Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The first face Canadians saw on their TV's

An icon of Canadian Television passed away on Tuesday, as Percy Saltzman the chalk tossing weather forecaster of the early days of television died in Toronto at the age of 91.
He was the prototype of today's weather talkers, appearing for the first time on September 8, 1952 the first face that Canadians would see on the new medium and one that they would grow old with over the next thirty years or so.

He used no notes, no teleprompter and was the first Canadian weatherperson to use radar and satellite images to help the viewer get a better understanding of the weather.

But, for the most part he was known for that chalk toss, a quick flick of the wrist that sent the weather chalk flying into the air at the end of every weather forecast.

The CBC website has a number of features about Saltzman and his contribution to Canadian television.

And his own personal website is an interesting look at one of Canada's pioneers of broadcasting.

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