Features appear in each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage showcasing a variety of subjects from various periods and geographic locations in Pennsylvania.

No champagne corks popped at Philadel­phia’s old Philco plant on October 17, 1941, to celebrate. The achievement failed to rate even a few lines in local newspapers as reports of the increasingly grim drama unfolding in Eu­rope took chilling precedence. Like so many of the seemingly minor events that herald major changes in our way of living, America’s first commercial network telecast – the real beginnings of commercial television – went virtually unnoticed. The “network” undertaking this historic tele­cast was the National Broad­casting Company (NBC), all two stations of it: New York City’s WNBT and the new network’s first affiliate, Phila­delphia’s Philco-owned WPTZ, which had just been granted the nation’s first two commer­cial broadcasting licenses by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). That the program itself seems to have gone equally unremarked that night is hardly surprising, considering its tiny audience. A handful of WPTZ techni­cians manned the station’s control room at Philco’s C and Tioga Streets factory in North Philadelphia as WNBT’s signal beamed in from the Empire State Building. Relayed from there into the homes of Philco engineers, fleeting electron­-images of Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Or­chestra spottily materialized on the snowy screens of east­ern Pennsylvania’s fewer than one hundred sets, then traveled out, finally and irretriev­ably, into thin air….

The creators of what was then a live medium saw little reason to record their efforts for posterity and so most of the programs, much of the documentation, and too many of the memories of television’s colorful beginnings – like this ephemeral telecast – have also disappeared. Vanished with them are important pages of Pennsylvania’s broadcast his­tory.

Today, Philco is a name that evokes nostalgic images. One of America’s leading radio and television manufacturers from the late twenties through the fifties, its streamlined art deco radios and formidable televi­sion consoles – with their tiny round windows on the world – are collectors’ items now, charming relics of the nation’s first love affair with the medium. All but forgotten, however, is the extent of the Philco Corporation’s pioneer­ing technical, commercial and artistic roles at the center of the creation and development of the television industry. Still broadcasting in Philadelphia as KYW-TV (Channel 3), the station originally founded as W3XE by Philco in 1932 was not only the first television station in Pennsylvania, but the second in the entire coun­try. In many ways, its story chronicles the evolution of the television industry itself.

The evolution got off to a sputtering start. Indeed, only a remarkably gifted seer could have predicted world leader­ship in the electronics field for the Helios Electric Company in 1892 as it hesitantly emerged from the primordial sea of turn-of-the-century technologi­cal ferment, or as it struggled through a difficult childhood as the lackluster Philadelphia Storage Battery Company before introducing its Philco tradename in 1919. When, in 1928, the company finally made its big shift from storage batteries to radios, an ambi­tious young marketing genius from Pittsburgh, James Car­mine, helped Philco sell its way to the top, outstripping its competitors in just two years. It was also in 1928 that Philco began experimenting with television. Carmine again played a key role in leading the company from manufacturing to radio and television pro­gramming. After four years of testing the currents, Philco took the leap in 1932 and was granted official permission by the Federal Communications Commission to broadcast as experimental television station W3XE.

Nearly as primitive and eye­-straining as the earliest “flick­ers,” W3XE’s first programs were engineering marvels nevertheless. From the Philco factory, the station televised amateurish employee talent shows, travelogues and count­less hours of the W3XE test pattern to serve as guides for signal quality checks as com­pany engineers tinkered with the balky technology. The first real inkling of the new medi­um’s technical, educational and entertainment potential came when W3XE slowly expanded its programming to include sports and politics. Experimenting with remote broadcasts originating from outside the studio, the station telecast the first college night football game, Temple Univer­sity versus the University of Kansas, in 1939 and, the following year, inaugurated regu­lar telecasts of the University of Pennsylvania’s home games from Franklin Field. In 193 9, Philco also made an agree­ment with the forerunner of New York’s WNBT to ex­change programming, an experimental alliance that laid the basis for the creation of the NBC Television Network, with W3XE becoming the fledgling network’s first affiliate.

June 24, 1940, marked an­other major breakthrough: W3XE became the first televi­sion station to air a national political convention. Its sixty hour remote telecast from Philadelphia of the Republican National Convention that nominated Wendell Wilkie as its presidential candidate beamed from W3XE’s new mobile control room to the station’s tower in Wyndmoor. The signal was relayed to the Empire State Building, from which NBC broadcast it to New York City’s estimated one hundred and fifty television sets and on to the network’s second affiliate in Schenec­tady, New York. The capability existed to bring the sights, as well as the sounds, of political events and personalities into living rooms across the coun­try! Although immediately recognized as a significant technical triumph, acknowl­edgement of this W3XE broad­cast’s even greater potential impact on the political process would develop haltingly.

