Television History - The First 75 Years
Home Pre-1935 1935-1941 World War-II 1946-1949 1950-1959 1960-2000 What's New Links FAQ Collections Index




1935-1941 Other Stuff

This section covers other television related items, such as 1939 World's Fair ephemera, and odds and ends that don't fit the established categories.

1939 New York World's Fair - The Showcase of Television


1939 RCA Building at NY Fair.JPG (41404 bytes)(41K)

The new invention of television was unveiled and displayed at the RCA Exhibition Building at the 1939 New York World's Fair.  This is an original photograph of the outside of that building.  Click here for a listing of television stations operating in the United States.


nywftv.jpg (12899 bytes)(13K)


This is an interior view of the building above, showing the 1939 RCA TRK-12s on display:


Once you had a chance to view these sets, you were given an official 'Visitor's Card' like this:

RCA Card Front.jpg (41447 bytes) (42K)   RCA Card Back.jpg (53061 bytes) (53K)


This was the souvenir booklet you were able to obtain.  There were two versions.  The earlier 1939 printing has a yellow cover.  The 'second edition' (more difficult to find today) has a baby blue cover:

1939 NBC Television Booklet Yellow Cvr.JPG (31067 bytes) (31K)  First Edition -1939                    1939 RCA-NBC TV Brochure BLUE Cover.JPG (24252 bytes) (24K)  Second Edition - 1940

General Electric Television Exhibit
1939-1940 New York World's Fair

1940 New York World's Fair - GE TV Exhibit (160K bytes) (160K) - 1940 GE exhibit brochure
(Courtesy Janice Schimmelman)


1930s NBC-RCA Studio Tour -- Prior to TV launch in 1939

1930s-NBC-Tour4.jpg (96452 bytes) (96K)
Tour pamphlet - Mentions that the tours were from 9AM to 11PM, EVERY day of the year!  Cost of tour: 50 cents + 5 cents tax.  NBC TV Studio was located at the NBC Radio City Headquarters, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, in New York.

1930s-NBC-Tour3.jpg (103152 bytes) (103K)
Close-up scan of the TV Tour details

1930s-NBC-Tour1.jpg (46334 bytes) (46K)
Details of NBC "Red" and "Blue" networks, serving 24 million American radio homes.  23,750 mile "network" of two-wire circuits connecting all of the NBC associated stations.

1930s-NBC-Tour2.jpg (49112 bytes) (49K)
Studio 8H - The World's Largest Broadcasting Studio, seating 1250 people.

Television In the Movies

1939 Television Spy.JPG (53168 bytes) (53K)
1939 Paramont Pictures - Television Spy - Lobby Card

1936 Trapped by TV.JPG (38729 bytes) (39K)
1936 - Columbia - Trapped by Television

Synopsis:  Young inventor seeks investors for his television research.  A gang of crooks attempt to wreak havoc with his credibility and commit murder in the process.  Released in 1936.  B&W.

1935 Murder by Television - Bela Lugosi  (24K bytes) (24K)
1935 - Imperial-Cameo Production - Murder by Television

Synopsis: A television inventor is murdered 'on camera' while demonstrating the device to a roomful of viewers.  The first crime scene on TV!  Bela Lugosi gives a great performance and keeps you in suspense to the end!  Released in 1935.  B&W.

1956 Story of TV by RCA.JPG (35347 bytes) (35K)
1956 - RCA - The Story of Television (A 30-minute documentary program was made but never shown to the public)

KCBS - CBS Columbia Square in 1938  (40K bytes) (40K) -- Photo courtesy Sabine Ocker

6121 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, California


Original snapshot photograph, taken shortly after the 1938 opening of the CBS Radio Studio in Hollywood, California.

Today, this location is called: Columbia Square, a CBS studio which houses that network's local affiliates: CBS-2 Television (Channel-2 in Los Angeles) and KNX News Radio (1070 AM). Both broadcast live from this site, which is not open to the public. 

Columbia Square was built in 1938 as a CBS radio studio, on the former site of the Nestor Film Company which began operations in 1911.

The first movie shot in Hollywood was "In Old California" by the Biograph company, on February 10th 1910. (My thanks to Thomas R. Bond, II for this information).