Monday, September 22, 2014

Dorothy Appleby, Star Of Stage, Screen And... Television

Recently, I came across a news item for an early appearance of Dorothy Appleby on television.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE July 18. 1931 - Dorothy Appleby, MGM's ingenue,  looking over a bunch of television fan mail from station WGBS-W2XCR New York ... She was the first stage or screen star to televise over that station.

A photo from RADIO NEWS, May 1939:

A little about WGBS.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
W2XCR was founded in 1931 in Long Island City, NY by the radio station WGBS (now WINS-AM). During the period early part of 1931, but before the call letters were changed to WINS, the station began experimenting with mechanical television broadcasting, operating a Jenkins mechanical scanner through the experimental transmitter, W2XCR. The station broadcast using both 48-line, 15 frame/s, and 60-line, 20 frame/s standards during 1931.
Mechanical TV broadcast in the AM radio band (550–1600 kHz) in 1928 and 1929. With 24 and 30 line systems, only about 10 kHz of bandwidth was needed, so standard radio channels could be used. Some stations also broadcast in the shortwave band. Beginning in 1930, the 2-3 mHz band was used for television, with 100 kHz channel width. 60 line systems required about 40 kHz of bandwidth. TV broadcasts could be identified by their distinctive sound.

See also

Reblogged from

The 1940 Three Stooges comedy A PLUMBING WE WILL GO had a gag that involved television.

People watching this film today are sometimes surprised that they had television that far back. But Dorothy Appleby had been on television years before. And Hugo Gernsback, the original publisher of RADIO NEWS, was one of the people who had been experimenting with television as far back as the late 1920's.

A PLUMBING WE WILL GO ( Three Stooges Film ):

Dorothy Appleby television item:,4614672

Hugo Gernsback:

RADIO NEWS, May 1935:

WGBS-W2XCR New York:


1 comment:

  1. Jim Kerkhoff from The Hal Roach Studio page on facebook: Another Roach performer who made an early TV appearance was Virginia Karns. Don't recall the year however. Virginia told me she was to sing in front of the camera. But she had difficulty because her mouth and throat quickly dried up under the intense lighting needed for the broadcast. (You can see how closely lighting instruments were placed in this shot of Dorothy Appleby.) Virginia went on to host her own show in Dayton, Ohio, years later on WHIO-TV.