KSTP-TV Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota

40 years later in Los Angeles....2002
(before undergoing cosmetic restoration)

The mid-1950's were great years to be a kid. America was at peace and becoming prosperous and carefree. Detroit was creating outlandishly styled automobiles with new gadgets like pushubtton transmissions and air conditioning. And television was fast replacing radio as the primary choice for home entertainment.

As I a child, I was fascinated with TV. Our family had other financial priorities in the 50's, and an expensive color TV was not on Dad's shopping list. I vividly recall riding my bicycle as fast as I could to get to the nearby Sears store on Saturday morning just in time to see the beautiful NBC Peacock at the beginning of "The Howdy Doody Show" on a Sears "Silvertone" color TV (made for Sears by RCA).

My childhood fascination with television production reached a fever pitch when my Mom arranged a tour of the NBC affiliate in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas in 1964. Seeing the huge TV Tape (Video Tape) recorders and the other space-age equipment in KARD-TV's "Master Control Center" was overwhelming, but nothing impressed me more that day than KARD's spectacular TK-41 color television camera. The studio's black and white cameras were dwarfed by the massive but sleek TK-41 color camera. Watching the cameraman effortlessly glide the camera around the set of KARD's afternoon children's program "Major Astro" left a lasting impression that eventually led me to a long and fruitful career in broadcasting.

In July 2002, my long time dream of having my own RCA TK-41 color television camera came true.

An antique television equipment collector who had been searchinging for a TK-41 for several years eventually acquired three of these huge cameras and ran out of space to store all of them. The fellow knew that I had been searching in vain for a TK-41, and he offered me one of his cameras. I jumped at the chance and he sold me one of the TK-41C color cameras from KSTP-TV.

Luckily for me, a trade magazine published by RCA called "Broadcast News" ran a detailed article in 1962 about KSTP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul where my color camera was originally in service. Hubbard Broadcasting had heavily invested in equipping KSTP with color studio equipment, and there were many photos of my camera in action. I was fortunate to acquire a copy of the magazine to accompany my TK-41 display. Look for the link below to read the "Broadcast News" article on my website.

You may enjoy reading about my interest in color television from the earliest days in the 1950's, get information about the RCA TK-40/41 series color cameras which captured the first "Living Color" television images, and learn about the innovative television station where my camera was originally in service from 1962 until 1968.

Read the history and see more photos of my TK-41 color television camera

Visit my Color Television Home Page

Learn more about the Color Television Revolution

See videos of the original NBC peacocks and ABC and CBS color presentation logos

See photos from my boyhood tour of KARD-TV in 1964

See photos of NBC Color City Studios in Burbank, California in 1955

Take a tour of KSTP-TV in 1962 and see my TK-41 camera in service when it was new

See an RCA 2" Color Television Tape Recorder

Watch the oldest surviving color videotape...the dedication of NBC's Washington, DC color studios in 1958

Watch An Evening With Fred Astaire the oldest surviving color videotape entertainment program (October 1958)

Read the fascinating story of the restoration of "An Evening with Fred Astaire"

Watch the oldest surviving videotape recording The Edsel Show - October 1957

Want to read more about early color television? Check out these links:

Read NPR's coverage of color TV's 50th anniversary

visit the late Ed Reitan's website - a very informative site about early color TV

visit Bobby Ellerbee's fascinating and compreshensive television history website Eyes Of A Generation

visit Chuck Pharis's site to see his collection of antique TV cameras and other early broadcast equipment

visit Barry Mishkind's website to see the RCA Television Equipment Archive

visit Steve Dichter's CT-100 website to see Steve's vintage color television page

comments? send me an email

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