Saturday 25 November 2023

September-October 1940

New Yorkers finally had television again at the end of October 1940. W2XBS had switched frequencies as ordered by the FCC and returned to the air after almost three months.

Oddly, the station did not resume a full schedule. NBC insisted on running tests only, so W2XBS wasn’t on every day. It was closer to once or twice a week, if newspaper reports are to be taken as accurate. One was a rally by President and Presidential candidate F.D.R. from Madison Square Garden.

There was television in New York when NBC was off the air. Sort of. RCA had what amounted to a closed circuit system at the New York World's Fair. And some amateurs set up their own station there.

In the meantime, the Los Angeles area was now without TV broadcasts as W6XAO shut down so it could change frequencies. It had been airing live programming for an hour Monday through Saturday nights, and films (and, occasionally, live discussions) during the daytime several days a week. The schedule as printed in the Pasadena Post was:

Tuesdays, 2:30—Interviews, Film.
Wednesdays, 3:00—Films.
Thursdays, 3:00—Round Table, Films.
Saturdays, 5:30—Film Discussion.

The Lee company brought in outside producers, including operators of acting schools who had wafts of students who would go on the air. No cost to Don Lee Broadcasting. Patrick Michael Cunning put together a weekly serialised version of “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn,” and another show called “Album of Memories.” Jack Stern produced original plays. Cunning kept his actors busy during the shut down by re-enacting TV broadcasts at a local theatre.

Bamberger Broadcasting, owners of WOR, was granted a license, but for a variety of reasons, it didn't begin programming until 1949.

Below are selected industry stories, as well as the two days in October when W2XBS sent out broadcasts. With nothing on the air for much of September and October 1940, there won't be much in the way of highlights.

Sunday, September 1, 1940
HARLEM BROADCASTING Co., New York, has received its charter from the New York Secretary of State to organize a negro broadcasting and television station, plans for which are now under consideration by the incorporator, Joseph Deighton Gibson, Marie Louise Gibson and Reuel M. Jordan. According to Mr. Jordan, a New York attorney, the group will survey local stations before deciding whether to seek to purchase an existing one or to apply to the FCC for a construction permit for a new one. The proposed station will not necessarily be limited to negro entertainers and sponsors, Mr. Jordan indicated. (Broadcasting, Sept. 1)

Wednesday, September 4, 1940
The first public demonstration of television in full color, successful transmission of which was announced last week by the Columbia Broadcasting System, was held yesterday [4] for representatives of the press in the studio’s fifth-floor experimental laboratories at 485 Madison Avenue. It developed that, contrary to the earlier impression, the color technique is still inapplicable for picking up original or live broadcasts. Yesterday’s experiment was in scanning a sixteen-millimeter Kodachrome motion-picture film.
The color telecast on the screen was extremely vivid and generally achieved a more life-like mixture of shades than is customary in commercial technicolor film. Color adds depth amid a more definite linear division which the indistinct images of black and white television lack.
The television in color gave striking effects in reproducing the hues of flowers. One sequence showed a field of sunflowers against a deep azure sky. Another brought out the texture of bright velvets and figured linen cloth. A third, one of the few which showed human figures in action, pictured a pretty girl in a flowered bathing suit chasing a vari-colored beachball into the surf.
Two television receiving sets were used in the demonstration. One was the regulation set, receiving a black and white image. The second was a regulation set with a color disk and recording apparatus added so that it received the same image in color. The attachment is a simple one, adding slightly to the height of the machine. It can be affixed, once the scheme is made commercially desirable, at a price which will add only 10 per cent to the original cost.
Dr. Peter C. Goldmark, inventor of the system and C. B. S. chief television engineer, was in charge of the telecasting equipment in another room of the studio. The procedure, as he explained it later, was this:
A color motion picture is run through a film scanner. Between the film and an electronic pick-up tube is a rotating disk containing red, green and blue filters in that order. Synchronized with the disk in front of the pick—up tube is a similar disk in front of the receiver tube. When the red filter is in front of the pick—up tube, the red filter is in front of the receiver tube. If there is no color disk in front of the receiver tube, as was the case with the second receiving machine used yesterday the picture appears as a black and white image.
Paul W. Kesten, vice-president of C. B. S., said that the development of the invention to encompass original broadcasts from the studio or from outside would require the manufacture of a new kind of pick up tube, the formula for which had not yet been found. He hopes to have the device ready for commercial manufacturers by January, l941 but commercial telecasting of color was farther off than that, he said. (Herald Tribune, Sept. 5)

