New KUHT Image Collection in the UH Digital Library

Behind the Scenes

Highlights of KUHT-TV digital library collection includes images and video from the early days of KUHT-TV. Located on the University of Houston campus KUHT-TV, HoustonPBS, was America’s first public television station and was one of the founding stations of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1969.

From the KUHT-TV HoustonPBS history site:

“According to plan, Channel 8 signed on the air at 5 p.m. on May 25, 1953, with a program called Its Five. Producer/director George Arms’ variety format featured a half dozen attractive college coeds who offered “down-to-earth” advice for women, including tips on make-up techniques, party-giving, flower-arranging, blouse-making, and preparing a child for a tonsillectomy. Dr. Walter William Kemmerer, named university president in 1953, had been instrumental in establishing the University of Houston. Through his efforts as vice president, the university (Houston Junior College began classes in 1927 and progressed quickly to a university in 1934) began holding formal classes in the autumn of 1934. But the student population grew more quickly than university space and personnel, and as a solution Kemmerer theorized that telecourses might facilitate reaching these students.”

Through his and John Schwarzwalder, vocalist, choral director, faculty member, and KUHF-FM manager, work the building of a television station on campus began to take shape. In April 1953 the world’s first education television station was launched in the Ezekiel Cullen Building on the campus of the University of Houston; ushering in a new era in education. The week of May25th marked the first week of full broadcasting with the official kick off (quite literally it would seem) held on June 8th, 1953. This pioneering spirit that started the station over 50 years ago continues today with the production of innovative programming and technological advances. While the station is always looking ahead it has never forgotten its challenging past. This collection of images and video are a testament to the station’s rich history.

Please enjoy these still images. In the near future selected early moving images will be available online. Visit the HoustonPBS history site to find out more about the unique past of the first public television station in the world.

Big Bird

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Posted on February 3rd, 2011 by Nicci Westbrook and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on New KUHT Image Collection in the UH Digital Library