John C. Crabbe Papers
From 1937 to 1958, John C. Crabbe worked for the College of the Pacific, Stockton, California where he started the first broadcasting degree major west of the Mississippi River. There, he also worked for KUOP-FM as its station manager, having assisted in putting the station on the air in 1949. During World War II, while in Baltimore, Crabbe lobbied the Federal Communications Commission for reserved FM channels for educational use which was finally granted in April 1952. Meanwhile, from 1950 to 1953, he also served as President of the Association for Education by Radio-Television. In 1961, Crabbe worked as a regional consultant to a National Defense Education Act survey on the need for television channels in education. Other positions held throughout his career include: general manager of KVIE-TV of Stockton, California (1958-1969), vice-president of the Western Radio and Television Association's Western Educational Network (1967-1968) and then president (August 1968 to 1969), director of University of Southern Colorado Telecommunications Division (1981), and general manager of KTSC, Pueblo, Colorado. The collection consists of publications regarding instructional television in California, television in education as well as the interaction between children and television. It includes the 1952 FCC allocation report, Crabbe's personal recollections of KVIE's history and an audio cassette of a 1949 interview with "Death Valley Scotty" and a 1952 recording of an Institute for Education by Radio and Television featuring the cast of "Kukla, Fran & Ollie."
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This collection is open for research use.
John C. Crabbe Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.
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John C. (Crozier) Crabbe, son of Arthur and Louise A. (Wiley) Crabbe, was born on July 3, 1914 in Pomona, California. He attended Modesto (California) College from 1931 to 1934, and then Fresno (California) State College from 1934 to 1936. He finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in theater from the College of the Pacific in 1937 and a MA in 1940. During college, he participated in vaudeville and burlesque theater, mostly as an electrical technician. Crabbe did his postgraduate work at the University of Iowa in 1938, at New York University in 1940, at Stanford University in 1951, and at Ohio State University. On July 17, 1940, he married Bobbin Gay Peck with whom he had three children: John Crozier, William Charles, and Barbara Gay. During World War II, Crabbe served from 1943 to 1946 in the United States Naval Reserve as a lieutenant stationed in Baltimore.
Crabbe's broadcasting career started on a Fresno, California station reading comics from 1934 to 1935. He then began his career in educational broadcasting while he attended the College of the Pacific, Stockton, California. From 1936 to 1937, he taught and produced radio programs for release on commercial stations. After graduation, Crabbe remained at Pacific as Director of Broadcasting from 1937 to 1958 and as KUOP-FM station manager, having helped put the Stockton, California educational radio station on the air in 1949. This station started as a campus-limited, carrier-current station as part of a laboratory activity. It was student operated except for Crabbe and one chief engineer, and did live productions of music, ballgames, and dramas. Before KUOP started, the College of the Pacific released student class-produced programs through local commercial stations. In addition, he helped organize the first broadcasting curriculum west of the Mississippi in the 1940s.
During World War II, while stationed in Baltimore, Crabbe occupied his spare time by lobbying the Federal Communications Commission for FM channels reserved for educational use. The broadcasting industry did not care much about FM, but simply wanted twenty reserved channels. Finally, the FCC granted educational reservations for FM channels in April, 1952.
Starting in the 1950s, Crabbe's educational broadcasting career involved simultaneous activities in California, Ohio, and Michigan. The biography will now focus on each geographic location separately, starting with California. From 1950 to 1953, Crabbe participated as a member in the Western Radio Television Conference, joining fellow members Jim Day, Public Service Director of San Francisco and Luke Roberts, Public Service Director, KOIN, Portland, Oregon. The conference was first held in San Francisco, and was later held in cities such as Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Portland. Meanwhile, in 1951, at Stanford University, Crabbe lectured in radio education.