Friday, September 13, 1940
The Don Lee television station, W6XAO, will go dark Friday night [13] for a 90-day period, while work is completed on the teletower transmitter atop Mt. Lee.
The studio announced yesterday that because of the great amount of time involved in the switch-over, it was found it advisable to shut down telecasting completely through the period of installation of new equipment. It estimates the work will require about 90 days. Headliners on the last programs this week are Bob Richards, “Huckleberry Finn” presented by the Patrick Michael Cunning Players, Hazel Hurst, Glen Kirschner and the telecasting of the fights at the Legion Stadium. (Hollywood Reporter, Sept. 11)

When the Don Lee television station, W6XAO moves into its new quarters atop Mt. Lee in Hollywoodland next December, it will launch a drive for closer motion picture studio cooperation.
Since the inception of regular daily programs about a year ago, station has striven for program assistance from the picture plants without conspicuous success. On two occasions, it is known, film executives cancelled programs arranged by their studio publicity departments, while on others, contract players who consented to appear on their own were later prohibited from so doing. (Hollywood Reporter)

Tuesday, September 17, 1940
The members of NBC’s Television Minstrels, made up from the uniformed staff, are going places (last May, we suggested you check them off as “stars of tomorrow”). Six of them went with RCA, to write, produce, direct and act in the television exhibit at the World’s Fair, three have been promoted to better jobs at NBC and one, Earl Wrightson, has been auditioned and accepted for the Metropolitan Opera’s touring company. (Daily News, Ben Gross column)

Wednesday, September 18, 1940
The Federal Communications Commission confirmed yesterday [18] that station WOR of the Mutual Broadcasting System had received a television license to operate on a frequency of 96 to 102 megacycles, according to an announcement by J. R. Poppele, the station’s chief engineer.
Mr. Poppele said the station was prepared to spend $100,000 for experimental work to supply television service to New York and the metropolitan area. Transmissions will be supplied on a schedule of two hours during the day and two hours at night. The tests will be started immediately, and service to the public should begin in six of eight months, Mr. Poppele said. Television studios will be maintained at 1440 Broadway and at the transmitter site, which will be determined after tests have been made.
WOR becomes the fourth television station in the New York area, the others being operated by the National Broadcasting Company, the Columbia Broadcasting System and the A. B. DuMont Laboratories, in Passaic, N. J. (Herald Tribune)

TELEVISION station of WOR, Newark, will be on the air within six to nine months, according to J. R. Poppele, chief engineer of WOR, who started tests to determine the transmitter site immediately upon the FCC grant of a television license to the Bamberger Broadcasting Service, operator of the station.
While it would be desirable to have the television transmitter located at 444 Madison Ave., New York, where WOR’s FM station, W2XOR, is already situated, no final decision will be made until the tests are completed, Poppele said.
Investigations are also being made of all the types of television transmission equipment available, he stated, explaining that as WOR is primarily interested in broadcasting and is not a manufacturer of equipment it is more important for the station to experiment with program techniques than to repeat the laboratory work already being carried on by RCA, General Electric, Du Mont and the other experimenters in the field. There are comprehensive plans for research, however, he added, including tests of both vertical and horizontal antennas and experiments with transmission of pictures of 441, 507, 585, 637 and 729 lines, which he hopes will produce data that will aid in developing and determining standards for the industry. A minimum of $100,000 has been set aside by WOR for the initial television operations.
The fourth television station licensed for operation in the New York metropolitan area, WOR’s television transmitter will operate on Channel No. 6 (92-102 mc.). Two hours of afternoon and two hours of evening service daily are planned for the start, Poppele said, with the time increased as rapidly as public acceptance warrants.
NBC’s Preparations
Meanwhile, NBC is beginning to test transmission with 507 lines on its new frequency, although engineers refused to set a (late for the station’s return to service on a regular basis, pointing out that there’s a lot of difference between going on the air for brief test periods and going into regular daily service and that a great deal of testing is necessary to insure continued operation once it is resumed. Work is also being done on the mobile units, replacing former camera tubes with the orthocon camera, which works on lower light intensities than were previously adequate for good image transmission.
No further progress has been reported by CBS on its color television, although the colored motion pictures televised for FCC Chairman James Lawrence Fly and for the press have also been shown to the members of the NTSC and to a delegation from the FCC. The NTSC subcommittees have held an almost continuous series of meetings, but have issued no statements.
They answer inquiries with the reply that they are merely reviewing the present stage of television development in an attempt to decide what further research is immediately necessary and as yet have nothing to announce. (Broadcasting, Oct. 1)