Following WNBT, W3XE was granted the nation’s sec­ond commercial broadcasting license by the FCC and changed its call letters to WPTZ in September 1941, a month before the two stations participated in the first com­mercial network telecast. Commercial status in the early years of the television indus­try, however, did not imply commercial success. Indeed, far from it! Until the early 1950s, TV programming was still experimental, potential sponsors skeptical, and the first stations’ balance sheets calculated in red. It’s from this largely unchronicled period before TV’s “golden age” that its pioneers bring the years alive with particularly fascinat­ing and unusual experiences.

“You wouldn’t believe how it was then!” recalled veteran actor-director Leonard Va­lenta, whose nearly half­-century television career has since included directing such venerable network soap op­eras as The Edge of Night, Search for Tomorrow, One Life to Live, and The Guiding Light. Spotting a notice on a Temple University bulletin board seeking volunteers for televi­sion work at the Philco plant, Valenta joined WPTZ in the fall of 1941. “I didn’t know anything about TV, but I did know I wanted to be an actor, so I went. I won the part of the narrator in Quarter Century, a blank verse play they were putting on by N. Richard Nash who went on to write The Rainmaker. During the production, I remember think­ing, ‘Hey, this is going to be a new industry someday!'”

Valenta can trace his long career in “soaps” to his star­ring role in the nation’s very first television soap opera, produced and aired by WPTZ in early 1942. Taking its cue from the mood of the times, Last Year’s Nest, written by Claire Wallis and directed by WPTZ stage manager Earnest Walling, was more socially conscious than sultry. “I guess you could describe it as early Waltons,” Valenta remem­bered. “It was a wartime drama about the trials and tribulations of a German refu­gee and the family that took him in as a kind of second son. I played the young immigrant – my name was Blackie – and the story seemed to imply that I had left Ger­many to escape from the Nazis because I was Jewish. The episodes covered everything from Blackie’s first love – tame compared with how we’d handle it today – to an episode with me being hunted by a Nazi.”

Actors and stagehands for WPTZ’s first dramatic telecasts frequently came from Phila­delphia’s lively community of little theater groups, including the Germantown Theater Guild and the Plays and Play­ers. Reflecting on the differ­ence between television acting then and now, Valenta smiled at memories of the spirited antics that characterized the early days and at the relative leisure of yesterday’s hectic pace compared with today’s breakneck production sched­ules. “I remember how the actors all complained about the impossibility of having to learn a half-hour script every week. Now, our actors rou­tinely learn the equivalent of a Broadway second lead over­night!” But in live broadcast­ing, learning the script was only half the challenge and no guarantee against disaster, he added, relating his indelible recollection of one fateful telecast of Last Year’s Nest. “The man playing my new father saw he was going to be written out of the script, so he decided to make his exit a little sooner than planned. He just didn’t show up. We all had to wing it. We made up some­thing about father being ‘ill’ and made up ways around his lines as we went along. After live television, you’re ready for anything!”

Last Year’s Nest was un­doubtedly one of the high­lights of an unusually full wartime broadcast evening such as Monday, February 23, 1942. The fifth episode of Valenta’s exploits as Blackie was followed that night by a line-up that would hardly leave today’s viewers longing for “the good old days” of early programming. Elizabeth Jane Taylor, Noted Philadelphia Coloratura Soprano, was fol­lowed by NBC network tele­casts of the Air Raid Warden Instructional Program and American Prepares; a Philadelphia Council of Defense presenta­tion of Women in Emergency Relief; a ten-minute film short, Hale America presents Director Finegan of the Crime Prevention Bureau; and See the Skies To­night by Armand Spitz of the Franklin Institute. Drawing to an early evening dose at ten o’clock with an NBC audio transmission of President Roosevelt’s Speech, WPTZ signed-off with Ernest Traub, The Philco News Analyst.

