Photographs in these articles are from various NBN staffers, private collections, and historic archives.

Viewers past and present finally get to see the operations of “Channel 3” (as it was fondly known) and the daily tasks of those who worked there.

These photo essays look inside Australia’s most successful regional television station, one that out-performed even larger metropolitan networks in its six decades of largely independent operation.

Anecdotes, quotations, and educated guesswork fill space between the increasingly spectral images. As the station’s pioneers fade into history along with crumbling celluloid records, memories of still-living staff grow blemished by time.

Within a decade or so broadcast media will be an irrelevant curiosity. The young will ask why so much time, effort, and equipment was spent on overly-elaborate video podcasts. However, terrestrial broadcasting is in the fabric of online culture and a yet inconceivable milieu to follow.

Perhaps in curiosity they might look at this musty archive… and wonder.

Note

Almost the entire collection presented here was scanned from original negatives. Those are watermarked Newcastle on Hunter with a Creative Commons share-alike non-commercial licence.

Naturally duplicates were distributed and will appear on other websites and Facebook groups, especially from former staffers. The watermarking is only to verify our source was a physical negative, not sourced from the Internet, and to establish Creative Commons status for those wishing to re-use images.

Credits

Early in-house photography was performed by Des Barry and Lloyd Hissey. Many other people would have assisted in that role, and we would like to know of any deserving credit. For example, in latter years Robert Stubbs is said to have taken a great deal of colour photographs, both for sales and promotions use. His name surely belongs to many colour negatives.

During early decades, the expense of quality cameras confined this record to what are clearly official recordings. But when digital cameras gained popularity and almost every department and every staffer could easily generate collections, these typically remained on computers or memory devices.

Therefore, nothing celluloid appears after year 2000, and the few digital snaps that have been supplied will appear in specialist articles to round out the stories.

Many more of these are welcomed, with your generosity, along with any stories of those occasions, that we might fully tell the story of NBN Television.