Friday, September 20, 1940
Although there is more talk of demolition than of construction at the World’s Fair these days, a new feature being installed in the center of the Communications Building, suggesting the possibility that some day television may be a fertile field for amateurs.
Arthur H. Lynch, managing director of the W2USA Radio Club, a non-profit group interested in the operation of the Fair’s amateur station, explained yesterday that the new unit, a glass-walled booth with television equipment inside, probably would be dedicated at the Fair next Friday.
Mr. Lynch said that for the first time, in connection with the project, television would be transmitted and also received. The images at the Fair unit will be visible to Fair goers through the walls of the booth. The other terminus of the two-way circuit will be atop the building at 220 East Forty-second Street, from which point shots of the city will be made easily.
“We are doing with television exactly what amateurs do with telegraphy and telephony,” Mr. Lynch said. He added that he had become interested in the scheme at a trade show at Chicago last June, where the apparatus—previously described in three issues of QST, the monthly publication of the American Radio Relay League—was on display.
Mr. Lynch emphasized that the equipment was not the product of any one manufacturer any more than any “ham’s” radio apparatus. It had to be assembled, piece by piece, he added, with a new RCA iconoscope, or television tube, a key factor.
He said results as good as those of commercial television were not expected, but hoped the new unit would give the public an idea of how close television was to the hobby stage—and the licensed amateur a chance to Inspect the equipment inside the booth.
So far, Mr. Lynch said, he knew of only three amateurs who had comparable units of their own. He listed them as Phil Rand, operating W1IDM of Norwalk, Conn.; Lee Waller, W2BRO at Delawanna, N. J., and Dana Griffin, W2AOE at Irvington, N. J.
The Fair booth will be in charge of William A. Meissner, known to all fellow “hams” as W2DKJ. The Forty-second Street unit will be in charge of Fred Cusick. W2HID. Mr. Lynch operates W2DKJ at Garden City and plans to have a tele vision unit one of these days.
The Fair contributed the space for the booth as well as installing the antennae and wiring. A group of six manufacturers paid other costs. It was understood the Fair planned a special ceremony for the opening of the little station. The W2USA license will expire with the Fair. (New York Times)

Saturday, September 21, 1940
The past week’s television shows at the Don Lee station, W6XAO, kept the drama students [of Jack Stern Studios] busy. Three out of the last four W6XAO telecasts included a “Jack Stern Presents” play. The first telecast was an original comedy with music, written and directed by Grace Hamilton, and featuring seven singing students, with Jack Stern at the piano. The singers were Jean Requa, Ellen Strong, Maizie Sharpe, Jill Howard, Tommy Batten and John Clark, CBS singer.
The second Stern telecast of the week was presented Tuesday [10]. This was an original play, “One Man’s Destiny,” written by Allan Grayson, and featuring Frances McLester, Patricia Peters and Tom Farrel. The third telecast was “And One Was White,” by Allan Grayson, featuring Kati Maroon, Tanya and Ed Walsh, directed by Anthony Rivers and produced under the direction of Grace Hamilton. (Hollywood Citizen-News, Sep. 21)

Sunday, September 22, 1940
As a practical application of television, the complete schedule of home football games of the University of Pennsylvania will be televised this Fall by the Philco Radio and Television Corporation.
Operating under an experimental license, Station W3XE will cover the action with cameras on platforms suspended from the south balcony of Franklin Field. Ten engineers will handle operations. Play-by-play descriptions are to be picked up from the regular sponsored broadcasts of the games.
Station W3XE is scheduled to operate on Channel No. 3 with increased power of approximately ten kilowatts by authority of the Federal Communications Commission.
Transmission will be on 525 lines, according to the announcement, “affording greater clarity and wealth of detail than previously obtained with 441 lines. Plans call for transmission of the sound and images from the field by coaxial cable to W3XP, a relay transmitter 235 feet high on the roof of Convention Hall, from where the signals are to be routed by ultra-short waves to W3XE. (New York Times)

Thursday, September 26, 1940
Work on Don Lee’s new station, atop Mt. Lee, the first station built exclusively for television, is progressing rapidly, with super-structure now erected and builders ready to begin encasement of the building and stages in a copper sheathing, the entire unit to cost about $100,000.
Plant will contain a 25 by 50 ft. swimming pool, for aquatic telecasts, and two television stages, one 60 by 100 feet, the other 25 by 45, in addition to office facilities, transmitter room, an experimental laboratory, scenery storage rooms, make-up room, and lounging rooms. Formal opening of the building will be about Jan. 1.
W6XAO, which has been telecasting since 1931, has been off the air for the past few weeks in order to hasten the move-over. (Hollywood Reporter)

