A History of Emmy - The 1940s

Louis McManus' Statuette Prototype

The Emmy® Awards are conceived in 1948

The Television Academy’s founding fathers struggle to name the award: Television Academy founder Sid Cassyd suggests “Ike,” the nickname for the television iconoscope tube. Pioneer television engineer and future (1949) Academy president Harry Lubcke suggests "Immy,” a nickname for the image-orthicon camera tube instrumental in the technical development of television. "Immy" is feminized as "Emmy" because the statuette, designed by engineer Louis McManus (who enlisted his wife Dorothy to model for it) depicts the winged "muse of art uplifting the electron of science."

First Emmy Awards

January 25, 1949 • Hollywood Athletic Club • KTSL

Hosted by Walter O'Keefe

Mayor Fletcher Bowron speaks at the First Emmy Awards Ceremony
  • Awards were given to Los Angeles area programming.

  • Tickets are $5.00

  • The show is broadcast on a local station, KTSL, and there are less than a million television sets in the U.S.

  • Six awards are given:
  1. Most Outstanding Television Personality: Twenty-year-old Shirley Dinsdale and her puppet sidekick Judy Splinters for The Judy Splinters Show.
  2. The Station Award for Outstanding Overall Achievement: KTLA (the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River).
  3. Technical award: Engineer Charles Mesak of Don Lee Television for the introduction of TV camera technology.
  4. The Best Film Made for Television: The Necklace (a half hour adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's classic short story).
  5. Most Popular Television Program: Pantomime Quiz.
  6. A special Emmy is presented to Louis McManus for designing the statuette.

The first Emmy Award winners

A History of Emmy • The 1940sThe 2000s

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