Television still had a long way to go towards acceptance, but with Americans refocusing their lives around home and family after the war, 1946 marked a turning point for the unproven medium that was soon to become the nation’s favorite home-based entertain­ment and information source. The notion seemed like an impossible dream that year as WPTZ’s commercial manager told a reporter, “There’s noth­ing wrong with television in Philadelphia that one hundred thousand receivers won’t cure overnight.” Returning war veteran Harold J. Pannepacker, who joined WPTZ in 1946, laughed as he recalled, “You’re not going to believe this, but my first job at the station was addressing postcards telling what we were going to be showing the next week to the only five hundred or so people in the Philadelphia area with television sets. Our entire week’s programming fit on a three-by-five penny postcard!” The real test of television’s commercial viability was at hand. Activity at WPTZ picked up dramatically that year as the station began expanding its programming and hired more technicians and produc­tion personnel. With a new FCC regulation about to go into effect in 1947 requiring commercial stations to air a minimum of twenty-eight hours of programming each week, the questions of how and with what to fill that much air time suddenly be­came crucial.

“We’ll wear the tires off that mobile truck,” predicted program manager Paul Knight in outlining WPTZ’s plans to rely heavily on remote telecasts relayed from the station’s traveling control room to fill the gap. “They didn’t waste much time making a camera­man out of me,” Pannepacker remembered with more than a trace of amusement. “I’ve always suspected the real reason they hired me was because I happen to be six­-foot-four, and those early cameras weighed nearly a couple of hundred pounds. Not everyone could manage them:’ Before the advent of TV minicams and miniaturized electronic equipment, going out on remotes was quite a production. Permanent cable and some equipment was left at regular broadcast sites in­cluding Franklin Field and Philadelphia’s old Shibe Park, but a crew still needed at least an hour to lug in the remain­ing gear. At times, positioning the mammoth trailer-truck housing WPTZ’s mobile con­trol room (and constructed to hold two cameramen and an announcer on the roof) was more like docking a giant tanker. “It was a little like staging an invasion,” Panne­packer laughed.

Sports accounted for most of WPTZ’s remotes and, in­deed, for a major share of early commercial program­ming. Pennsylvania’s first television commercial, for the Atlantic Richfield Company, was aired during a 1946 Penn football telecast. Pannepacker was one of the cameramen on the first Army-Navy game telecast, as well as during remote broadcasts of baseball (the Phillies and the Ath­letics), football (the Eagles), hockey (the Ramblers), college sports, boxing, bowling and, of course, wrestling. Add NBC’s Gillette Cavalcade of Sports to these Philco Sports offerings and it’s not surpris­ing that farsighted neighbor­hood tavern owners were the first to gamble on the earliest commercially available televi­sion sets which then cost the rather considerable sum of about four hundred dollars, an investment justified by the number of patrons who gath­ered to share a few drinks and the novelty.

To improve “color” on back­ground reporting for sports remotes in particular, WPTZ became the first station to install a monitor for the an­nouncer, enabling him to see what was being aired and key his commentary to the picture the home viewer was actually seeing. No extra color was required, however, for one WPTZ sports telecast that established another quite unexpected precedent. “A remote crew had gone out to Penn to set up the cameras the afternoon before a swimming meet,” Leonard Valenta re­called. “One of the cameras was accidentally left on-line and even though there was no daytime programming in those days, some viewer just happened to tune in his set­ – probably to check the test pattern – and got a real sur­prise. On the screen was a glorious wide-angle view of the whole pool with a group of men swimming and diving – naked. Another televi­sion first! Live from WPTZ­ – the first nude telecast!”

Other WPTZ remotes brought more, albeit less sen­sational, television firsts. In 1947, Valenta co-starred with Katharine Minehart in the The Taming of the Shrew, American television’s first complete Shakespearean production, broadcast live from the Ger­mantown Theater Guild.

New York’s Museum of Broadcasting recently issued a “Most Wanted” list of lost programs that made broad­casting history. High on that list was television coverage of the 1948 Democratic and Re­publican National Conven­tions, both held in Philadelphia, during which WPTZ provided the network coverage for the National Broadcasting Company. Harold Pannepacker was there, too, as one of the cam­eramen. “It was exciting to cover such an important na­tional event,” he recollected, “but I don’t think many of us in the business then had any idea that we were making a kind of history, too. We weren’t that aware yet of tele­vision’s influence. We were still wondering if anyone out there was even watching. But the politicians were quick to catch on. Truman and Dewey actually sought us out and would do anything we’d say! Their eagerness to be on cam­era,” Pannepacker reflected, “that came as a total surprise.”

Changes were taking place within the studio as well, beginning with its location. Originally crammed in a cor­ner of Philco’s C & Tioga Streets factory, and sharing the premises with a major manufacturing operation that included everything from research Jabs to the glass­blowing plant where Philco radio and TV picture tubes were made, WPTZ moved briefly to Philadelphia’s Archi­tects Building and then, in 1947, expanded to more per­manent facilities at 1619 Wal­nut Street.

