Letters to the Editor

Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

Phila­delphia Television

I was interested in the article about early television in Phila­delphia (“Pennsylvania’s First Television Station,” spring 1987) because I was the studio accompanist, sometimes eleva­tor girl and make-up girl while the station was still W3XE from 1938 to 1941. Pennsylvania Heritage is a beautiful maga­zine. My compliments to you!

Margaret Shue Young
Rockville, Md.

Author Linda Kowall, in her article “Pennsylvania’s First Television Station,” captures the altruistic motivations of our local television pioneers and innovators. I had a rush of memories taking me back to those fabled, posh KYW radio studios at 1619 Walnut Street which, nevertheless, afforded only spartan facilities to an early WPTZ-TV. When I saw some of the early WPTZ televi­sion efforts on a screen in that Walnut Street viewing room, my comments were that this was a hopeless, boring medium-toy with no real fu­ture. With that opinion, I joined the legions who dis­missed the importance and future possibilities of crystal radio sets and early talking pictures. Kowall’s resurrection of the abortive attempt to weld the two mediums together in a historic program at Philadel­phia’s huge Roosevelt Theatre is a bittersweet memory – a little more than a decade later, television caused the theatre to close its doors forever. This article has done us a service by putting our prime contempo­rary entertainment medium into a local perspective.

Irvin R. Glazer
Springfield, Pa.

Linda Kowall’s excellent article on early television stirred many old memories. The men­tion of Ernest Walling recalls a radio program he ran from a very small radio station on Chestnut Street where we dramatized capsule versions of the movie playing at the Keith Theater across the street. Dig­ging in my files I found a pho­tograph dated December 19, 1940, of an “experimental television program.” The scene is from a Eugene O’Neill one act play, Where the Cross Is Made. How we got five characters on that tiny set I don’t recall!

Leonard N. Abrams
Philadelphia, Pa.


Photographic Vision

I was introduced to your mag­azine through a friend, and enjoyed it very much. The article written by Mary H. Glazier and Scott E. Kriner (“The Vision of David H. Mel­linger,” spring 1987), who were former neighbors of mine, was most interesting to me as the Victorian house pictured was my home for seventy-two years and the photographer, David H. Mellinger, was my father.

Luella M. Mellinger
Columbia, Pa.


County Features

We enjoy very much the fea­tured county articles in each issue. Being a birthright Phila­delphian and having been raised in adjoining Delaware County, we are deeply inter­ested in articles concerning these two counties. Having been a relatively recent sub­scriber to Pennsylvania Heritage, we do not know whether or not articles concerning these two counties have been in issues prior to our original subscription two years ago.

Mildred and Dale Vallance
Havertown, Pa.

Phila­delphia County will be featured in the winter 1992 issue. Delaware County was featured in the fall 1982 issue; unfortunately, that issue is no longer available. Individuals interested in obtaining available back issues may write in care of this magazine.