On this day in Film History: Bring out the Emmys!!


On this day in 1949, the 1st Annual Emmy Awards were held at the Hollywood Athletic Club in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony became known as the Primetime Emmy Awards after the Daytime Emmys were introduced in 1974.

At this first ceremony, there were a total of THREE categories (a little research revealed that the Primetime Emmys now feature 26 categories): Most Popular Television Program, Best Film Made for Television, and Most Outstanding Television Personality. The winners were Pantomine QuizThe Necklace, and Shirley Dinsdale, respectively.

The Emmy statuette (pictured above) depicts a winged woman holding an atom (I always wondered what that globe represented). It was designed by television engineer Louis McManus (who used his wife as a model). The TV Academy rejected forty-seven other proposals before settling on this design (one wonders what the rejects looked like).

Originally, the founder of the TV Academy, Syd Cassyd, wanted to name the award “Ike” (i.e the “Ike” Awards), but that was also the nickname for Eisenhower, so that was dropped. Then Harry Lubcke suggest they call the Award “Immy” (for the image orthicon tube used in early cameras). The name was agreed upon, but later feminized to “Emmy” to match the female statuette.

(On a side note: granted the Emmys are for Television and not Film, but it seemed like a cool thing to mention, I never realized the Emmy Awards started out so small!)

For more “On this day” posts, see here


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