Friday, September 27, 1940
A two-way television circuit, described as “an entirely new form of communication,” was operated last night between the Maritime Transportation and Communication building at the World’s Fair and station W2 USA in The News building eight miles away. The novel service, which will be continued for the duration of the Fair, operated like a wireless telephone, with the addition that images of the speakers were visible. Last night’s was the first simultaneous operation of two-way television with sound.
Thirty days remain before the Fair’s closing date, Oct. 27. (Daily News)

Monday, September 30, 1940
Proprietors of taverns and restaurants who have installed television sets for the entertainment of patrons will have to pay a license fee of $5 a month, it was learned yesterday [30] at the Department of License. There is a possibility also that persons having television in their homes will have to take out licenses for the sets unless the license law is amended. In any case, however, it is not probable that private owners would have to pay a fee for licenses.
The reason that licenses are required for television sets is that the definition of motion pictures in the license law is so broad that it can be applied to television. The definition is “a display, on a moving screen or other device, of pictures or objects in motion or rapidly changing scenery.” The only way television could be excluded, It was said at the Department of Licenses, would be for the City Council to amend the law to make a specific exemption in the case of television sets. (Herald Tribune)

Thursday, October 3, 1940
The opportunity for Americans eventually to see the dramatic or day-by-day happenings in their Capital City was inaugurated yesterday [3] with the signing of a lease for establishment of a National Broadcasting Co. television center in the Wardman Park Hotel.
The Federal Communications Commission must now approve the site—the hotel and then permit construction to begin. N. B. C. offices said that about six months will be required to complete the station, once construction work has begun.
The hotel was chosen because of its elevation and the facilities it affords.
Reasons for Choosing Capital
“We chose Washington as the site of our second experimental television station for several reasons,” said Niles Trammel], N. B. C. president. “In broadcasting, we find the Nation’s Capital to be of vital importance in our service to a Nation of listeners. It is only reasonable to assume that Washington eventually also will be an important source of interesting material for tomorrow’s Nation-wide television network.” The outlook, also, is to make Washington the originating point of a television service linking the Nation’s Capital with Philadelphia and New York, it was said. A satisfactory means of interconnection is promised by an automatic relay developed by the Radio Corporation of America, it was said.
When such relays are established, the problems of television program syndication can be experimented with. “Then it will be possible for televiewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York to see events from any of the three cities,” Trammell said.
Experimental at First
Immediately, however, the activities here will be experimental. Emphasis will be laid on the artistic and technical problems involved in televising programs of governmental and national affairs, it was said. The plan contemplates installation of a 1,000-watt station at the hotel, where the theater auditorium and stage will be used for programs. Two transmitters will be included, one to broadcast the television image, another to transmit the associated sound.
Governmental activities will be stronger relied upon for live material. Facilities will include a mobile television unit on wheels to pick up interesting activities outside the hotel studio.
The N. B. C. gave a demonstration of high-definition television in Washington in 1939. (Washington Post, Oct. 4)

Saturday, October 5, 1940
Television scored another first in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon [5] when all the action and color of the opening football game of the season at Franklin Field between the University of Pennsylvania eleven and Maryland was televised to receiving sets in many parts of the city.
It was the first time in history that a college football game had been televised and persons 54 miles away saw the game in all its detail as transmitted from Franklin Field.
Arranged by the Philco Television and Radio Corp. and the University of Pennsylvania, the television demonstration was witnessed by a group of engineers and newspapermen in the Warwick.
So clear were the images picked up on a screen about seven by nine inches that when Gene Davis, the Penn quarterback, kicked the field goal for the first score of the game, the group in the Warwick became as enthusiastic as if they were present at Franklin Field.
Two television cameras equipped with telescopic lens, installed on scaffolds suspended from the 20-yard lines on the upper tier of the South Stands, scanned the placing field, picking up two scenes of action.
The action was transmitted by wire to a control booth, also located in the upper tier of the South Stands. Here four engineers and a director viewed the scenes on two television receiver. The director, acing in a capacity similar to that of a motion picture director, with a microphone and headphones, looked at both pictures, and then decided which was the most important to put on the air.
Sometimes it was necessary to bring both scenes together, because of the fast action. If the picture appeared blurred the director would tell the cameraman so, by speaking through the microphone.
From the control booth the images were transmitted to Convention Hall about 1800 yards away, where they were transmitted by radio to a receiving set at the Philco plant, located at C and Ontario sts. There the television pictures were rebroadcast on Philco’s regular experimental transmitter W3XE, and picked up on receivers in this city and as far away as Redding, Pa. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 5)

