The Fascinating New Hobby of TV Picture-Taking

Roger's TV in 1957

 Roger Baker sent me this photo of his TV in 1957. He is watching Chicago Wrestling on the Dumont Network (here on CHCH) and villain Hans Schmidt is telling the fans what he is going to do to his next opponent. Now Roger was a globetrotting photog in the 1960s, heading out to all corners to cover wrestling with his trusty camera and notepad in hand. But this photo is from before that, when young Roger was just a rabid Toronto wrestling fan. 

The photo resonated with me as I once did that too and guessing other fans did as well. Things are a bit more advanced now, mostly!

As far as TV wrestling, Roger in his day, much like us in ours, spent a lot of time watching. We had a ton of wrestling on TV in the late 70s early 80s. Usually 4-5 different feds all day on a Saturday. In the 1950s there was almost as many options as TV's were starting to occupy many Canadian households. 

By the time Roger took that pic of his TV in 1957, in addition to the U.S. channels that were available here; locals CKVR Barrie, CHEX Peterboro, CKWS Kingston, CKCO Kitchener, CFCL Timmins, CKNY Wingham, and CHCH Hamilton were all running wrestling. 

Some, being CBC affiliated, twinned the Toronto CBLT show. Others showed tape from Winnipeg. In Kingston CKWS ran Texas Wrestling while Hamilton's CHCH (later to host the homegrown show for many years) and CKCO ran wrestling from Chicago and the 'Wrestling from Ringside' show out of Ohio

So back to Roger's photo of his TV. A while later I am looking through an early 60s issue of Wrestling Revue and there's a story titled 'The Fascinating New Hobby of TV Picture-Taking.' 

Each week, more and more people are discovering the pleasures of a new and fascinating hobby that is sweeping the country-the taking of photographs directly off the television screen. For wrestling fans, who are instinctive picture collectors, the new hobby provides even richer rewards. Just think of it, without leaving your own living room, and in a comparatively short space of time, you can own a collection of not only thrilling action pictures but delightful candid shots of your favorite mat stars. And since the chances of two people making exactly the same exposures are practically nil, every picture you take will be exclusive.'


And sure enough there's Hans Schmidt again! This time dressed smartly while discussing the latest holds and such. Also Eddie Graham & Ray Morgan, Buddy Rogers, and George Harris. On the top a Dickie Steinborn-Herb Larson bout. Taking photos of the TV, Roger ahead of the curve with that idea...

-AC


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