Broadcast Pioneers member Florence Hanford
WPTZ, Channel 3, Philadelphia
Channel 3 over the years has aired many different cooking programs including one that featured Ernie Kovacs and another one with Pete Boyle. However, the most well-known is probably TELEVISION KITCHEN with Florence Hanford. The program aired in different time periods, but always in the afternoon and always on Wednesdays. Through most of its history, it ran Wednesdays at 2:30 pm (until 3 pm) and was sponsored by the Philadelphia Electric Company. For example, in November of 1953 and February of 1956, the program was in the 2:30 pm time period. On November 18, 1953, just in time for Thanksgiving, Florence showed how to make "turkey a la king shortcake" and "turkey scrapple."
By Spring of 1954, Broadcast Pioneers member Florence Hanford had done 225 half hour live TV shows. She received in 1954, 3,000 weekly requests for the five recipes aired each show.
She was a true television pioneer starting on WPTZ in February of 1947, that was a time when Channel 3 was the ONLY station in town. That 20 minute cooking demonstration was on the WPTZ show called, "TV Matinee."
Florence was the supervisor of Home Economics for the Philadelphia Electric Company (now PECO). In October of 1949, she started her long running show, Television Kitchen on Channel 3. It was a weekly program, but was aired on Wednesdays. Today, airing a weekly show on a Wednesday afternoon would be unheard of.
In the early days, the TV lights were so hot that they used stiff mashed potatoes instead of ice cream. They also had to make Jello with only one-seventh the amount of water called for in the recipe. Why? Because with more water, the Jello would turn into liquid because of the heat of the television lighting.
For her half-hour show, she planned a complete menu. She would list all the equipment needed, the ingredients and any special type of plates required. She then tested every recipe herself. On Mondays, she would have a complete rehearsal to check the timings and appearance of the prepared recipes. Then then would have another rehearsal, preparing everything again. (We are sure that the crew was happy about that, because they got to eat the food.) On Wednesday morning, the actual day the show would air, she would repeat it all again with yet another rehearsal.
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
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