As the WPTZ expansion continued, account executive Robert Jawer, another novice 1946 recruit, quickly found himself faced with the double challenge of enlisting commer­cial sponsors and developing new programming for them. Special program sponsors Atlantic Richfield and Gillette weren’t overly enthusiastic to buy air time, and Jawer’s first efforts to sell short commercial spots were often greeted with all the welcome accorded a conspicuous con-artist. “We’re pretty sure I was the first TV ad salesman in the country, and do you know who I sold my first twenty second spot to? Jawer’s Auto Supply – my dad! I think it cost him about thirty dollars.” Meanwhile, appliance dealers clamored for daytime programming, com­plaining that it was impossible to sell television sets in the afternoon with nothing on the air to demonstrate but the test pattern. To meet these grow­ing demands of potential sponsors and appliance sales­men, as well as the new FCC requirements for more pro­grams, WPTZ adopted an ambitious strategy to supple­ment its remotes with stepped-up in-studio produc­tion or, in Jawer’s words, “Live Anything!”

“I was heartless! I was cruel! I was utterly depraved! I had a lab! I had a scar! By God, I even had a black patch! I was the arch foe of…the Atom Squad! I was going to pull the switch that would blow up the world!,” Valenta chortled while reenacting a classic moment from WPTZ’s Atom Squad, quite possibly television’s first nuclear threat­-inspired thriller. “But there continued, “the switch had already been thrown! The world had already been blown up by an absent-minded stagehand, a situation that threatened to detract consider­ably from the drama. This was live. We were on the air. I had to think of something. Desper­ately fiddling with the dials, r remember ranting something like, ‘The switch has been thrown, but these dials must still be set! More power! I must have more power!’ until the Atom Squad finally ar­rived to stop me, save the world and, mercifully, end the show.”

In addition to Atom Squad, “live anything” included a growing number of dramatic and variety programs. Two that left a particularly lasting impression on station veterans were Papa Pietro’s Place, set in a neighborhood cafe serving a varied menu of pasta, one­-liners and folk wisdom, and Miss Susan with Susan Peters, an actress paralyzed in a hunt­ing accident, who starred as a young attorney working from a wheelchair. Musical acts, such as Mac McGuire and the Harmony Rangers, were a pop­ular favorite to help fill air time. WPTZ’s innovative Video Ballet series, which included a special effects production of Danse Macabre and a modern adaptation of Gaietie Pari­sienne called GI in Paris, was both a popular and artistic success. One of television’s first talk shows, WPTZ’s Pleased to Meet You, was also well received and, judging from an early trade journal, The Televiser, featured an in­triguing assortment of guests ranging from magician Harry Blackstone to “the Chinese delegate to the United Nations who told how he designed a three-hole golf course in Vati­can City during the war.”

Most viewers would have been surprised to realize the cool black and white images beginning to enliven and enlarge their world emanated from a studio which, its pio­neers recall, was very small and very, very hot.

“There was hardly any room to move and I remember more than one occasion when we’d be doing a show with the sets tumbling down around us,” Valenta said. “Bill Smith­ – who went on to Hollywood and designed the sets for Blake Edwards’ S.O.B. and Victor/Victoria – was our art director. He came up with the idea of constructing sets­-within-sets that peeled away like the layers of an onion to give us more room and make scene changes easier.”

Dealing with the intense heat wasn’t so easy. “The lights they had in there were so powerful, I’m not kidding when I say the temperature in the studio often got above one hundred degrees,” remem­bered Pannepacker. “I’ll never forget a one-hour mystery program – I think it was called Twenty Little Stars, about some diamonds hidden in a set of teeth – because I had to play it all in a heavy winter trench coat,” his friend Valenta added. “There were a couple of times when I honestly thought I was going to pass out. It was so hot, they kept a salt tablet dispenser around to help keep us from getting too dehydrated. Between the sweat and our make-up, we were a sight!”

Art director W. Craig (“Bill”) Smith conducted some of the industry’s first color tests for the tube – with garish results, Valenta recalled. “To give the most pleasing look on the black and white home screens, we had to wear yel­low make-up on our faces, black lipstick, and paint black shadows around our eyes. We got used to it, but it gave any­one who came to visit us a hell of a fright. Every day was Halloween!”

