22 Comments

  1. Dan Beach on March 5, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    I have to admit to a wave of nostalgia, even though this is a set. Some wonderful toys we had then. It will be interesting to see how this new series emulates real control room and floor action.

  2. Don Hallock on February 26, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks for the compliment, Dan. You know the audio stuff better than I. If these are parts of a Julia Child set….good try, but no cigar. The pedestals are out of period with the cameras, just to mention one of the many anachronisms and inaccuracies. To be fair though, a good match for all the equipment(s) would be quite difficult these days. Movie viewers generally (unless they were surviving GBH alums) would not know the difference.

  3. John Greenfield on February 23, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Got to be a set. No ashtrays.

  4. Dan Beach on February 19, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Set for sure. Pretty accurate reproduction, including the uncomfortable stool for the audio guy who is curiously running an RCA board with a portable Collins mixer as well. The ladder, masks, and painter’s tape as mentioned before are the present-time giveaway. As usual, Don Hallock has the details down tight. He having established a reputation as the go-to cameraman in the pre-fire days at 84 Mass Avenue. I think he loved and maintained every piece of equipment in Studio A. Love seeing this. Getting a white balance and keeping these cameras running will be quite a chore. Great memories here. I assume it will be part of the new Julia series.

    • Bob Nesson on February 26, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      Dan’s right – the blue painter’s tape is a giveaway. Ditto the stepladder These didn’t exist “back then”.

  5. Russ Fortier on February 12, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    The photographs in the upper left of this picture are probably set designer / scenic department / prop person reference photos… so the set can be believably dressed.

  6. Charlie Walcott on February 12, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    The cameras are not the ones in use when I was around WGBH in 1955-56, nor did the control room look like that as I remember. I vote for a set!

  7. Larry LeCain on February 9, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Could these be production stills of HBO’s ‘Julia’ ?

  8. John Kerr on February 8, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    If these pictures had been taken at WGBH before it burned down in 1960-61 when I worked there as a BU crew member, John LaBounty, Bob Moscone, Al Potter, or Greg Harney would have been seen in one of the pictures instead of that guy in the COVID mask. Louis Lyons, Curator of the Nieman Fellowships in Journalism at Harvard, would have been seen receiving his wind-up cue by Al Hinderstein, Or Henry Morganthau and Diana Michaelis would have been seen escorting Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Frost, or Brandeis Founding President Abram Sachar through the hallway to the studios. Dave Davis would have been shooting Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas opera in both studios. Russell Morash would be in his director’s chair. Jordan Whitelaw would be rehearsing shot patterns with clarinetist and ‘GBH volunteer cameraman Eric Oddleifson for WGBH’s telecast of the Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts from Harvard’s Memorial Hall in Cambridge. Michael Ambrosino, Bob Larsen, David Ives, Hartford Gunn and Ralph Lowell would be nearby.

    • Michael Ambrosino on February 26, 2021 at 2:20 pm

      And my coffee cup and cigarette would be close by as I cued my Floor Manager, John Henning, to hand in the Jingling Johnny to Ed Gilday without making it “jingle”.
      Everything was either live or “live on tape” which we just thought of as normal.

  9. Milan Merhar on February 8, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    A period-accurate VTR like an Ampex 1000 would be hammertone gray rather than beige (which was more recent vintage) and would NOT be in the control room. Too noisy! And, if truly ‘GBH, there should be a scattering of paper notes cellotaped to everything. ;-)

    My earliest recollection of 125 Western Ave were the color Marconi cameras with zoom lenses, although for the B&W French Chef era monochrome RCA’s with turret lenses such as in this set would be appropriate.

  10. Benny Krol on February 8, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    I believe those are from a set as well. When I started at WGBH in 1968 the black and white
    cameras were I believe RCA TK -45 and the colored cameras were English Marconi’s mark 7.
    That was a long time ago so I hope my memory served me well.