Philadelphia. Oct. 15.
Football game between University of Pennsylvania and the Universty of Maryland at Franklin Field was televised by Philco over its experimental transmitter W3XE recently. Demonstration was witnessed by a group of newspapermen and engineers at the Warwick hotel.
Watching the game from the seven-by-nine screen of the tele receiver was like having a seat on the 20 yard line. The action of the entire game was easy to follow, although when the ball moved up field the watcher had to move close to the screen to get a clearer view.
The game was described by Bill Slater, of Atlantic gas. This threw the watcher off as Slater was in the porth [north] stands while the television cameras were in the south. When the gabber announced the runner was going to his left, the tele screen showed him going to the right and vice versa.
The action was picked up by two television cameras equipped with telescopic lenses installed on scaffolding suspended from the upper tier of the stands, picking up two fields of action. This was transmitted by wire to a control room where four engineers and a director viewed it on two television receivers.
The director, acting in the capacity of a motion picture director, decided which gave the best picture of the action, and placed that one on the air. Switching from one camera to the other caused momentary black outs on the receiving screen.
The images were then transmitted from the control booth to Convention Hall, about 1,800 yards away, where they were sent to Philco plant in the northeastern section of the city. From here it was rebroadcast on Philco’s television transmitter to about 300 sets in the Philly area. Most of these are owned by engineers of Philco. (Variety, Oct. 16)

Thursday, October 24, 1940
Through the medium of television, New Yorkers at home will be able to look in on the Madison Square Garden scene as the Democratic and Republican parties hold their rallies next Monday and on Nov. 2, respectively according to plans announced yesterday [24] by Niles Trammell, president of the National Broadcasting Company.
President Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie will be seen in the telecasts as they address their meetings, which are regarded as the climaxes of party efforts to win the 1940 Presidential election. It is estimated by NBC representatives that the telecasts will enable more than 40,000 long-distance viewers to attend the rallies.
The majority of set owners in the metropolitan area, numbering almost 4,000, will be able to tune in the pick-ups at either No. 2 or 4 on the television dial.
Both pickups are scheduled to begin at 8:30 P. M. over Station W2XBS, atop the Empire State Building. (New York Times)

Saturday, October 26, 1940
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 26.—Philco Corporation, planning ambitious schedule of experimental television programs this season for its W3XE station here, is sending members of its staff to New York to attend a series of 11 lectures included in the fall program to be conducted by the Home Furnishing Educational Studios. Courses, offering backgrounds in producing elaborate tele shows apart from special events, will include lectures on psychology of color, case goods, color schemes, etc.
Those planning to take the courses are L. J. Pearson, D. H. L. Jensen, R. Whipples, E. Meyer, E. Haines, O. Newson, Harmon, N. White. A. Wilson, and O. Paterson. (Billboard, Nov. 2)

Sunday, October 27, 1940
8:30 W2XBS (NBC-RCA): FilmLady Luck
(the new No. 1 television channel, 50-56 megacycles, can be located on most receivers in this area under No. 2 or No. 4 on station selector. W2XBS is still using 441 scanning lines.)

WITH a film telecast Oct. 27, NBC’s television station W2XBS, New York, returned to the air for a test series. Station had operated on a regular schedule from May 1, 1939, until the end of July this year when it went off the air to permit NBC engineers to change the station to the new band as assigned by the FCC.
Designed primarily to test the new equipment and circuits, the telecasts will be presented on “a necessarily irregular schedule”, Alfred H. Morton, NBC vice-president in charge of television, explained. “As we try out each of the different pieces of equipment, time will be required to coordinate them with other parts of the complete system. We will, however, let the televiewer know at the conclusion of each test just when the transmitter will be on the air again and what the nature of the pickup will be.”
Election Coverage
Most important telecasts scheduled were the pickups of the political rallies at Madison Square Garden in New York during the final week of the Presidential campaign, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt making the main address of the Democratic rally Oct. 28 and with Wendell L. Willkie, Republican candidate, speaking at his party’s rally Nov. 2, and program on the evening of Nov. 5, election day, in which charts and maps will be utilized to give a visual picture of the standing of the candidates as the returns come in. One of NBC’s staff of commentators, probably Baukhage, will be assigned to television for the evening and others of the network’s news analysts will talk to the television audience from time to time during the evening.
Contrary to expectation that when W2XBS returned to the air it would broadcast images with a definition of 507 lines, the test images are again telecast at 441 lines with transmission at 30 complete frames a second as formerly. It is understood that the change to 507 lines would necessitate changes in some makes of television receivers and that for this reason NBC decided to retain its former definition until after the final report of the National Television Standards Committee, which may recommend further changes. The committee, which is studying all phases of television standards hopes to have its work completed and its recommendations ready for presentation to the FCC by Jan. 1, 1941. (Broadcasting, Nov. 1)