With understandable hesi­tation, the first sponsors tenta­tively came aboard. Gimbels Department Store became a television advertising pioneer in 1946 by sponsoring All Eyes On Gimbels, the first fully sponsored program series. The store quickly followed this success with long-running sponsorship of the TV Handy­man, a show that blithely muddled the distinction be­tween the program itself and the commercial by presenting Jack Creamer offering house­hold tips that all just hap­pened to call for Gimbels merchandise. Philadelphia Electric Company sponsored television’s first cooking show, TV Kitchen, with resourceful Florence Hanford who, some­times forced by the fierce studio heat to substitute un­likely ingredients during her demonstrations, became fa­mous for her melt-proof mashed potato ice cream. Pleased with the results, At­lantic Richfield also continued to sponsor sports events. The successful examples of these early advertisers and the ef­forts of Jawer and the WPTZ sales department gradually helped television turn the corner from experimental to commercial. By 1948, WPTZ proudly reported that al­though it wasn’t making a profit, half of its programming found sponsors.

Before the days of Nielsen ratings, just how many view­ers were actually “out there” watching was still anybody’s guess. The number of viewers requesting Florence Hanford’s free recipes provided the first less-than-scientific indication of WPTZ’s daytime ratings. The station’s mailing list of viewers, compiled with the cooperation of television dealers who supplied the names of their new customers, began to provide a somewhat more accurate idea of how quickly the audience was growing. From a total of about five hun­dred sets in 1946, approxi­mately one hundred and twenty-five names of new owners were being added each week by 1947.

Two years later, a measure of television’s rising popularity was suggested by increasing concern within the movie industry about its effects on box office receipts, a concern that inspired a brief and unu­sual alliance. With considera­ble fanfare in a 1949 cover story headlined, “Television From the Stage Offered Some­thing For Exhibitors to Pon­der,” a major motion picture trade journal described the cooperation of WPTZ, Phila­delphia’s Roosevelt Theater and their sponsor in promot­ing and staging a live broad­cast of WPTZ’s Telekids series from the theater’s stage as a prelude to its regularly sched­uled performance. This “Philadelphia Experiment” hoped to show that, by pooling their resources and their promo­tion, the film and television industries could both profit by stimulating audience interest in each other. The experiment stands forgotten, but it does offer historians a glimpse at what might have been.

After nearly twenty-five years of struggling, the televi­sion industry finally left the ground in the early 1950s. And WPTZ owed much of its own success to a wild, cigar-waving Hungarian and a “bunyip.”

Thanks to the post-World War II baby boom, children’s programming became a major factor in the phenomenal growth of the television indus­try after 1950. Perhaps because childhood memories are often the sharpest, many children of eastern Pennsylvania’s first television generation still fondly recall Sunday after­noons spent in front of the set with Bertie the Bunyip and his friends, Sir Guy de Guy, Nixie the Pixie, Winnie the Witch, Fussy and Gussy, and a host of fanciful creatures conceived by the imaginative Australian puppeteer, Lee Dexter. Ac­cording to Australian legend, the bunyip was the last animal created and, therefore, had to be assembled from leftover parts – the mouth of a duck­billed platypus, the ears of a kangaroo, the eyes of a deer, the nose of a possum and the fur of a collie – to which Dexter added a red nose, a polka dot tie and a gruff voice. “In Aus­tralia,” Dexter explained, “a bunyip is a kind of nasty, mischievous spirit people warn you about, but I made him a force for good.” Bertie the Bunyip quickly became one of the most popular children’s shows ever televised in Phila­delphia. Less sophisticated and savvy than today’s Mup­pets, Bertie and his friends nevertheless succeeded in wrapping lessons about peo­ple and life in an entertaining package of gentle humor.

Enter Ernie Kovacs. With Kovacs, WPTZ unwittingly gave the nation its first “televi­sion personality.” In singer­-comedienne-actress Edie Adams, a native Pennsylva­nian born in Kingston and raised in Grove City, Kovacs found a perfect television foil and a wife. Her memories of their first meeting at WPTZ are still vivid. “I saw this man sitting there with a moustache – which was un­heard of in those days – a big cigar stuck in his mouth, a hat crushed on his head and a foreign last name. All this was totally alien to my blond­-haired, blue-eyed, white-bread heritage. I was twenty-one and I took one look at him and said to myself, ‘I want one of those.'” American viewers shared her fascination.

