This facilities request was found in a 2” videotape box as this program, featuring the renowned architect/inventor Buckminster Fuller, was being dubbed in 2010 to a modern tape format.

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It is rare to come across such a document. It denotes that the show was taped 47 years ago at Stearns Hall at the Museum of Science. This was one of the temporary homes to WGBH television productions after the 1961 fire and during the time the Allston facility was being built.

It appears that 2 VTRs were utilized: one as a master, the other a backup. It is likely they did this for 2 reasons. One is machine failure, the other is tape failure.

Notice this: “After recording, do NET evaluation. If master is good, then wipe the backup. If not, evaluate backup….” The tapes would be technically evaluated before delivery to the National Educational Television Network, for video dropouts and other servo/mechanical discrepancies, specific to the state of the art video recording equipment of that time. One or the other of the tapes were erased for later use.

This document provides a glimpse into production life at an extraordinary time in WGBH history.

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Don Hallock

Well, I can add to Joe Pugliesi’s find, which, as he observes, is truly noteworthy (at least for me). I have thought many times of the Buckminster Fuller series, which comprised three one hour programs, and is a high spot among my memories. Joe is right; the shows were taped at the Museum of Science, and as the facilities request shows, it was recorded on two machines simultaneously, for the reasons he details. This was an indication of the importance placed on the production, on the fact that we were actually to have Bucky in the studio in a one-off… Read more »

Steve Gilford

Seeing the 1963 facilities request form that was recovered from the Buckminster Fuller tape box reminded me of when they were introduced. I believe there were eight copies, each page of the carbon backed form was a different color, blue, green, canary etc. This was t help with the distribution of the information so that appropriate departments would know what was going on, studio call times, number of cameras needed, recordist’ s information and so on. Since these were new forms, it was necessary to let the staff know about them and so careful Xerox copies were made of each… Read more »

Fred Barzyk

Great stuff Steve. More and more. Can you alert Hallock about the posting????

Jay Collier

Read Steve’s account of this taping session at: