Sunday, January 25, 2009

This week in Television History: The 1st Emmy Awards were presented on January 25, 1949.

The 1st Emmy Awards were presented on January 25, 1949. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences held the ceremony at the Hollywood Athletic Club located at 6525 Sunset Blvd. The first Emmy Awards only honored shows produced and aired in the Los Angeles area. The very first Emmy handed out was for Most Outstanding Television Personality and it went to 20-year-old ventriloquist Shirley Dinsdale. Dinsdale stared in the children’s show Judy Splinters that aired on KTLA. By the Way is KTLA LA’s first TV Station.

In 1955 Ed Sullivan organized a group of East Coast TV professionals and established a New York-based Television Academy. Two years later, the Los Angeles and New York groups united to form a new entity, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, with Sullivan as its first president.
"Emmy" name was origionally "Immy," after the image-orthicon camera tube, which was instrumental in the development of television. Emmy is a winged woman holding an atom. The wings represent the muse of art and the atom and its electrons the science and technology of the new medium. The statuette was designed by television engineer Louis McManus, whose wife served as its model. Because the statuette took the form of a woman the name "Immy" was feminized and became "Emmy".

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was" January 25, 1949

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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