You can't talk about the Liberty Bell without talking about the American Revolution, and visa versa. They are woven into the same fabric. This site about TV cameras is really about the history of television and the society it portrayed. The site doesn't just show you cameras, it shows you what they captured and how they did it. They are emblems of another age, and we can see that age through them here, as clearly as the audiences saw their stars through them.
Head, Digital & Broadcast Journalism
Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor
I remember talking to the late John Frankenheimer, one of television's greatest directors of the live era. He emphasized how important his cameramen and the technology were to his success.
Here at the Paley Center in New York and Los Angeles, we have preserved the programming. I am so pleased that Bobby Ellerbee has created the website, The Eyes of a Generation, to preserve and celebrate a missing chapter from television history: the immense contribution of the TV camera to the industry and our culture.
With resonant photographs and evocative testimony, Bobby has brought that crucial technology back to glorious life. We understand in image and word why the camera was indeed the eye for many of our country's most creative individuals. The Eyes of a Generation is a must for anyone interested in history of media and storytelling.
Curator, Television and Radio
The Paley Center of Media
In January 1954, I was hired at CBS Television City in Hollywood and worked there for the next 50 years retiring in July 2004 as Executive Vice President in charge of West Coast Operations and Engineering.
I lived through the times most of the photos on this site so well depict and was fortunate to be in a position to help develop the equipment and the production techniques of that era, many of which are still in use today.
Although many of my colleagues from those days are gone, fortunately the accomplishments and innovations from that time live on in these pages. I am most sincere in my appreciation for the effort Mr. Ellerbee has put into creating this historic site, for now, rather than lose this valuable television history, Eyes Of A Generation is a living archive of Television's proud past, and with so much information now available here on line, it can be viewed by students of all ages worldwide and hopefully contribute to an even prouder future.
This site is excellent, outstanding and greatly appreciated by our industry and the people, past and present that make Television such a valued and important part of American culture.
A rich visual montage, reminding us how wonderfully cumbersome the first generations of TV cameras were. For visitors of a certain age, this fascinating site will bring back many fond memories. But you don't have to remember Bishop Sheen or The Honeymooners to learn from Eyes of a Generation. It charmingly captures not just the earliest television cameras, but the dedicated crews, cramped sets and expansive performers and events of our past...this is true Television history.
Dr. James L. Baughman
Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Wisconsin-Madison"
Author, "Same Time, Same Station: Creating American Television, 1948-1961.
Author, "Television's Guardians: The FCC and the Politics of Programming, 1958-67"
Author, "Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the Modern American News Media"
Author, "Republic of Mass Culture: Journalism, Broadcasting, and Filmmaking in America since 1941"
As a retired NBC network television cameraman I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your website and to compliment you on all that you're doing to preserve television history. In fact it was one of my friends, John Pinto who is still doing Saturday Night Live, my old show, who steered me to your website as we're both TV history buffs. I started in 1967 and grew up with the RCA TK-41s in my early days at NBC. I retired in 2001 after 36 years behind the NBC cameras, with 26 of them at SNL. After I retired I continued to do Saturday Night Live for another year and a half and returned to do other NBC shows when NBC was busy until 2008. I've seen a lot of TV history, and it's great to see so much of it here and so well done. Bravo!
NBC New York
Great job Bobby, you've captured the history, excitement, and the people of our glorious business, thank you for including me in all your great work. You are our "Keeper of the Flame."
John Pinto, Saturday Night Live - NBC New York
As an author, and lifelong student of Television history, I consider The Eyes Of A Generation a unique and remarkable resource. All those with an interest in TV's history, whether casual or serious can learn here, and be entertained by this image rich tapestry that tells the story of Television's past through it's cameras. Although, personal reminiscences are of course valuable, I personally consider photographic evidence extremely important, as although the camera can sometimes lie, it doesn't usually suffer from memory loss or confusion. The Eyes Of A Generation has a wealth of photographic 'gold' and future books and programs on the subject of television will certainly benefit from the memories preserved here.
"Television Innovations - 50 Technological Developments"
When it comes to the history of something that captured your imagination as a child, nothing means more to you than to be able to reach out and touch those things that were present and a part of that history when it took place. Bobby has lovingly dedicated himself to not only preserving this part of television history but allowing us to reach out and touch it as well. It's a remarkable collection of images, stories and reporting. Thank you Bobby for your dedication to keeping our history intact.
Broadcast Associate Director
CBS Television Network
CBS Television City
Los Angeles, CA
Wow! What a lane of memories you've displayed on your website. I was with NBC in Burbank for 33 years. I began on camera in 1968 and when I retired in 2001, I has spent 23 years as the West Cost Technical Director for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. You have succeeded in doing a wonderful job in documenting a most important part of Television History....the cameras, operators and the all important talent that went with those memories. What a unique part of television history to capture. Keep going with your wonderful and historic project Bobby. Now future generations will get an intensive "behind-the-scenes" look at what television was like in our era.
My Welcome to You...
This is television's history as told thorough the cameras point of view.
Television cameras are truly "the eyes of a generation", and though them, we
have borne witness to the twentieth century and beyond in ways no one could
ever have imagined. Eyes Of A Generation is America's virtual museum of
television cameras, and the broadcast history they captured.
When I began this endeavor in 2008, the main focus was the cameras, and it
still is, but even then, something much larger was happening here. Now it's
just easier to see.
Among the thousands of images here, I've made a special effort to include
hundreds of truly iconic photos...landmark images that reveal not only the
technical evolutions, but the atmosphere and feel of those days as well. By
choosing production images that feature the shows, stars and events of our
past that these cameras have made it possible for us to see, remember and
cherish, I've tried to weave a tapestry...or in TV lingo, create a split
screen shot. On one side of the screen, I want to show you these great
cameras in action, while on the other side, pay tribute to the
personalities, places and programs that are indelibly woven into the
P.S. By being here, you have just joined over 267,000 unique visitors to the site, and I thank you! Please come back often as there is too much to see in just one visit.