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Emmy Awards

Emmy award first called “Immy”

Click to go to the official Emmys siteMembers of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) rejected 47 proposal before selecting the current Emmy statuette in 1948.

ATAS founder Syd Cassyd first suggested to call the symbol “Ike”, a nickname for a television iconoscope tube. But being similar to that of war hero Dwight D Ike Eisenhower, the Academy rejected the name. The third Academy president and pioneer television engineer, Harry Lubcke, suggested “Immy”, after the orthicon camera tube.

The name “Immy” was used for a number of years until Academy members changed it to Emmy, as more appropriate for a female statuette. The Emmy was created by television engineer Louis McManus, who modelled it after his wife.

The Emmy is a winged woman holding an atom. The wings represent the muse of art, and the atom the electron of science. The statuettes are made of gold, silver, nickel and copper. They are handcast, buffed and hand polished. Each one takes 5 hours to make.

The first Emmy for Outstanding Personality, presented in 1949, went to a puppet. Shirley Dinsdale, a 15 year-old ventriloquist on the Eddie Cantor radio show in the 40s, received the award for her puppet Judy Splinters.

The Emmys is held annually in Los Angeles. The 2001 Emmys broadcast was cancelled twice due to war against international terrorism but eventually was presented on 4 November. It was the first time in its 53-year history that the Emmys was cancelled.