In 1953, Crabbe served as executive secretary of the Delta-Sierra Educational Television Corporation, a Stockton community organization focused on establishing a station on Channel 42. At the same time, a Sacramento community organization, the Northern California Educational Television was trying to establish an educational television station on Channel 6. These two groups met regularly between 1952 and 1957, and eventually merged in 1955 to form a non-profit corporation called Central California Educational Television (CCET). Crabbe served as CCET's Executive Secretary from 1955 to 1958. In October of 1957, a representative from the Fund for Adult Education, an agency of the Ford Foundation, met with Crabbe. The two men agreed that CCET would have ninety days from December 15, 1957 to raise $100,000 in cash plus $100,000 in pledges to qualify for a Fund grant of $100,000. Working out of an office provided by the College of the Pacific, Crabbe spoke to about 92 groups ranging from PTAs and luncheon clubs to special interest associations and raised $115,000 in cash and over $100,000 in pledges. With the money raised, Channel 6, KVIE, Stockton was established on July 1, 1958 and started broadcasting in mid-December 1958. From July 1958 to 1969, Crabbe served as KVIE's general manager.
In 1961, Crabbe was the manager of Central California ETV, Inc. From 1967 to 1969, Crabbe served as president of the Western Educational Network, was a special consultant in radio education in the schools of central California and was chairman of the Television Advisory Committee of the State of California. From 1967 to July 1968, Crabbe served as vice-president of the Western Radio and Television Association's Western Educational Network, and then succeeded Luke Lamb as president from August 1968 to 1969 when he became chair of communications. Finally, from 1973 to 1974, Crabbe served as consultant to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications of the California Legislature.
Crabbe's Ohio activities began shortly before 1950 when he directed the Association for Education by Radio at Columbus Ohio. Then, from 1950 to 1953, Crabbe became the president of the Association for Educational Radio-TV (AERT) in Columbus, Ohio, having been its vice president. AERT was a largely teacher, in-school oriented organization, inspired by the School Broadcast Conference of Chicago as a reaction to the institutional orientation of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB). Meanwhile, from 1951 to 1952, he was an assistant at the Office of Radio-Television Education at Ohio State University. In 1952, Crabbe became an assistant to Keith Tyler at the Institute for Education by Radio and Television at Ohio State University. He also put together the Ohio State Institute for Education by Radio and Television Competitions on April 18 - 20, 1952. The following banquet included "Kukla, Fran & Ollie."
Crabbe's broadcasting career in Michigan started in 1953 at the National Music Camp at Interlochen. There, from 1953 to 1954, he served as director of radio/television, taping recitals and board concerts on to 104 miles of audio tape and feeding it to WKAR, East Lansing, Michigan. Then, from 1955 to 1956, he was one of the first Program Associates of Educational Television and Radio Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Crabbe participated in long-range financing, consulting jobs, and was involved on various educational broadcasting committees and boards. In 1961, along with John Schwarzwalder, he served as a regional consultant on a survey on the need for television channels in education under Title VII of National Defense Education Act. At that time, the Federal Communication Commission's number one priority was to properly allocate television spectrum space. From 1962 to 1964, Crabbe served on the Department Committee of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters. Then, in 1964, he worked as a consultant in broadcasting for RTV International (East Africa) in New York. In 1969, Crabbe was also a member of the interim management group for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Network Operation. That year, he received the Banner Award from the Theta Sigma Phi National Professional Society for Women in Journalism and Communications for outstanding contributions in the field of communications. Then, from 1969 to 1973, he was a consultant in public broadcasting.
He spent his last formal years in educational broadcasting in Colorado. There, from 1976 to 1981, he was the director of telecommunications and general manger of KTSC-TV, University of South Colorado, Pueblo, Colorado, and then its consultant after retirement from 1981 on. Also, he served as Director of the University of Southern Colorado Telecommunications Division in 1981. Other involvement in public broadcasting in that region included serving on the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and on the board of governors of the Pacific Mountain Network. Crabbe also contributed articles to professional publications such as the Journal of the Association of Education by Radio- Television (JAERT).
Crabbe's other business activities included a term as the general manager of Tel-Vue Stockton, Inc. in California in 1972, and as an associate at Arthur Bolton Associates from 1972 to 1973.
John C. Crabbe died in 2001.
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The John C. Crabbe Papers cover the years 1949 to 1991, and includes some undated material. The bulk of the collection covers the years 1970 to 1979. The collection mainly focuses on the growth and concerns of educational and instructional television primarily in California, documenting Crabbe's involvement in that area. Types of documents in the collection include correspondence, reports, minutes, audiocassettes, and one photograph.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
The John C. Crabbe Papers were donated to the National Public Broadcasting Archives, University of Maryland Libraries by John C. Crabbe in October of 1991, and October of 1992.
