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2008/186/1 Photographs (29), showing ABC television studios, contained in envelope, paper, photographed by Bob Eaton, printed by Kodak, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1959-1961. Click to enlarge.

Photographs of early ABC TV production

Photographed by Eaton, Bob in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1959-1961.
These previously unpublished photographs have significance as a visual record of technical production and programming content on ABC television during its early years. Because they are snapshots taken unofficially by a staff member, rather than professional publicity shots, the photos have a candid quality that offers a unique glimpse into live television production. They show the sets and stars of programs that were broadcast live on the ABC's Sydney station ABN-2. In the years before videotape was adopted by the ABC, these shows were not pre-recorded and most were not preserved on film. Some photographs show personalities on the set of variety programs with floor managers and camera operators in view. The programs are 'Six O'Clock Rock', 'Café Continental', 'Kids Club' and 'Woman's World'. One photograph shows Johnny O'Keefe on the set of 'Six O'Clock Rock'. Another shows Lucky Starr performing on 'Six O'Clock Rock', playing his star-shaped guitar that is now in Powerhouse Museum's collection (Powerhouse Museum object number 2005/24/1). Five of the photographs show the ABC presenter Tanya Halesworth. Others are from the set of the filmed drama 'Stormy Petrel' (1960), an historical series about Governor Bligh. The photographs also show technical facilities including a vision mixer and camera control unit in Studio 23, and a bank of monitors for camera, transmission and preview.

Peter Cox
April 2008


Object No.


Object Statement

Photographs (29), showing ABC television studios, contained in envelope, paper, photographed by Bob Eaton, printed by Kodak, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1959-1961

Physical Description

Twenty-nine black and white landscape-format and portrait-format photographic prints contained in a yellow Kodak envelope. The text 'ABC TV' is handwritten in black ink on the front of the envelope. The photographs feature scenes from ABC's Gore Hill (Sydney) television studios. Each print has a white border and a brief caption handwritten in pencil on the reverse.


Please see parts.



Eaton, Bob Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 1959-1961


Bob Eaton took the photographs while working as part of the technical crew at ABC television studios, Gore Hill, Sydney, around 1960. He took them as his own snapshots rather than professional photographic documentation.



Bob Eaton was a member of the technical staff at the ABC's Gore Hill studios in the early years of Australian television. One of his roles was visual mixing. He took these photographs on the sets of ABC variety and drama productions. Mr Eaton was killed in a road accident in 1965 and the photographs were kept by his sister Pamela.

Cite this Object


Photographs of early ABC TV production 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 August 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Photographs of early ABC TV production |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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