone know of a survivor?

Source

A Rare Color Photo of CBS Television City Studio 33

A Rare Color Photo of CBS Television City Studio 33

Perhaps the most famous of the TVC studios is 33. This is the only one left that has the side wings and the built in theater seating. Here is a shot from behind the lighting directors console from around 1953.

As mentioned in the post just before this, the dynamics of production changed as with this much space, you could have horizontal production with the cameras and crew moving from side to side on stage instead of operating in a maze of set walls as was necessary in most NYC productions. I think this set is either ‘My Friend Irma’ or ‘My Favorite Husband’.

You can’t see the wings, but you can see how far the center ramp comes out into the audience. Studio 31 was originally a mirror image of 33…the only difference was that in 31, the lighting board was on the other side of the control room which we see the corner of at the far right in this photo. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

Source

Museum Of Broadcast Technology: Tape Room 2


Museum Of Broadcast Technology: Tape Room 2

In this video, we see the attempt to playback a Boston kids show tape from the ’60s. Once the tape plays, check out the action on the show…it’s great. Again, this shows my good friends Paul Beck, Jay Ballard and Mark Berman in room full of restored quad machines.

Paul Beck, Jay Ballard and Mark Berman are playing original quadruplex videotapes of the Rex Trailer’s Boomtown show !! Success !!

Source

Museum Of Broadcast Technology: Tape Room 1


Museum Of Broadcast Technology: Tape Room 1

When I began to collect cameras in 2004, Chuck Pharis introduced me to Paul Beck and Tom Sprague. Tom was just beginning to create the Museum Of Broadcast Technology in Wonsocket, RI., and with the help of Paul, Jay Ballard, Pete Fasciano (inventor of Avid) and Mark Berman, Tom has put together an unbelievable collection of television technology.

I am proud to have located about 6 of these 40+ quad machines for them and they have been a great help to me with cameras, of which they now have nearly 70.

A partial list of restored VTRs included the RCA TR-70B, TR-60, TR-600 and a revamped AMPEX VR-1000B with VR-1200 electronics. Other VTRs featured in this video are RCA TRT-2, RCA TCR-100, RCA TR-22, AMPEX VR-1200, AVR-2 and AVR-3.

Paul Beck, Mark Berman and Jay Ballard embark you on a tour of some of the working Quadruplex VTRs belonging to the Museum of Broadcast Technology located in…

Source

Is it 56 years already?

Is it 56 years already?

In this 1976 photo, Ray Dolby and other Ampex engineers are shown with a VRX 1000 borrowed from CBS for this event at Ampex headquarters. The machine came from Television City and was the first one used in the west coast. It’s first task was to record and playback on delay the Evening News with Douglas Edwards. The machine stayed in service till it was retired in 1980. I think Dolby is in the red jacket, but I’m not sure. If you know the other men in the photo, please fill us in on who they are.

Source

The RCA Kinescope Machine

The RCA Kinescope Machine

September 13, 1947 — Kodak and NBC develop ‘kinescopes’, which use special film cameras to shoot directly off a TV screen. This permits the recording and later distribution of live shows for sale, or archiving.

The Kinescope dominated TV recording for time delay in the early 1950’s. A Kinescope recorder was basically a special 16mm or 35mm film camera mounted in a large box aimed at a high quality monochrome video monitor. All things considered the Kinescope made high quality and respectable TV recordings.

The Kinescope was quite the clever device. It’s film camera ran at a speed of 24 fps. Because the TV image repeated at 60 fields interlaced (30 fps) the film had to move intermittantly between video frames and then be rock steady during exposure. The pull-down period for the film frame was during the vertical interval of less than 2ms, which was something no mechanical contraption could do at the time. Several manufacturers like RCA, Acme, General Precision, and Eastman Kodak found various ways around the problem by creating a novel shutter system that used an extra six frames of the 30 frame video signal to move the film. This action integrated the video half-images into what seemed like smooth 24fps film pictures. Of course, the kines were played back on air using film chains running at 24fps so the conversion to film was complete and seamless. Until videotape recorders made their debut, the Kinescope was the only way to transmit delayed television programs that were produced live.

Source

The Original GE Color Prototype Camera, Dot Sequential

The Original GE Color Prototype Camera

This looks a lot like the early RCA color prototypes, but I suspect it came later and was crafted from photos and demonstration broadcasts the GE engineers had seen. This appears to have an electronic viewfinder so the cameraman is finally seeing the output of the camera instead of an image from a second lens. This is probably from around 1950, give or take a few years. Although we can’t see the front, I suspect this has the old single lens like the Iconoscope cameras. Anyone know more?

