Link dump’s research untouched by decline effect

— If Western North Carolina was so big on Unionism, why weren’t its legislators?

— 18th century “stone” dollhouse from defunct Old Salem Toy Museum blows away auction estimate.

— I hadn’t realized that Pearl Fryar, the topiary wizard (and movie star) of Bishopville, S.C., had such extensive roots in Clinton and Durham. And he’s appearing Jan. 29 in Greenville.

— “Site of the nation’s first student lunch counter sit-ins”: Baltimore?

— Making the case for “a Rutherford Platt Hayes Day in Asheville.”

— J.B. Rhine, father of the “decline effect”?

5 thoughts on “Link dump’s research untouched by decline effect”

  1. Lew, your mentioning Dr. J. B. Rhine this morning brought back some great memories from my time at WFMY-TV.

    In the mid 1960s, long-time anchorman Lee Kinard produced a program for the “Channel 2 Reports” series called “The Sixth Sense” from Dr. Rhine’s lab at Duke. Then On February 22, 1966, in a live, hour-long “Channel 2 Reports” the station presented “The ESP Test” in cooperation with the Parapsychology Institute at Duke. This program allowed the viewer to test his or her Extra Sensory Perception. The test was conducted by Dr. Rhine and Dr. John Freeman.

    “The ESP Test” was produced by Dave Wright who passed away this past year…a creative force at WFMY for more than 40 years.

  2. What a fascinating — and ambitious — project. Jack, I know you’ve written about kinescopes before — were any ever made at WFMY? And if so did any survive?

  3. The quick answer to your question, Lew, is yes, kinescopes were made and perhaps some may still be around.

    Following the big network quiz show scandals in 1958, the major networks and local stations became very conscious of what was real and what was “showbiz.” WFMY-TV, under the direction of then General Manager Gaines Kelley, started producing documentaries in the “Channel 2 Reports” series in 1960. The programs were modeled after the popular “CBS Reports” series, which had started in ’59.

    The “Channel 2 Reports” programs were shot on 16 mm film. The film was brought back to the station, processed and edited. The edited film was then taken into the studio where the reporter would narrate the silent portions, which would then be mixed with the sound portions and any other visuals like pictures, slides, or live props and primitive graphics. That final mix would then be recorded on video tape. (WFMY-TV got its first video tape machine in 1959.) In the beginning each show was then kinescoped for various purposes…archives sometimes but more often the kinescope would be given to the person or organization that was featured in the program. Unfortunately, the video tapes were not kept because of storage limitations and costs. The video tape could be used over and over. But over the years, as the show became more popular, we started doing one a month and the kinescope process got left behind. So a very few of those kinescopes may still be in the WFMY-TV archives, and some of the organizations and individuals that were featured on the shows might still have copies. I remember in the fall of 1964 Sports Director Woody Durham produced a show about long-time Greensboro High School (now Grimsley High) Coach Bob Jamieson. The show was called “Coach Bob.” When Jamieson passed away in 1990, we borrowed his film from his family to show part of it on the news that night.

    So, kinescopes from WFMY-TV would definately be a collector’s item.

    Finally, however, there is this:
    In 1980, the late Dr. Carl Sagan, noted professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences at Cornell University wrote a book and did a PBS TV Show called “Cosmos.”

    In his book, Sagan talks about how “over the air” TV broadcasts are still traveling out into the cosmos. So if someone, sometime can figure out a way to retrive those broadcasts, TV events of the past can be seen again.

  4. Many thanks, Jack. “Yesterday’s news,” in whatever medium, doesn’t get much respect — except of course in the North Carolina Collection!

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