Library

Welcome to the Library. Unlike material in the Archives section, these artifacts are sourced from publications that were available to the general public. Here, you will find many articles no longer available elsewhere, that will give you an insight into the early days of television, from mechanical to electronic. This is also where you will find more information about programming and shows, and a variety of other related topics that I hope you will enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee

Saturday Night Live...The 250 Page Coffeetable Book

90-great-minutes-behind-the-scenes-saturday-night-live.jpgOver a thousand pictures that start on Day 1, tell a 40+ year story like you have never seen it! Author Alison Castle has told the SNL story like no one ever has with the help of Lorne Michaels and many cast members. This is a must read for all fans of the show, live […]Read More »

NBC: 1939 World's Fair...America's First Television Tour

The first big push to bring television to the public’s attention was mounted by RCA at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. This is a rare survivor…the 32 page tour book handed out at the RCA Pavilion, that attempts to cover many aspects of the new media. It is packed with rare photos and […]Read More »

ATT Telephone TV Skyway

A brief, but informative look at the ATT effort to span the continent with new coaxial and microwave relay systems to enable television from coast to coast.Read More »

1929: Radio Movies in Color

One of the leaders of Bell Labs had an idea of how to show the black and white movies of those days in color. This idea seems to be a lot like what we finally got in electronic color TV, with the use of mirrors and color filters.Read More »

1930: Television Gives Radio Eyes and Ears

Discussions of 1929 TV milestones like ‘color over a wire’ and other events are described, but TV had yet to prove its broadcast potential and the closed circuit possibilities are discussed here. In their wildest dreams, they never envisioned what TV has become.Read More »

1931: 3-D Television?!

And you thought 3-D television was a new thing. Ha!Read More »

1931: Tour Of CBS Experimental TV Studio, W2XAB New York

Complete with pictures and drawings, this 1931 article from Science and Mechanics takes us on a tour of CBS’s W2XAB facility in New York…one of the first experimental television stations in the U.S.Read More »

1932: David Sarnoff on "Where Television Stands Today"

“Where Television Stands Today” is an 8-page article written for Modern Mechanics by one of the most important names, and true pioneers, of broadcasting. It’s a very interesting read.Read More »

1932: First American Cathode Ray Televisor

From Everyday Science and Mechanics, a few quick notes on the state of mechanical and electronic television progress, including the lens drum and diagrams of European sets.Read More »

1933, Where Television Stands Today

Suffice it to say that TV has come a long way, but this 4 page article from Modern Mechanics published in October of 1933 is quite interesting.Read More »

1936: First Philo T. Farnsworth Interview

The true father of television as we know it shares his thoughts on the new medium’s future. This may be one of the earliest interviews with him, but even if it’s not, it’s interesting to see his thoughts in the context of the times in which he lived. Remember, the Great Depression was in full […]Read More »

1937: NBC Broadcast Test

With no sets yet available to the public, NBC did a public demonstration of a broadcast at 30 Rock. By now, London had 5,000 sets in use. There are several more stories on this and video too in the Daily Post section. Use the search feature.Read More »

1937: The Truth About Television

Now this is interesting! Here is a Modern Mechanix article from November 1937 that is complaining about TV. Not the abundance, but the lack! London had 5,000 sets in use while there were only 150 in New York. A lot of finger-pointing about why…leads us back to $$$. Yes, patents were an issue and no […]Read More »

1938: Early Television Makeup

Here are two very interesting articles with great pictures to show what it took to make people look ‘normal’ in the early years. Wow!Read More »

1938: Hand-Held Mini TV!

Again, it’s amazing how so many ‘new’ ideas are so old!Read More »

1938: Where Is Television Now?

Engineering types will love this great discussion on transmission techniques. Coaxial, long wave and more is discussed here in depth in a very good article. Also, the problems from lack of standards is talked about at length.Read More »

1939: New York TV Set Receives London Signal

When I first saw this, I was very curious how this could possibly happen with no coaxial cables or repeaters. The answer is in another article on this page: “1938, Where is TV Now?” The short answer is long-wave transmission, but read the other article for the inside scoop.  Read More »

1939: Exploding the Television Boom

Wow! This nine-page article from Mechanix Illustrated is full of pictures, but the story is the biggie. TV had a lot of problems getting off the ground and a lot of those are laid out here. Sarnoff is being pushed by the government, costs of development are explored, problems with linking the coasts, and a […]Read More »

1940: Second Philo T. Farnsworth Interview

This four-page interview found Philo at age 33 and comes four years after his first major interview above. By now, he and Mr. Sarnoff are probably well acquainted.Read More »

1946: Mechanical Color Wheels or Electronic Color?

