museum piece

Item: Photograph of Du Mont Television Network employees.

Where: Smithsonian Museum of American History.

One response to “museum piece

  1. Claudette Colbert

    “However, according to testimony given by performer Edie Adams at a public hearing on Television and Video Preservation held in 1996 by the Library of Congress, the fate of DuMont’s kinescopes became painfully clear when she tried to locate the DuMont shows produced by her husband, Ernie Kovacs. Her testimony reads, in part:

    I don’t know what happened to the (Ernie Kovacs) CBS shows, but have recently learned what happened to the DuMont shows. That’s the early Jackie Gleason shows, including the original Honeymooners, Captain Midnight (she probably meant Captain Video—ed.) and
    the Kovacs specials. Well, they were taken care of in a most unique and swift fashion.

    In the earlier ’70’s, the DuMont network was being bought by another company, and the lawyers were in heavy negotiation as to who would be responsible for the library of the DuMont shows currently being stored
    at the facility, who would bear the expense of storing them in a temperature controlled facility, take care of the copyright renewal, et cetera.

    One of the lawyers doing the bargaining said that he could “take care of it” in a “fair manner,” and he did take care of it. At 2 a.m. the next morning, he had three huge semis back up to the loading dock at ABC, filled them all with stored kinescopes and 2″ videotapes, drove them to a waiting barge in New Jersey, took
    them out on the water, made a right at the Statue of Liberty and dumped them in the Upper New York Bay.

    Very neat. No problem.”

    —a modern-day burning of the library in Alexandria. Such a shame for all of humanity.

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