    • Dave Svens on February 20, 2021 at 10:03 am

      Hmmm…RCA TK-45 was a color camera. When I came to 125 Western Ave. in 1965 all the cameras (studio and remote) were RCA TK-60s which were B&W. The film chain and VTRs were color-capable but not cameras. When I left in late 60’s plans were in motion to replace the TK-60s with color cams.

  11. Don Hallock on February 8, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    This would appear to be either a functioning reconstruction of a 1950s/60s TV studio (perhaps in a museum), or possibly one still surviving at a college broadcast/teaching facility. These are quite definitely not photos from a former WGBH studio. They might be attempts to mock up a WGBH studio of the 50s/60, era (I could call up any number of details to back that proposition up).
    The pictures on the camera control and master monitors attest to the fact that the whole facility is fully functional. But as to the date these photos were made….little shows here to clarify that question.
    Some very interesting details suggest a more recent origin for the images. There is a human figure visible at the top, slightly to the right of center through the control room window, wearing a black (Covid?) face mask, and what might be either a hazmat suit, intended to protect the wearer from contamination, or just a white suit to protect the surroundings from some kind of contamination. Not old stuff. All the use of masking tape on the cameras, and blue tape on the control room glass gives the impression of safety concerns for an environment which is under construction.
    The blue tape on the windows is interesting. If it’s blue painter’s tape, I don’t know how many years that product has been on the market – but not that many, I think.
    Otherwise, if this is a reconstruction, the attention to ‘period’ detail is remarkable (all the way to the headsets – which are the old ATT phone operator’s variety). There are a couple of photos taped to the control room window far left, which show what appear to be college aged folks operating control gear (though not in the configuration shown in the color photo set). Their clothing might well be in 60s style, and their hair styles could be similarly consistent. These might be 60s photos included, for reference, in the more recent photo set.
    Lastly, to come down on the ‘mock-up’ determination, there aren’t enough lights hanging from the grid to illuminate the interview setup shown. And, there’s no microphone on the ‘business end’ of the mic boom.
    It might be that someone was, in fact, trying to portray WGBH-TV as it was in the 50s/60s period, since on the music stand, stage right, is a title card for “I’ve Been Reading,” a local-only literature show many of us directed (but which never used the titling shown). As well, “I’ve Been Reading” was never a three camera show – only 2.
    Technically speaking, though the configuration of the ‘pan heads’ under each camera is accurate for 50s/60s WGBH (2 ‘cradle heads and 1 ‘friction head’), the later style of Huston-Fearless pedestal shown – as well, I think, as the tripod – was never used at WGBH under the kind of cameras shown (RCA TK-30).
    So, given the fun this little pictorial riddle has been, I’d love to know the ‘back story’ behind what’s been shown here. Why is it appearing on the alumni site? Is GBH constructing its own ‘museum?’
    Don Hallock

  12. louise weber on February 8, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    I think it’s a set based on the blue painters tape. I don’t remember that from back in the day.

  13. Louise Knapp Page on February 8, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    Covid era photos of a set! On first picture, top right through the window, there’s a man with a black facemask.

  14. Dave DeBarger on February 8, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    My money is that it’s a set. The lighting instruments aren’t pointed at the talent positions; camera controls look suspicious; and, as Bill said, there is that ladder . . .

  15. Louise Knapp Page on February 8, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Covid era photos! On first picture, top right through the window, there’s a man with a black facemask.

  16. David Atwood on February 8, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    The gear looks real. I ran cameras like those when I first started inn TV 1962. My guess is that its a set. That beige thing on the right of the frame could be a 2″ VTR

  17. Milan Merhar on February 8, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Different images on the camera monitors, but the same waveform on all the scopes. And a disturbingly-clean bit of beige gear off to the right of the camera control consoles.

  18. Bill Charette on February 8, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    I’m guessing it’s a set. Orange fiberglass ladder in the studio shot would be of recent vintage. Wondering about the taped up widows and cameras.

  19. Lauraine Hutchinson on February 8, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    They look like historical photos. I assume GBH has more advanced technological camera’s and sets.

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