Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winky Dink and You

Winky Dink and You was featured in the Ask AP section of the American Profile March 10, 2011 issue. This stimulated my memory bank.

Winky Dink and You was an early childrens' interactive television show. Its interactivity made it innovative for the time. Viewers could purchase Winky Dink kits which contained a magic window that clung to the television screen with static electricity.

Winky Dink and You was an art-themed children’s series that aired Saturday mornings on CBS from 1953 to 1957 with Jack Berry as host.

Winky Dink and You was considered the first interactive TV show via a “magic drawing Screen,” a clear piece of vinyl plastic that adhered to the front of the television. For 50 cents, you could buy a Winky Dink Magic Kit so you could assist Winky Dink and his dig, Woofer, on their adventures. Using special crayons, you could connect dots shown in various scenes and draw lifesaving props for the the wide-eyed cartoon boy.

Our first family TV was in the apartment in Melone Village.

At the time Father was working at the headquarters of Sylvania's Picture Tube Operations in Seneca Falls.

Believe Father purchased our first TV at work.

Do not remember if we sent away for our Winky Dink kit or if someone gave it to us. Do recall Terry and I following Jack Berry’s instructions and saving Wink Dink and Woofer from disaster every Saturday morning.

Who would have guessed that such a simple concept would be so much fun?

The following is a email comment sent by Terry which includes his remembrance of Winky Dink:

We never had the green srceen to put on our tv but Uncle John and Aunt Zoe purchased one for our cousins on Lewis St. I slightly remember seeing it at their house. We lived on the left center in Malone Village. Paul Hester (Mail Man) lived on the right to us. I don't remember our first tv in Malone Village but remember father bringiing home a new tv in our new home (77 E. Genesee St. 1953) the houes was built in 1853, the tv was a Sylvania Halo-light. Father worked in the GTE division of Sylvania.

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