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James Nairn Patterson Hume fonds Series
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Broadcasting and film

Prof. Hume and Prof. Donald Ivey of the Department of Physics were pioneers in educational television, having developed their first 12 part program “Focus on Physics” in 1958. This was co-sponsored by CBC and the University of Toronto. The success of this series was followed up the next year by “Two for Physics”. Both series eventually aired on the National Educational Television (N.E.T.) in the United States. Other programs that followed include:

1960 – 15 short programs on Physics for children produced by CBC in cooperation with N.E.T. for joint use in Canada and United States

1962 – “The Ideas of Physics” – 4 programmes
1963 – “The Nature of Physics” – 5 programmes
1966 – “The Constant of Physics” – 4 programmes
All of these were for in-school broadcasts to Canadian high schools produced by CBC with the National Advisory Council on School Broadcasts

1960-1965 – 18 programmes for “The Nature of Things”, produced by CBC.
The program “The Nature of Things” is still today a staple of Canadian educational television. Hume and Ivey helped lay the foundation for such a successful broadcast run.

By 1960, their success in educational television spilled over into film where they were commissioned by the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC) in the United States to do four films: “Frames of Reference”, “Periodic Motion”, “Universal Gravitation” and “Random Events”. All of these were created for distribution in high schools. In 1962, “Frames of Reference” won Edison Foundation award for the best science film and “Random Events” received a silver medal from the Scientific Institute in Rome.

This series contains a fairly complete set of scripts for all the titles noted above. Moreover, there is a 16 mm release print for each of the four films and one sound recording of one program from “The Constant of Physics” series. There are also still images from “Frame of Reference” and a file on the Edison Award.

For a good overview, researchers should begin by consulting reports written by Hume and Ivey for most of the television series. They detail the development of each theme. In addition, there is correspondence and contracts with CBC, correspondence with Educational Services Incorporated and the PSSC as well as program guides, clippings, published reviews, correspondence from viewers, and one 1962 audience response report for a “Nature of Things” programme.