Source

GE, Second Prototype Color Test, Field Sequential

GE, Second Prototype Color Test

The camera closest to us, with the operator standing, is a GE color camera prototype. The far camera is a regular B/W GE camera. This photo is from around 1956 or 57 and predates the first color camera from GE, the PC 15 shown below which came out in ’58. I think they had the interior elements worked out, but were now wondering how to style the camera body. The argument for the TK41ish look won out. In this test they were comparing the color resolution against the B/W camera resolution on B/W monitors to make sure the signal was acceptable on non color home receivers.

Source

Happy Anniversary 60 Minutes!

Happy Anniversary 60 Minutes!

On this day, September 24, 1968, Television’s longest running news magazine program premiers. The show was created and produced by Don Hewitt who started as the director of ‘Douglas Edwards With The News’ and ‘See It Now’ with Edward R. Murrow. Hewitt also produced the Kennedy – Nixon Debates and was Executive Producer of The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.

Source

Always Handy

Always Handy

Flip cards and camera alignment chats were always close at hand in the early days like in this 1949 shot from NBC. Do you know why?

Source

Ed Sullivan’s ‘Toastettes”

May 1951: Ed Sullivan’s ‘Toast Of The Town’

When the show debuted in 1948, six of June Taylor’s dancers were chosen to dance at the top of the show. They were called ‘The Toastettes’ and were on almost every show open, till it became ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1955.

Source

Who Remembers ‘Ramar Of The Jungle’?

Who Remembers ‘Ramar Of The Jungle’? I do…

I must have seen it in reruns in the late 50s as it only aired from 1952 to 1954. I think in Atlanta it was ran on Saturdays on WLWA (WXIA) against Tarzan movies on WSB. Here’s episode one.

http://free-classic-tv-shows.com/Adventure/Ramar-of-the-Jungle/1953-04-18-ep01-Evil-Trek/index.php

Source

1951: Colgate Comedy Hour…Notice turntable in the stage

1951: Colgate Comedy Hour

Great shot! Notice turntable in the stage and how big the set is. In the early days, before the studios were consolidated, all the networks had theaters they shot in all over NYC and LA. This was in The Center Theater, across from NBC. Finally, a cameraman gets to actually sit on the swing out seat on the Panoram dolly. Usually, they had to climb all over it to see into the viewfinder and get their shots.

Source

RCA Orthicon Camera, WTOP Washington

RCA Orthicon Camera, WTOP Washington

A couple of days ago, Val Ginter in NYC asked about the Orthicon cameras. I suspect they came out around 1942-43 and there were not very many as RCA knew the Image Orthicon development was coming along nicely, and would replace these once the war ended. Notice the ‘elaborate’ camera art covering the RCA branding.

Source

How Hot Is It? Pretty Hot!

How Hot Is It? Pretty Hot!

It’s not often that you see a TK11 opened up like this, but this one on the set of Art Linkletter’s House Party at Television City needs to breathe. Unlike cameras at the local stations, network cameras work for hours on end in rehearsals and in production and the heat from the tubes caused setting to drift and viewfinders to go blank.

Source

Soupy Sales: 1964 WNEW

Soupy Sales: 1964 WNEW

Even though WNEW was the old Dumont owned WABD, it’s still odd to see these old Dumont cameras in use on the ‘new’ Soupy show. The show started in Detroit at WXYZ in ’53 and began to air on ABC in 59. In ’60 Sales moved to KABC and after ABC canceled the show in ’63, he moved to WNEW where he did the show till ’66 and those 260 shows are the ones in syndication.

Source

“Ovary Soap” The Flub That Helped Mel Allen Get “The” Job

“Ovary Soap”

Believe it or not, that’s the line that helped Mel Allan become the Voice Of The Yankees. Mel’s big break came in 1939 when Garnett Marks, Arch McDonald’s partner on Yankee broadcasts, twice referred to Ivory soap, the Yankees’ sponsor at the time, as “Ovary Soap.” He was fired, and Allen was tapped to replace him. McDonald himself went back to Washington after only one season, and Allen became the Yankees’ and Giants’ lead announcer. Allen was able to do double duty for both teams because only the home games were being broadcast.