NBC last week sent out wired invitations over Niles Trammell’s name for a studio gathering of advertisers, agency men and radio editors election night to absorb returns and refreshments. Web has set aside its largest studio, 8H, for the event, which will include television. There will also be a camera in this studio to permit television set owners to see how NBC gathers, posts and distributes the returns. (Variety, Oct. 30)

New York—Television broadcasting, dormant here since July because of the FCC’s interest in FM developments, resumed last night [27] with the telecasting of “Lady Luck,” feature length film produced by Chesterfield Invincible. It was the first opportunity for the 4000 set-owners to turn on their equipment in three months.
NBC has also made arrangements to telecast political rallies of both parties tonight and Saturday from Madison Square Garden. No regular schedule has been prepared, but NBC will announce at the conclusion of each broadcast when the next transmission will take place. Paramount’s DuMont company [sic] went on the air last week for test periods, using still pictures and signals. CBS is still experimenting with color television and reconstructing its transmitter atop the Chrysler tower.
Experts from all television companies are now working on new basic standards of transmission, which are expected to be completed by Dec. 15 in an effort to get adoption by the FCC by the first of the year. A new receiving plan, utilizing a multiple arrangement of small, cheap cathode tubes, instead of a single, expensive tube, has been patented by Dr. Alfred Goldsmith, consulting engineer. Each small tube scans only a small section of large screen and can be made as stmply as ordinary electric light bulbs, according to the inventor. System could be used more efficiently than the present for picture theatres as well as homes, it is said. (Hollywood Reporter)

Monday, October 28, 1940
8:30 W2XBS (NBC-RCA) Democratic Rally—at Madison Square Garden; President Roosevelt.

Television as a vote-getting medium was used in a political campaign for the first time last night [28] when scenes of the Democratic party’s Presidential rally at Madison Square Garden were flashed to an estimated audience of 40,000 long-distance viewers at 4,000 sight-sound receivers in the metropolitan area. As part of the pick-up, the electric cameras were focused on President Roosevelt for the forty-five minutes he took to deliver his address.
Since television at present is experimental, by order of the Federal Communications Commission, the Democratic National Committee did not have to pay for the time. Neither will the Republican party have to pay for television facilities Saturday night when a pick-up is scheduled of the rally at the Garden with Wendell Willkie as the principal speaker.
The telecast, which went on the air at 9 o’clock, was carried over an experimental wire provided by engineers of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., to controls at Radio City. From this point the program was relayed over a coaxial cable, or television “pipe,” to Station W2XBS, the NBC transmitter atop the Empire State building, for general broadcast.
As President Roosevelt took the speakers’ stand to the ovation of the 20,000-odd in attendance, Alfred H. Morton, NBC vice-president in charge of television, pointed out at Radio City “television’s peculiar power of transmitting, not only the scene and sound of an event that is still unfolding, but also much of its inherent excitement.”
Observers were heard to remark, however, that the clarity and definition of the reproduced images did not compare with the pictures tuned in from the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, in June. Only the most well-known persons at the rally were recognizable, and faces were very hard to discern on the screen. The images were dark and “fuzzy.”
Among the other speakers seen and heard at the rally were Governor Lehman and Senators Robert F. Wagner and James M. Mead. Just before Mr. Roosevelt began speech Lucy Monroe, star of the World’s Fair’s “American Jubilee,” sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The event was covered with two television cameras. Control equipment was located in a mobile unit where the program director and control engineers watched scenes registered by the cameras, selecting the pictures according to the shift of visual Interest. (New York Times, Oct. 29)

Tuesday, October 29, 1940
Construction permit for a new 1,000-watt television station in Milwaukee, to use Channel No. 3 (66-73 mc.) was granted the Milwaukee Journal, operator of WTMJ, by the FCC Oct. 29 (Broadcasting, Nov. 1)

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