Sic transit gloria (1959)

WGBH was to launch a new (live, of course) science show, and was looking for an opening that was a bit more dramatic than a 35mm slide of Madame Curie. It was decided that we would place a globe over a pan of water (you can’t make this stuff up, folks) and insert some “dry ice” into the water to create great spumes of “smoke” that would swirl like clouds around the “earth.” Read more...

WGBH Timeline (1946-1978)

From “The first 24 years: A somewhat random compendium of milestones along the way”


John Lowell Jr., leaves a bequest creating free “public lectures for the benefit of the citizens of Boston.” Read more...

On-Air (1979)

From Don Hallock

Ever wondered what it takes to put on a public television or radio production? Well, here’s a glance behind the scenes (as if you needed one). It was originally prepared as a 1979 issue of the WGBH publication ON AIR. In this context, the entire tract functions, as well, as an attractive recounting of the station’s more recent production history — and many of our friends and co-workers show up here.

A certain unpredictable amount of moiré may still be observed in the original scans. Read more...

Crew Training Tape – Transcript (1962)

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series The Don Hallock Collection

From Don Hallock

This tape was shot in the temporary studio at the Boston Museum of Science. It was intended as an in-house training tool, primarily for new BU student interns. It puroprted to be a catalog of many of the most frequently perpetrated production errors portrayed in comic relief. Response at the April reunion suggested that it was at least moderately successful in the humor department.

Original sin: Title cards are off center.

Classic Theatre (1975)

From David Atwood

Here’s a great shot taken in the Temple Church Courtyard in London, 1975. The shoot was for Classic Theatre and the actor we were going to interview was Ian McKellan.

Characters in the shot left to right, John MacKnight (lighting), Karl Lorencic (video), Nat Johnson (audio), Greg Macdonald (camera), and John McKnight (tape). Joan Wilson was producing. I was directing. The camera being gently dollyed was the dreaded PCP-90, Phillps’ full broadcast color camera with a full set of headaches to match.

Studio A (1967)

From David Atwood

David Atwood (camera) and Steve Potter (dolly) shooting a 1967 production starring Lotte Lenya (Dave Davis directing). The monstrously unwieldy and notoriously unstable TK-60 camera, sporting a turret of four fixed lenses, is the last black and white model that RCA ever made.

These guys are operating the equally unwieldy (though beloved) Fearless Panoram Dolly, which was modified at the station for the 1959 series A Time to Dance. It was upgraded to a "long-tongue" version from its former "short-tongue" RUB (rather useless behemoth) status. Read more...