Carl Brainard

Early Television Academy Member


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-and-a-half-hour interview, Carl "Mac" Brainard (1922-2009) speaks about his early years as a technical prodigy when, at age 15, he invented a radio phone which could be used in a car. He discusses his affiliation with various technical aspects of early Los Angeles television, in particular with KTLA's Klaus Landsberg. He recalls becoming an early member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and talks of his commissions to photograph several early Academy events and the first Emmy award prototype. He outlines his other work as a technology innovator: creating a garage door opener, an early television projection set, an early prototype of a mobile phone, and a directional microphone, and later in his career, setting up control rooms for television production. B-roll includes photographs on the sets of local Los Angeles productions, a mobile unit, and the original photo he took of the first Emmy award. Karen Herman conducted the interview on February 24, 2007 in Sedona, AZ.

"Television in Los Angeles in 1946 was experimental and people who had television receivers were very popular. The problem was we had to make our own antennas. It was ¼ inch aluminum tubing on a couple of insulators supported by a board, center fed, flat line down to the TV set and I think the length was 8 feet, 2 inches. It was really pretty crude but people wanted television and there were a lot of dead airings and we used to put TV antennas up on top of hills and then run line all the way down to the house maybe 1000 feet away. Those were the fun days."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Carl Brainard on the original purpose of the Television Academy and on the founders of the Television Academy
Carl Brainard on spending time on the MGM lot in his youth
Carl Brainard on early expermental local television stations in Los Angeles
Carl Brainard on the first time he saw television in its early stages of development
Carl Brainard on how he started inventing by experimenting with fluorescent tubes and music
Carl Brainard on the Hollywood community's reaction to the Television Academy
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on spending time on the MGM lot in his youth; on how he started inventing by experimenting with fluorescent tubes and music
On his interest in photography; on the first time he saw television in its early stages of development; on early experimental local television stations in Los Angeles
On the kinds of television sets he was selling in Los Angeles circa 1946; on his early association with the Television Academy; on the life and legacy of Klaus Landsberg

Chapter 2

On his early association with the Television Academy through his photography and on the earliest Awards dinner at the Hollywood Athletic Club; on the original purpose of the Television Academy; on the founders of the Television Academy, including Syd Cassyd; on the early members of the Television Academy
On photographing and attending the early Emmy Award ceremonies; on the early vision of the Television Academy; on how the Academy was financed; on how early Emmy voting worked
On the Hollywood community's reaction to the Television Academy; on doing photography for the Television Academy and for the Emmy Awards; on the early leadership of the Television Academy, including Edgar Bergen
On inventing a garage door opener; on the early leadership of the Television Academy including Hal Roach, Jr. and Rudy Vallee; on his camera work for television

Chapter 3

On the technology of early television cameras and sets and on various inventions of his; on developing RADAR at MIT and on forming his own company; on how the television industry has changed since he started; on advice to aspiring inventors
On B-roll pictures from his career- on the beach with his mobile phone; newspaper feature on his car phone invention; newspaper article on his inventions; the first Emmy award; issue of Tele-Views with an Emmy on the cover; Betty White doing local television in Los Angeles; Betty White on the set of her local Los Angeles television show; Betty White and Al Jarvis on the set of their local Los Angeles show; a music broadcasts from KFI television; model holding an Emmy; Pat Boone in an ad for Camera Systems International; picture from the set of Judy Splinters; KECA-TV mobile van; the KECA crew in a coffee shop; KECA-TV mobile van; with a microphone he invented; with Betty White; with his large-screen television projector; television editing system that he invented; with Cal Worthington; 3-camera production system he invented; control room of a production studio he built; standing next to the Mars Lander; with his wife; Ed Wynn at the Emmy Awards; the founding members of the Television Academy
Shows

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Carl Brainard on photographing and attending the early Emmy Awards ceremonies
Carl Brainard on how the early Emmy Awards voting worked
Carl Brainard on doing photography for the Television Academy and for the Emmy Awards
Topics

Advice

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Carl Brainard on advice to aspiring visionaries and inventors

Emmy Awards

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Carl Brainard on photographing and attending the early Emmy Awards ceremonies
Carl Brainard on how the early Emmy Awards voting worked
Carl Brainard on doing photography for the Television Academy and for the Emmy Awards
Carl Brainard on the first photo of the Emmy award

Technological Innovation

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Carl Brainard on the technology of early television cameras and television sets and on various inventions of his
Carl Brainard on developing RADAR at MIT and on forming his own company
Carl Brainard on a photo of him with an industrial television camera
Carl Brainard on a photo of a directional microphone he invented
Carl Brainard on a photo of a large television screen he invented

Television Industry

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Carl Brainard on how the television industry has changed since he started
Carl Brainard on advice to aspiring visionaries and inventors
Professions

Inventor

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Carl Brainard on inventing a garage door opener

Technology Innovators

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Carl Brainard on inventing a garage door opener
Carl Brainard on advice to aspiring visionaries and inventors
Genres

Awards Shows

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Carl Brainard on his involvement with the early Emmy Awards ceremonies
People

Edgar Bergen

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Carl Brainard on the early leadership of the Television Academy - Edgar Bergen

Pat Boone

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Carl Brainard on a photo of a commercial shoot with Pat Boone for Camera Systems International

Syd Cassyd

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Carl Brainard on the driving force behind the creation of the Television Academy, Syd Cassyd
Carl Brainard on how dynamic Syd Cassyd was and on Syd Cassyd, Harry Lubcke, and Klaus Landsberg's vision for the Television Academy
Carl Brainard on a photo of early Television Academy leadership

Bob Clampett

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Carl Brainard on Bob Clampett

Shirley Dinsdale

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Carl Brainard on a photo of Harry Lubcke, Shirley Dinsdale, and "Judy Splinters"

Al Jarvis

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Carl Brainard on photos of Betty White and Al Jarvis from her 1952 TV show

Klaus Landsberg

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Carl Brainard on the life and legacy of Klaus Landsberg
Carl Brainard on Syd Cassyd, Harry Lubcke, and Klaus Landsberg's vision for the Television Academy

Harry Lubcke

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Carl Brainard on Syd Cassyd, Harry Lubcke, and Klaus Landsberg's vision for the Television Academy
Carl Brainard on a photo of Harry Lubcke, Shirley Dinsdale, and "Judy Splinters"
Carl Brainard on a photo of early Television Academy leadership

Johnny Mercer

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Carl Brainard on the early leadership of the Television Academy - Johnny Mercer

Rudy Vallee

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Carl Brainard on the early leadership of the Television Academy - Rudy Vallee

Betty White

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Carl Brainard on photos of Betty White and Al Jarvis from her 1952 TV show
Carl Brainard on a photo of him and Betty White when they were dating

Ed Wynn

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Carl Brainard on a photo of Ed Wynn, Charlie Ruggles, and "Miss Emmy" c. 1948

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