Posts Tagged ‘1960s’

Meet Katy High, 1963

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Do you know Katy High?  Here she is, in 1963, with a big sash around her shoulders so she doesn’t forget her name.   Sorry for the large image; that’s the nature of Miss Katy High:

Katy High is not actually her real name.   This woman is 19-year-old Carol R Dettmann, Miss Tall USA 1963, from Milwaukee Wisconsin, topping out at a head-bumping 6 feet 1 inch tall.   Carol was brought on to promote a world-record-setting construction project in North Dakota, and her name is a pun.  Here’s a clue as to what Miss Dettmann was promoting:

Get it?  Katy High was promoting KTHI, a new set of TV call letters that were issued in 1963.   The station had gone by KXGO and KEND, but when they came upon their plan to build the tallest freestanding manmade structure in the world, it only seemed appropriate to call themselves “HI”gh.  In most promotional materials, the call letters were written as ktHI, further emphasizing the accomplishment of broadcast engineering. The previous record was held by WRBL and WTVM, at 1,749 feet tall in Columbus, GA, but when the FCC issued the permit to KEND-TV in May 8, 1963, they set a new record, the new tower measuring up at 2,063 feet.  If you’ll remember your high school measurements, a mile is 5,280 feet — so the KTHI tower is four tenths of a mile tall.  It might not seem like much, but it’s twice as tall as the Eiffel Tower, almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building, and was only recently surpassed in height by the Burj in Dubai.  The KTHI tower held the record until the 1970s, when a tower was built in Poland that stuck up a little higher into the sky, but that mast collapsed in the nineties, returning the title to North Dakota.  According to the marketing material sent out regarding the tower’s construction, the KTHI-TV tower is 339 Katy Highs tall (provided she’s in stocking feet).

The KTHI tower is still in service, standing tall on the prairie, broadcasting to the entirety of the Red River Valley — which, in 1995, brought about another call letter change.  To reflect their service to the Valley, rather than a record-setting mast, the station changed their letters to KVLY.

Miss Carol Dettmann experienced a name change of her own: she married not long after her she visited Fargo to be the mascot of the tallest antenna in the world.

Camera for the Year 2000, 1968.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

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In the late 1960s, Zeiss-Ikon designer Fritz Costabel was trying to wrap his brain around the Camera Of The Future. In an early 1968 issue of Photoguide Magazine, he described a machine capable of sending photos home wirelessly, radar auto-focusing, and push-button automation. A few months later, the camera above showed up in Mechanix Illustrated: the Zeiss-Ikon “Utopica”. Looking a phaser sidearm off the Star Trek set, the camera was a multifunction machine: it could both instantly print photos like a Polaroid, but also make movies on 16mm film. The un-ergonomic shape and the focus on analog film were a bit short-sighted, but he was just about right on. Cameras today are automatic, double-duty as movie cameras, and can instantly produce a photo and allow it to be sent all over the world – and it certainly would have blown his mind to know that all of that photographic futurism is today considered an add-on to a portable telephone.

Outdoor Cooking, 1961.

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

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Couple posing outdoors in backyard, 1961. From this set.

Easter Egg Hunt, 1961.

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

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Severely underexposed slide from this set, made legible through Photoshop: a small child, bundled tightly against the elements, picking up an Easter egg near a propane tank, 1961.

Red River Flood, 1969.

Monday, March 30th, 2009

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In April, 1969, the Red River of the North overflowed its banks, reaching 37.3 feet on the 15th, and expected to crest at 38 feet a few days later. This aerial photo appeared on the front page of the Fargo Forum on the 15th, showing the dike’s position in relation to saving city hall, the Civic Center, and the year-old library. Today, the dike runs down 2nd street, atop the river bank, but in 1969, they let the swollen river cover the big parking lot, and ran the dike along 3rd street, just outside City Hall’s front doors; the Town House hotel, at the far right in the big picture, looks on the verge of flooding, but safe enough.

Cold War Wind Patterns, 1963.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009


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What does this map show? It relies on the wind patterns of an average spring day, in that particular decade. That decade was the 1960s, and about the biggest worry to be carried on those spring winds: fallout. This map projects fallout, if an “enemy” were to drop 3,000 megatons on various military, industrial, and civilian targets at the same time, both ground detonations and air bursts. From the Saturday Evening Post, 23 March 1963.

Rural Civil Defense, 1960.

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Bombs have fallen. At least one has struck St Paul-Minneapolis. Another has exploded above the Great Lakes port of Duluth-Superior. Air force [sic] bases at Grand Forks, Rapid City and maybe Minot have been hit. So have other areas…Here, there is nothing to do now but wait. Radioactive fallout, if it isn’t already here, will be filtering down within the next hour or two. Heaviest concentration will be between the next 6 to 12 hours, with no one daring to leave the family fallout shelter. Tomorrow, it may be safe to run to the barn long enough to check on livestock. Not all animals could be gotten under cover, but the producing cows and most valuable breeding stock are inside.

Cold War advice on preparing your farm for the inevitable nuclear war. From a 1960 issue of The Farmer.

Merry Christmas, early 1960s.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

A woman holding a Christmas ornament, sitting next to two photos of children. Appears 1950s, or early 1960s.

Minnesota’s Christmas Tree, 1961.

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

In 1961, new governor Elmer Andersen sent his finest tree-experts to find a grand tree, an amazing tree, a tree that was big and accessible to crane, to place on the State Capital lawn. The tree was found in the pasture of Seldon Banks, who donated it to the state. The image above is of Andersen’s first official Minnesota Christmas Tree, from the year before; the misleading caption referring to the “Second tree” in the article is the 1962 tree that was erected before The Farmer could get a photo for their cover.

John Deere 820, 1960s

Monday, November 17th, 2008


The John Deere 820 was, by some accounts, manufactured in the late 1950s, although some for sale say they were made in the 1970s. Known for its large-displacement 2-cylinder motor with excellent gear ratio, the 820 has been popular in tractor-pull events due to its inability to stall. This photo was the tail-end of a roll of slide film, and the film wasn’t large enough to fit into a standard slide frame. The owner made due by tracing a slide frame onto cardboard, cutting it out, and taping the film into it.