Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Classic Television : Story From The Book (A Story From The Book)

Story From The Book (A Story From The Book)  

Early Children's Television Series which used cutouts to tell Bible Stories.

(c. 1949-1950 WCAU, Philadelphia; 1950 - 1951, WPIX, New York). 

Philadelphia Inquirer television schedule from Sunday, November 27th, 1949 when "Story From The Book" aired at 4:15 pm.  When the series aired on WPIX in New York it tended to air earlier in the Sunday schedule.

For at least four years I have researched this program, one of the earliest Bible series made for children.  The surviving details are scarce but this was a series about "Bible stories told with cutouts"or Bible stories told with "miniatures scenes assembled as she talks" by a woman named Jean Seeley. Newspaper television schedules from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Brooklyn Daily Eagle and the New York Times show that this series moved from Philadelphia station WCAU to New York's WPIX in 1950 where it aired for a full year.  

Jean Seeley's series was praised in the International Journal of Religious Education and slightly criticized by New York Times television critic Jack Gould as being worthwhile for children, but that it could have used a better production.

Any information about Jean Seeley or her series is greatly welcomed.  She was briefly described in some sources as being an accomplished storyteller.  She would have lived in near Philadelphia in the late 1940s, and moved or commuted to New York from 1950 to 1951

Gould J. (1951, Mar 11). CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/111816265?

Griswald C. T. (1952, January) TEACHING RELIGION THROUGH TELEVISION. International Journal of Religious Education

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