Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

Early Television Early Television
Early Television Early Television
Early Television Stations

W9XBK, WBKB - Chicago

W9XBK was the second electronic station on the air in Chicago, starting transmission in 1939. (the first was W9XZV Zenith Radio Corporation's experimental outlet on channel 1), W9XBK transmitted at 60-66 megacycles, then television's channel 2.  Balaban & Katz also held the experimental television licenses for W9XBT, W9XBB, and W9XPR. When the VHF frequencies were changed by the FCC, W9XBK found itself transmitting at 66-72 megacycles, the current channel 4.  W9XZV ended up on channel 2.  Late in 1943, the station would become the first commercial station in Chicago, WBKB. 

A story at Chicago Television about WBKB
An article about a 1947 program at WBKB

Howard Tuller, son of Morton Tuller, who worked at WBKB from 1946 to 1949, provided us with many documents related to the station:

1944-45 Television program scripts

The Perfect Crime - February 9, 1944
Perfect Ending - October 26, 1944
Welcome to the Walkers - April 5, 1945
Telequizicalls - May 1, 1945
Telequizicalls - May 23, 1945
Telequizicalls - May 24, 1945
Treasury Hour - May 9, 1945
Look at the News - June 8, 1945
Treasury Hour - June 13, 1945
Telequizicalls - June 21, 1945
Telequizicalls - July 12, 1945
Telequizicalls - July 26, 1945
Herkimer Wins the Red Heart - 1945
Lake Bluff Orphanage - 1945?

1946 Television program scripts

Northwestern University Football - September 28, 1946
Northwestern University Football - October 26, 1946
Northwestern University Football - November 23, 1946

Audience suveys

Audience Survey Questionaire - February 22, 1947
Audience Survey Results - February 22,1947
Audience Surveys - 1947 and 1948

Other documents

Documents related to programming
Documents related to programming operations
AMA Television Handbook
Continuity of Action in the Televising of Baseball Games
Television Remote Operations

Early Television

Broadcasting, December 1 1939

Early Television

DuMont camera, during World War Two

Early Television

Early Television

News reporter Ann Hunter pointing to a WWII map of Italy. Early example
of women as on camera news reporters.

Early Television

The Control Room. Again, notice the all-female staff. During the war it was common for women to take over jobs which previously were exclusively for men.

(Above 3 photos courtesy of Steve Dichter)

Early Television

Broadcasting, January 5 1942. The set is a General Electric HM-226

Courtesy of Steve Dichter

Early Television

1944 telecast

Early Television

A picture of the staff from the mid 40s. Two cameras can be seen; one is a DuMont (right) and the other is a homemade camera (left).

Early Television

Closeup of the homemade camera

Early Television

Closeup of the DuMont camera

Early Television

Courtesy of Cliff Benham

Another view of the homemade camera


Early Television

Timely Events, January 14 1945

Early Television

Late 40s camera