Where technology brought us 

American Bank & Trust
1600 4th Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

American Bank & Trust
3730 18 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

American Bank & Trust
2350 412 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Office Machine Consultants
534 16 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Royal Neighbors
230 16 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Midwest- Engineering
2500 36 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

C.O.P.E. Tutorial School Inc.
228 W 2nd Ave
Milan, IL 61264
787-3609 Riverside Cemetary
3300 5th Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Moline Memorial Park & Mausoleum
5001 34 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Umthun Trucking

VFC Distribution
525 E 1 St
Milan, IL 61264

Early TV schedules limited

By Kurt Allemeier, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

Musical programming, such as these accordion players at WOC, often made up much of the local features in the early days of TV broadcasting.

The Lone Ranger and Jungle Jay settled into the Quad-Cities television lineup in the 1950s and '60s, as early program offerings on limited broadcast schedules.

WOC, now KWQC-TV, went on the air Oct. 31, 1949. WHBF-TV followed on July 1, 1950, and WQAD-TV hit the air Aug. 1, 1963. ``The Lone Ranger'' was popular enough to show twice a week, while Jungle Jay led WQAD's children's programing.

A special June 27, 1950, edition of The Rock Island Argus, touting WHBF, contained stories offering pointers on buying a television set and how TV was not harmful for children's eyes and would be beneficial for providing children with new avenues of learning.

As WHBF was hitting the airways, WOC, nearly a year ahead, was offering local remote broadcasts of stock car racing and midget auto racing twice a week from the Mississippi Valley fairgrounds.

A working kitchen was built at the WOC studio for cooking and gadget demonstrations, according to the Argus. The paper also noted the station jumped from a 12-hour broadcasting week to a 24-hour broadcasting week and hoped to offer a seven-day schedule of five hours a day.

Rock Island, thanks to WHBF, was among 43 U.S. cities to receive network programing by the end of 1950, said one article in a special edition of The Rock Island Argus, touting the new medium.

A check of WHBF's first schedule shows it launched with three hours of evening programing: Daily newsreels, ``Time for Beany,'' a weekly sportsreel, ``Famous Jury Trials,'' ``Manhattan Spotlight,'' ``Crusade in Europe,'' and professional wrestling were some of the early shows.

The Dispatch saluted the start-up of WQAD with a special section on Nov. 9, 1963, shortly after the station's debut as an ABC affiliate.

WQAD jumped right into broadcast news and local productions. Jim King started as the station's sports director, Richard Greene served as farm director, Barbara Douglas was the weather forecaster, Joe Copper hosted ``Camera on Mid-America,'' and Carolyn Carsell was the Romper Room teacher.

Jungle Jay hosted the station's film adventure series, with the help of his wacky sidekicks Heathcliff the monkey and Zelda the zebra.

Horror fans were terrorized by Chiller Theater, hosted by light-hearted demons ``Dr. Igor,'' ``Vampira'' and ``Plasma.'' The Saturday night show offered old horror movies and newer science fiction.

Cable television was first offered in the early 1970s by Quint-Cities Cablevision, with franchises for Moline, East Moline, Silvis, Bettendorf and Davenport. Quint-Cities Cablevision later was absorbed by Cox Cable, then traded in a nationwide deal to TCI. TCI now is the major cable provider for the area.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.