This month’s spotlight is about a television series from 1941. That’s right, 1941. Fashion Discoveries in Television premiered more than 73 years ago and aired for just three weeks on one station: WNBT, the NBC station in New York City.
WNBT was the only station in the country ready to start commercial broadcasting on July 1st, 1941. A few months later, on September 18th, Fashion Discoveries in Television premiered with its first half-hour episode. Although the original contract between WNBT and advertising agency Norman D. Waters & Associates called for 13 episodes, the agency pulled the series after three weeks.
There’s a lot more information available about the series than you might think. A fairly lengthy review of the premiere episode appeared in The New York Times and Norman D. Waters spoke at length with Broadcasting about why the series was pulled.
Of course, the series was broadcast long before the kinescope process for recording live television was introduced, so the episodes are lost to time. It is possible (but highly unlikely) that audio recordings are out there somewhere.
Read the full spotlight here.