New York: Allen B. Du Mont Laboratories, Inc., 1954. 1st Edition. Slim folio, publisher's white plastic spiral comb binding over acetate wraps lettered in gold.
Oversized promotional book produced by the Du Mont Television Network to commemorate the official opening of its state-of-the-art Tele-Centre in 1954. Constructed in what was formerly Jacob Ruppert's Central Opera House at 205 East 67th Street in New York (today the site of the Fox Television Center), the lavish studio plant was the largest set ever built for stage or television. Although the pioneering commercial network spearheaded several ambitious innovations in the world of television broadcasting, such as first-person perspective camerawork, daytime television schedules, the first sitcom and soap opera, as well as producing one of the leading entertainment stars of the 1950s, Jackie Gleason (The Honeymooners was originally a Du Mont sketch before moving to CBS), "the forgotten network" was forced to cease operations only one year after completion of the Centre. Several factors led to the network’s devastating financial and legal issues, but it was predominantly the FCC's historic and controversial freeze on new television networks in 1948 that undermined the fledgling network. While the post-war ascendancy of television marked a watershed for freedom of expression in the US, Du Mont’s hamstrung funding situation was a case history in the limits of media democratization (lending irony to Fox's current tenancy). This artifact from the first golden age of television features full-page black-and-white photos of the studio's exteriors along with numerous shots of in-house production, including unique Du Mont innovations such as of the isolated studio control room, its switching unit, the "Century-Izenour Board" (the first all electronic system for stage lighting control), the Du Mont Color Multiscanner, and more. Lower corner creased, else fine. Rare, with only one listing in OCLC. Item #2932