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Mr. Science: 1957

Mr. Science: 1957

Columbus, Georgia, circa 1957. "TV classroom." Today's lesson: "What is an insect?" 4x5 inch acetate negative from the News Photo Archive. View full size.


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It's Mr. Smull

I sent this to some people who grew up in Columbus. From there it was sent to others. One lady says the man is "Mr. Smull" who taught her in 7th grade, in Columbus, the year before this photo is dated. I didn't get the name of the school.

The rest of the story?

As explained to me by my high school principal in 1972, South Carolina and other Southern states rushed to develop statewide public TV systems because they considered it a viable alternative should overwhelming numbers of whites refuse to attend racially integrated public schools. There was also a faction within state government that viewed home schooling via TV as a preferred alternative to integrated schools, period. Educators, who felt caught in the middle, just didn't know what was going to happen. It was a time of great upheaval and uncertainty in education.

The camera

appears to be an RCA TK-10 (or maybe TK-11), stalwart of studio production back in the 1950s. I taught television production at Iowa State a million years ago using two of these, castoffs from WOI-TV, the campus television station, but nevertheless the ABC affiliate for Des Moines back in the day. WRBL-AM was on 1420 kHz, 5 kw, and a big rocker in the 1960s. Somewhere around here I have a promotional window decal featuring its Confederate mascot, as described below. Today it broadcasts as the gospel music station WRCG.

Bioscope Model 60

I actually own one of these -- made for a time by a company by the same name in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The scope is set up incorrectly. The black enclosure at the left end of the arm is a lamp housing. The arm should be arranged vertically, not horizontally as in the photo, and the light would pass down through a condenser and objective lens. Below the stage of the microscope (the small black platform on which the slide is clipped) there is a movable mirror -- by angling the mirror, the resultant image could be be projected anywhere.

Here, the teacher has moved the mirror out of the way so that the image will project onto the screen beside him -- but he risks overheating the lamp housing and of course it is hard to clamp a specimen to the vertical specimen stage.

It is an interesting device, but was never more than a teaching tool. The lamp is not very powerful and the optics are pretty average. Fun at hallowe'en, though!

A Shorp mind

Or simply Shorpy for short.

Shorpy has the smartest members

Thanks Quatermass, the answer was right on the tip of my tongue - haha! I decided from the insect on the easel cards that it was a type of projector, but had no clue there was ever such a device. Collectively, there can't be much that Shorpy members don't know. Dave needs to come up with an advanced degree for some members. Perhaps something like a Doctor of Shorpyism or a Master's Degree in Shorpy Mentality.

Bioscope Model 60-A

State-of-the-art projection microscope of the day.

AV Club

Who will be first to identify this sewing machine or projector or whatever-it-is on the table?

WRBL the Rebel

This is obviously from the WRBL studios. RBL stood for "Rebel" and their mascot was a little Confederate soldier, much like the Ole Miss Rebel.

They had WRBL Radio as well, at 540-AM, which is now WDAK. Up until the early 1970's they would interrupt songs with the "rebel yell", a man screaming Yee-Haw!! at the top of his lungs. It would always catch my Canadian mother by surprise. She never understood it.

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