Blog Post # 10- Early Network TV IDs

Since we started talking about animation and cartoons being on television in its infancy, I figure I could add to this by including an element that is just as important and historic, but very relevent to this subject: The TV identifications’ (or station ID’s for short).  These were just simply friendly reminders to you, the viewer know what network you are watching (NBC ,CBS, ABC, as well as the defunct network DuMont TV and NET, predecessor to PBS).

Here are some from the 1950’s




DuMont TV Network, an early attempt at a “fourth network” long before FOX came along,aside from the “Big Three” (NBC,CBS,ABC), but was short-lived.

What I just showed you was the ID’s when TV was still presented in black and white.  By the mid to late 50’s and well into the 60’s, the networks began presenting in color.  These ID’s became more animated, and loaded with lots of color!  Once again, these were friendly reminders to you the viewer what network you were watching, only this time, the announcer would tell you the program you are about to watch is presented “in color”, much like the same way later on in the 1980s with “Presented In Stereo- Where Available” and today with “Presented in High Definition Where Available”.

Collection of Network IDs. Mind the wacky beginning and end!!

NBC: This where they got the nickname “The Peacock Network” from




Update: Blog Spicemen #2

I have uploaded some clips of the network color logo’s in actual use as lead-in’s to some TV shows shown in color at the time:

Here is actual footage of the NBC peacock for “In Living Color” in use.  It dates from 1959 and was used as a lead-in to the “Fred Astaire Show”  Chrysler Corporation sponsored the program, hence all the Chrysler cars paraded around the screen.

Here is a 60’s CBS color logo in use as a lead-in to the Carol Burnett Show, also with the show’s intro in animation as well.

Here is the ABC color logo in use as a lead-in to Batman, with Batman’s intro in animation as well.


7 Responses to “Blog Post # 10- Early Network TV IDs”

  1. mtaylo7 Says:

    This is very interesting to see because we all know about the logos many TV stations have now but we have not looked back at the old time ones. Not much has changed from the designs except for a few small changes here and there.

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  3. sandyshore2 Says:

    I remember the NBC Peacock — I thought it was an imaginative way to display a beautiful color pallet. The ‘Snake’ really left me kind of cold. When most of the networks went to the watermark type logos they use today with cable/satellite transmission they have lost the artistic recognition that most of these logos show us.

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  5. amanda22192 Says:

    Thank you for your post, I have never really focused on the time line of the prime television station icons. I am fascinated to see how more vibrant and as you put it, “animated” the y became over the years. I will say that the animation in color ads more life and are easy to remember. Having them in color leaves a more vivid memory of the icon, which is idea for any television station. We find this true today when we look around at posters on a huge bulletin board, the ones that are more animated and alive grab our attention and usually keep it.

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