Source

Mae Questel, The voice of Betty Boop AND Olive Oyl! …

Can You Guess Who: ANSWER…Mae Questel

The voice of Betty Boop AND Olive Oyl!
Here is a VERY RARE cartoon with both Betty Boop and Popeye together. Thanks Mae for the great work! Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPUta9zOriM&feature=related

Source

AT LAST! The Lone Ranger, Unmasked…

AT LAST! The Lone Ranger, Unmasked…

If you were like me, you always wondered what Clayton Moore looked like without the famous Lone Ranger mask. Now we know.

Source

Braves Baseball On TBS…Gone But Not Forgotten

Braves Baseball On TBS…

Gone but not forgotten. In 2007, after a 32 year run on Superstation WTBS, the Atlanta Braves lost their national cable audience leaving WGN as the only super station to televise their home teams to a national audience on a regular basis. For more, and a memorable list of Braves announcers including Pete Van Wieren, Skip Carry and Ernie Johnson, click the link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braves_TBS_Baseball

Source

WGN: Chicago Sports Pioneer

WGN: Chicago

In 1960, between the Cubs and White Sox, WGN televised 120 baseball games with 8 RCA TK41s. For attendance reasons, I’m sure both teams tried not to be home at the same time, but when it happened, 4 cameras went to Cominskey Park and 4 went to Wrigley Field.

WGN Television, whose call letters are derived from the Chicago Tribune’s first slogan, “World’s Greatest Newspaper”, hit the airwaves on April 5, 1948 on Channel 9 in Chicago from its studios at Tribune Tower. Colonel Robert McCormick led the Tribune Company into the TV era, believing that “in television, we have embarked upon another of America’s adventures.”

In addition to carrying Chicago Cubs and White Sox baseball games in the 1950s, WGN-TV made its first attempts at producing entertainment series to air on the station while also distributing them to TV stations across the country. Although initially an affiliate of the DuMont and CBS television networks, WGN-TV realized it could better serve the Chicago area audience as an independent station. By 1957, WGN became one of the first local television stations to offer a full schedule of live programs in color. One year later, the station had scored many firsts, including the first televised appearance of President Truman in Chicago as well as mobile coverage of General MacArthur’s visit to the city.

In 1961, WGN-TV began broadcasting from new facilities at 2501 West Bradley Place on Chicago’s northwest side and premiered its own version of “Bozo’s Circus”, which became the most popular and successful locally produced children’s series in the history of television. Also in the 1960s, WGN expanded its “10th Hour News” newscast to a half-hour (the first Chicago TV station to do so), produced programs such as “Garfield Goose and Friends” and “Ray Rayner and His Friends,” sports telecasts that included Chicago Blackhawks hockey and Chicago Bulls basketball, and developed a vast movie library that was featured on a number of showcases such as “Family Classics.” In 1966, the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Board of Directors awarded Ward Quaal, then President of WGN Continental Broadcasting Company, the Governors’ Award “for developing the finest independent TV station in the U.S.”

Source

World’s Easiest Trivia Question

World’s Easiest Trivia Question

In this November 1954 photo we see the fist boy owner, Tommy Rettig who played Jeff Miller, and his dog _________.

In ’57 Rettig left and was replaced by Jon Provist as Timmy Martin. The show was the creation of producer Robert Maxwell and animal trainer Rudd Weatherwax and was televised from September 12, 1954, to March 24, 1973. One of the longest running dramatic series on television, the show chalked up seventeen seasons on CBS before entering first-run syndication for its final two seasons. Initially filmed in black and white, the show transitioned to colour during 1965.

Source

A Distant Memory…Remember Hudson’s Thanksgiving Parade From Detroit?

A Distant Memory

Remember the Hudson’s Thanksgiving Parade from Detroit? Did you know this started in 1924, two years before rival Macy’s parade?

The parade was first broadcast in 1931 on radio station WWJ, but came to television in 1959 and that’s the year this photo was made. It was also telecast by Detroit’s WXYZ-TV that year and was hosted by ventriloquist and puppeteer Shari Lewis and her puppet Lamb Chop and carried nationally on the ABC broadcast network.

In 1960, the CBS broadcast network began to air portions of the parade and continued to do so for the next twenty-five parades. After a brief break in the mid-1980s, CBS returned to cover the parade through 2002 as part of its All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade compilation show. After being broadcast on WWJ, later WDIV, for over twenty years, local coverage switched to WXYZ for several years in the 1980s before returning to NBC-affiliate WDIV in the mid-1990s

Source

Scroll Up