WPTZ had no idea what it was in for when it hired Kovacs in 1950 as the world’s most unlikely host of a cooking show, Deadline for Dinner which, in Ernie’s hands, im­mediately became known as Dead Lion for Dinner. From there, the creative, totally unpredictable comedian whose motto was “Nothing in Moderation” launched the station – and early television – on a wild series of looking­-glass adventures beginning with 3 to Get Ready, It’s Time for Ernie, Ernie in Kovacsland, and Kovacs On the Corner. Tuning in to Channel 3, viewers might find Ernie hanging a card­board control panel over his chest and using his face as a picture tube as he instructed them in the use of the hori­zontal and vertical knobs, or see him fighting with a street vendor and being escorted to the studio by a policeman.

Combining his admiration for the great silent clowns Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin with his fascination for the astounding technology of television, Kovacs success­fully drew upon the past to change the existing landscape of television comedy and pro­foundly influence its future. His parodies of television programming conventions, his improvisations, his zany char­acters, his video effects and other technical innovations that later became a familiar part of Laugh-In, Saturday Night Live and SCTV all had their origins at WPTZ between 1950 and 1952, magical years when Kovacs was given free reign to do anything that came to mind. “Sometimes Ernie wrote his scripts on the way to the studio. Sometimes he’d still be in his apartment on Rittenhouse Square and he’d hear his introduction music, yell ‘Oh my God!’ and take off down Walnut Street,” Adams remembered. “He’d give us some idea of what was going on, just barely. He might call me before the show and say, ‘We’re doing a spy sketch. Bring a trenchcoat.’ But that was about as much structure as we had.” Reminiscing about those days when such things were possible, Rolland Tooke, onetime program manager for WPTZ, observed with more than a trace of regret, “The industry no longer offers such an opportunity. Kovacs was totally creative, totally fresh. If he came along today, he prob­ably wouldn’t be allowed in front of a camera.”

When Philco sold WPTZ to the Westinghouse Electric Corporation for eight and a half million dollars in 1953, television was well on its way to becoming a huge and influ­ential industry, but also a more cautious one. Much was gained, but something impor­tant was also lost: the excite­ment and the spontaneity.

Seasoned veterans, re­spected and well-paid profes­sionals in the industry they helped create, WPTZ’s broad­cast pioneers all hold espe­cially fond memories of the camaraderie and shared sense of excitement they experienced during their early years in live television. Looking back to 1941 and the naive young man who answered a notice on a university bulletin board, Leonard Valenta marveled, “We weren’t paid and we didn’t care. It was fun. I think after a year we were given a Philco portable radio. In fact, l think it was several years be­fore I did a show that actually had a sponsor. I had finally made the ‘big time,'” he laughed, “I got paid five dol­lars for playing Abraham Lincoln!” Speaking for them all, Harold Pannepacker added, “We were young peo­ple in a young business loving what we were doing.”


For Further Reading

Balderston, William. Philco: Autobiography of Progress. New York: The Newcomen Soci­ety, 1954.

Barnouw, Erik. A Tower In Babel: A History of Broadcast­ing in the United States to 1933. New York: Oxford Univer­sity Press, 1966.

____. The Golden Web: A History of Broadcasting in the United States, 1933-1953. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.

____. The Image Em­pire: A History of Broadcast­ing in the United States from 1953. New York: Oxford Univer­sity Press, 1970.

____. Tube of Plenty: The Evolution of American Television. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975.

Lichty, Lawrence, ed. American Broadcasting: A Sourcebook on the History of Radio and Television. New York: Hastings House, 1975.


Linda Kowall is a graduate of Beaver College and longtime Philadelphia area resident. A freelance writer, her articles relat­ing to her special interest in the history of photography, films and popular culture have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, American Film, Films In Re­view and numerous publications. Her article, “Siegmund Lubin, The Forgotten Filmmaker,” ap­peared in the winter l986 edition of this magazine, and “Clear As A Bell,” a Lubin documentary she scripted, recently aired on public television and nationally on the Arts & Entertainment cable net­work. Together with Joseph P. Eckhardt, she served as guest curator of the National Museum of American Jewish History’s exhibition, Peddler of Dreams: Siegmund Lubin and the Crea­tion of the Motion Picture Industry and co-authored an essay, “The Movies’ First Mogul,” for Jewish Life in Philadelphia: 1830-1940. Currently, she is researching a book on the Lubin film studios and is actively in­volved in efforts to collect and preserve early film and television history. In addition to Robert Jawer, Harold Pannepacker, Katherine Minehart, Daniel Lounsberry and Leonard Valenta, the author wishes to thank WPTZ veterans Bill Gardner, Herb Sch­warz and, especially, Andrew C. McKay for their enthusiasm and generosity in providing valuable research and priceless memories.