Saturday, July 17, 2010
WHAT WERE NIXON AND KRUSHCHEV COOKING UP IN THE KITCHEN?- RARE VIDEO OF DIPLOMATIC DEBATE ON THE FLY - AMPEX COLOR TAPE - CIRCA 7/24/1959
Television has a limitless capacity for capturing the spontaneous and significant moments in life and delivering them to our living room screens.
It changed they way we receive and consume news and , over the decades, it has changed the substance, style and form of the news, itself.
Television and journalism were,seemingly, made for each other.
From the first flickering,B & W , LIVE scenes of the 1948 Presidential nominating conventions, to the grainy, filmed images of American solders fighting in Korea, to Edward R. Murrow's daring display of technological wizardry , that allowed his viewers the opportunity to be the first people in human history to share a LIVE, simultaneous view of the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans , television , the news and the viewing audience were bonded at the molecular level.
On July 24th, 1959, an RCA COLOR television camera and an early AMPEX COLOR VIDEOTAPE RECORDER were in the right place at the right time, when two cold-warriors committed an act of global news. The right place turned out to be The American National Exhibition in Moscow's Sokolniki Park.
This event was a ground-breaking American trade show, extolling the virtures of capitalism and it's technological advancements , that was held in the heart of the communism's homeland The commercial cornucopia sheltered from the scorching Moscow sun under a glittering, gold geodesic dome.
As they toured the RCA WHIRLPOOL, "Miracle Kitchen," a $250,000 monument to the advantages of a more mechanized life for MOM in the post-Sputnik, push-button era, American Vice President Richard M. Nixon,and Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev faced-off in what has come to be known as the KITCHEN DEBATES.
Through interpreters,and in a most informal, almost affable atmosphere, they engaged each other on the visions and values of their competing ideologies. Today, we would expect that kind of confrontation , with true global impact, to be captured on camera.
Not the case in 1959.
But,as it has often been the case, in recent years , tape was rolling on this day.
AMPEX COLOR VIDEO TAPE was rolling on the Odd Couple of International Commerce. That tape, once thought to be lost or decayed beyond all recognition, has been restored, in its full, polychromatic glory by AMPEX.This,as we are about observe the 51st anniversary of the spontaneous, diplomatic throw-down.
Here, below, are two clips from the AMPEX DATA SYSTEMS YOU TUBE site, that comprise the historic events of , what some refer to as, The Summit over the sink. Enjoy!!!!!
BONUS - AN INTERVIEW WITH JACK MASSEY, ORGANIZER OF THE 1959 AMERICAN EXHIBITION