W3XE Cameras
at Philadelphia's City Hall
January 1, 1941

Philadelphia is unique for many things including its Mummers Parade. 1941 saw the very first parade televised over Channel 3, W3XE, Philco's experimental television station. Later in 1941, the station would become WPTZ. By the way, in 1941, the Polish American String Band was the winner in the string band competition.

W3XE's Program Manager, E. N. Alexander wrote in that year:

For years, the world-renowned Philadelphia Mummers' Parade has been a "must" on the entertainment menu of hundreds of thousands on the Eastern seaboard. Heretofore, it was traditional to literally freeze while witnessing this event. This was, of course, before the advent of Philco television. On January 1, 1941, for the first time in history, Philco televised in its entirety this northern counterpart of the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Those fortunate Philadelphians, who possessed television receivers relaxed in the comfort of their own homes while the magic of the television camera gave them, in effect, grandstand seats at the parade, complete with shooters, comics, fancy capes and costumes and string bands.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Ed Harvey
Researched and written by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
© 2000, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

The e-mail address of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia is pioneers@broadcastpioneers.com