Scene from "Last Year's Nest"
(Left to right) Leonard Valenta and unidentified person
WPTZ, Channel 3
This is a photo from a 1942 live broadcast aired over WPTZ, Channel 3 in Philadelphia when the station was owned by Philco. It's of the nation's first soap opera, which was aired on WPTZ and was called "Last Year's Nest." That program was the first soap opera serial on commercial television. Keep in mind that WPTZ started broadcasting as a commercial TV station in 1941. The series was also aired over NBC-TV, which at that time had only a handful of affiliates. In fact, it was the first program to have a recurring story line.
Video tape, of course, didn't exist at this time. However, we do have some film from that series. It dates from 1942 and comes from the archives of KYW-TV, Channel 3, here in Philadelphia. The footage of "Last Year's Nest" was shot on black and white 16mm film stock from behind the television cameras. While it is not exactly what was seen over the air, it does preserve for us video from the program.
It is likely that the film was not shot when the show was live on the air. It is believed that the footage was done during a rehearsal of the soap opera.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo & video originally donated from the archive of KYW-TV
Special Thanks to Broadcast Pioneers member Jerry Klein
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