Vale: Hubert J. ‘Hub’ Schlafly Jr.

Ok on-air personalities, this one’s for you. Time to give thanks to someone who has no doubt saved your butt on more than one occasion.

Hubert J. ‘Hub’ Schlafly Jr., who invented the teleprompter, died late last week at the age of 91.

He died of an undisclosed illness at a Connecticut hospital.

The idea for the teleprompter came from Broadway actor Fred Barton in the late 1940s, after he needed help remembering his lines.

The first version was a motorised scroll of paper inside a suitcase with actors’ lines printed on half-inch letters and controlled manually by a stagehand.

But a more technical device was used for the first time on CBS soap opera The First Hundred Years in 1950. It went on to be used in The Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, but became mainstream in 1952 when former president Herbert Hoover used it to deliver a speech at the Republican National Convention.

Schlafly Jr went on to win two Emmy Awards for his technical achievements.

Let’s hear it for Hubert!

Source: Hollywood Reporter

4 Comments:

  1. In my dim dark past I was roped into filling in as an autocue operator on a few occasions and it’s one of my more stressful experiences in TV! Kudos to those who operate it, and read from it, so well that it’s not even noticeable that they are.

  2. Armchair Analyst

    He should have a Technology award of some kind at one of the big awards nights named after him considering his impact on Television production all over the globe.

  3. daveinprogress

    Wow great tribute to a wonderful innovator. Having worked with presenters, actors and newsreaders, I know first hand that the autocue is an integral part of the television production process, and a huge support for performers who didn’t have to learn their lines but be familiar with them. And it is not as easy as it looks. During my on the job training courses, i had to ‘play’ newsreader and do trial bulletins, and it was a bizarre experience. Richard Morecroft was my role model – made it look so easy.

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