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Kellogg's Chorus Line: 1952

Kellogg's Chorus Line: 1952

New York, 1952. NBC's All Star Revue, hosted by Martha Raye, and its dancing cereal boxes. Photo by Charlotte Brooks for Look magazine. View full size.

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Today’s Top 5

Those pants

on the guy at top center are way slim cut for the early '50s, unless you were very up on the Mr. T look as shown in Esquire. I assume he's a dance director or something similarly fashion-conscious.

I remember those TK-11s

at the former WOI-TV studio, when it was ISU's Telecommunicative Arts Dept. Unfortunately, by the time I took TV production in summer school 10 years later, they were gonesville.

Definitely RCA pedestals

Bill--No, those are definitely RCA-badged, Houston-Fearless TD-1A camera pedestals. I worked for a San Francisco station that used identical units into the mid 1990's. They were practically indestructible.

William--Actually, the two cameras nearest the performers are TK-30's, the field version of the TK-10. The obvious difference is in the viewfinders--the TK-30 finders have top handles for easy transport. The TK-10 viewfinder at the bottom does not. I believe the electronics of the camera heads were identical. The other major difference is that the power supplies and control units for TK-10's were rack-mounted, but for the TK-30's were in much smaller, transportable cases. Many stations did that in the 1950's, so that studio equipment could be knocked down and loaded into mobile units. In this case, it makes sense because the photo appears to have been taken in one of the many theaters that NBC leased for studio space in the 1950's.

Also, I don't know when WOI-TV acquired TK-11's, but I know that they went on-air originally with DuMont cameras. I have the instruction manual from one of them. It's possible that WOI might have received used TK-11's, as by the 1960's I'm sure that parts specific to the DuMont's were hard to find.

Insidious or Not

The Old Golds had better legs.

Look alive, people.

You seem to be missing your Pep today.

My Favorite Year

With Peter O'Toole, one of my all time faves. I like to watch movies and think to myself what would I change to make it a better movie. With My Favorite Year the answer is nothing. Time to fix some Meatloaf Mindanao for tonight -- need to find a parrot.

Examining the Raisin Bran

Is that Dave Garroway?

[No. -tterrace]

Most definitely

TD-1 dollies, with RCA TK-10s mounted. I used those dollies and TK-11s when I taught studio television production at Iowa State University over a third of a century ago. It was great since the campus television station, WOI-TV, was also the Des Moines ABC affiliate. My students would leave my class and go produce that day's local edition of PM Magazine, before that show migrated to WHO-TV, as well as produce the local newscast at 10 PM.

My Favorite Year

This could have been a still from that wonderful movie. A neat 'peek behind the curtain' with Peter O'Toole.

May be a Houston Fearless dolly

Looks more like a Houston Fearless TD-1 dolly.

Channel 1

When WNBT went on the air in 1941 it was on Channel 1 until 1946, when it was assigned to Channel 4.

Vinten Dollies

I believe those are the earliest models on Vinten camera dollies to be used in the US, probably imported from the UK Vinten factory. A pleasure to use, a cameraman could easily move one in any direction including up and down as if the camera had almost no weight. He just had to apply his wrist strength to the pan and tilt bars to push or lift in the desired direction. The well balanced motion was always smooth and noiseless. One's first use of one of those dollies was kind of surreal, a very unusual experience to move a huge camera so easily.

It's hard to tell there are wheels attached, the low-riding "cattle guard" pushed cables and other obstacles out of the way. Definitely a creature of smooth floored TV studios, most motion picture studios at the time had rough plank floors that required a lot of preparation to get any kind of camera dolly movement. The current models are not too different, and you often run into 50+ year old models still in use.

Top of the Rock

WNBT was the flagship TV station of the National Broadcasting Company. It went on the air July 1, 1941, broadcasting on Channel 4 from NBC's iconic 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters. The transmitter was a mere seven blocks away atop the Empire State Building. In 1954 the call letters were changed to WRCA, reflecting the parent company and the RCA building which was what 30 Rock was known as way before the TV show aired. It became WNBC in 1960.

a salesman is an it that stinks

Tap-dancing All-Bran may seem impossibly banal to our "modern" sensibilities, but it is far less insidious than the contemporary dancing Old Gold cigarette packs (regular and king size) also polluting the ether back then -- and the product far less insalubrious as well.

[an it that stinks: e.e. cummings reference. - Dave]

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