The question of the day: the choice between the CBS color wheel (sequential field system) or the RCA electronic dot matrix.Read More »

1947 Color TV Outlook

This is one of the first articles I’ve seen that starts to move the thought process away from the mechanical “spinning color disk” (CBS) concept to a more electronic (RCA) concept.Read More »

1949: What Every Family Wants To Know About TV

This is about as good as it gets! These 11 pages from the January 1949 issue of Science Illustrated lays it all out! From how many stations and where, to where the new coaxial cables are running, picture sizes, how many sets in use and much much more.Read More »

1952: TV Goes to the Conventions

Popular Mechanics shows in detail how one of the 1952 political conventions would be televised from Chicago. These were major broadcast events, and the amount of equipment and people brought in is just amazing.Read More »

1954: Behind the Split Screens of TV

Great article on how the first coast-to-coast, split-screen telecast of the 1954 Oscar ceremony was done. Awards were handed out in New York and Los Angeles at the same time, and the full story of how it was done is all here. This should bring back a lot of memories on how much Ma Bell […]Read More »

1955: The DuMont Electronicam

A one-page article on the DuMont Electronicam and its use on Jackie Gleason’s classic program The Honeymooners. It combined television and film. .Read More »

1955: Ernie Kovacs' Special Effects

Here is a 1955 article on some of the special effects Ernie Kovacs used on his program, an early pioneer in TV magic and electronic wizardry.Read More »

1957 Projection Screen TV

The more of this old stuff we see, the more the new ideas seem “not so new”, don’t they?Read More »

1964: Watch Your Favorite Show ANY Time!

This short article in Popular Science is about the early home video tape offerings. It’s a long way from there to where we got with Beta and VHS.Read More »

The History Of The Moving Image

From the Thraumatrope to the Video Walkman, the milestones are all here, in a brilliant 24 page creation from our friends at The American Museum Of The Moving Image.Read More »

The Dawn Of Tape

An in-depth look at the development of videotape as we know it. This 24 page article is one of the best I’ve seen on the history of videotape.Read More »

NBC Chimes Documents, 1950-1978

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-8-54-17-pmVarious documents on NBC’s iconic signature sound.Read More »

"Radio Age," 1948-1950

A 290 page collection of RCA’s in-house journal of advances in mass communication technology from 1948-1950.Read More »

GE Television Broadcasting Equipment, 1944

General Electric looks to the postwar years in this 1944 catalog.Read More »

NBC Facilities Rate Book, 1959

Want to do a program at one of NBC’s facilities? Here’s how much it would have cost you back then.Read More »

1953: Televising Today's News

Behind the scenes of John Cameron Swayze’s “Camel News Caravan.”Read More »

NBC's History of Color TV

NBC looks at the development of color television in this document.Read More »

NBC's Radio City West, 1938

A selection of articles about the opening of NBC’s first purpose-built Hollywood facility, which it occupied until 1964.Read More »

1955: "Color City" On The Air Tonight

The New York Times alerts readers to the first telecast from NBC’s Burbank facility.Read More »

Expansion At NBC Burbank

An NBC press release heralds a new studio at NBC’s Burbank facility.Read More »

1953: "This Is Color TV"

TV Guide takes a look at progress in color television technology, and on the last two pages, shows us rare images inside NBC’s first color facility…The Colonial Theater and the RCA TK40 prototype cameras.Read More »

Behind The Scenes With Eddie Brinkmann

Legendary CBS stage manager Eddie Brinkmann gives a glimpse of what you didn’t see on camera. He was the Stage Manager for Ed Sullivan from Day 1, till the end, and worked on many of the biggest CBS shows of the era.Read More »

CBS Color Tests, 1951

A glimpse behind the scenes of the on-air tests of CBS’s mechanical color system.Read More »

CBS Television, November 1955

A special look at CBS Television in 1955.Read More »

Don Pardo Special Biography

A special tribute to Don Pardo’s 70-year career as the voice of countless programs.Read More »

GE Broadcast Equipment Catalog, 1951

Here’s a catalog for GE’s 1951 offerings.Read More »

NBC's Former Brooklyn Studios

Blueprints of the former NBC studios in Brooklyn.Read More »

1932 Jenkins Radiovision Catalog

Here’s a catalog for a pioneering line of early televisions.Read More »

TV Pool Coverage Of The 1948 Conventions

Press releases and documents regarding coverage of the 1948 political conventions.Read More »

The DuMont VitaScan System

An eight-page brochure for DuMont’s television system.Read More »

WGN-TV's Early History

Three pages of historic articles on the start of the iconic Chicago station.Read More »

"HOME In Review," May 1957

A magazine for viewers of NBC’s “Home” program.Read More »

NBC's "Television, 1947-1972"

A retrospective look at the medium’s first quarter-century, produced by NBC.Read More »

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