Processed by Karen E. King, October 1992. Revised by Karen E. King, October 1995
EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Scott Prouty, January 2005.
Arrangement of Collection
The collection consists of three series.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Educational Television, 1958-1988 and undated (1.00 linear foot)
This series consists of correspondence, minutes, and reports on educational and instructional television in California and Colorado. Crabbe authored or was involved in the creation of the reports. Topics include instructional television, satellite communications, and the utilization of television resources in education both regionally and statewide. The materials are arranged first by state, then by document type, and then the reports are arranged into two groups: statewide and regional. Within each group, the reports are arranged in alphabetical order.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|California -- Correspondence 1966-1970, 1966-1970||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|California -- State Instructional Television Advisory Committee (SITAC) 2 Minutes, October 1975 and undated||series 1||box 1||folder 2|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- "An Assessment of Communications Satellite Distribution for the Department of Education," State of California., undated||series 1||box 1||folder 3|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Arthur Bolton Associates. An Assessment of the Instructional Television System in California with Recommendations for Administrative Change and Legislative Programs: A Report to the Joint Committee on Textbooks. . . ., May 15, 1972||series 1||box 1||folder 4|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- "California 1980 Calling: What's Jamming the Message?", March 1, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 5|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- California Postsecondary Education Commission. Using Instructional Media Beyond Campus., [1979?]||series 1||box 1||folder 6|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Coordinating Council for Higher Education. A Preliminary Study of External Degree Programs in California., June 1973||series 1||box 1||folder 7|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Crabbe, John. An Assessment of Telecommunications Distribution Systems for the California State Department of Education., July 1975||series 1||box 1||folder 8|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Crabbe, John C. "Comments Before California Public Broadcasting Commission.", June 3, 1976 (Postponed from April 23, 1976)||series 1||box 1||folder 9|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Crabbe, John C. "KVIE", 1988||series 1||box 1||folder 10|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Division of Academic Planning, Office of the Chancellor, the California State Colleges. Instructional Television in the California State Colleges: A Survey of Capabilities and Capacities., September 1971||series 1||box 1||folder 11|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Heckman, Dale M. Audits Division, Department of Finance, State of California.Broadcast Television in California Public Postsecondary Education, March 1975||series 1||box 1||folder 12|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Heckman, Dale M. Audits Division, Department of Finance, State of California.Broadcast Television in California Public Postsecondary Education, March 1975||series 1||box 1||folder 13|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Noel, Elizabeth S. and Guy M. Helmke.Instructional Television in California: A Status Report., 1968||series 1||box 1||folder 14|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Office of the Auditor General, State of California, Sacramento. Report on Review of Educational Television: Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 222 1969 Legislature, undated||series 1||box 1||folder 15|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- Report of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Educational Television., January 1961||series 1||box 1||folder 16|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- State of California, Department of General Services. Educational Television in California: Existing Facilities, Future Needs, and a Plan for Development., February 22, 1966||series 1||box 1||folder 17|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- State of California, Department of General Services. Educational Television in California: Existing Facilities, Future Needs, and a Plan for Development., February 22, 1966||series 1||box 1||folder 18|
|California -- Reports - Statewide -- State of California, Department of General Services. Educational Television in California: Existing Facilities, Future Needs, and a Plan for Development., February 22, 1966||series 1||box 1||folder 19|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Crabbe, John C. Master Plan for Television Consortium of Valley Colleges., June 1972||series 1||box 2||folder 1|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Crabbe, John C. Telecommunications Distribution Systems for Northeastern California: A Report prepared for the California Rural Consortium and the Coordinating Council for Higher Education. , December 1972||series 1||box 2||folder 2|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Crabbe, John, consultant. Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Educational Television Advisory Committee. Television Resources Utilization Project., July 1975||series 1||box 2||folder 3|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Danielson, Sen. George E. and Robert J. Wheeler. "CATV in California", December 28, 1970||series 1||box 2||folder 4|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Elliott, Richard B. "The Development of an Educational Television Facility for the California Central Valley", August 10, 1958||series 1||box 2||folder 5|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Elliott, Richard B. "The Development of an Educational Television Facility for the California Central Valley", August 10, 1958||series 1||box 2||folder 6|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Hall, Wallace W. Northeastern California Higher Education Study: A Report Prepared for the California Rural Consortium and the Coordinating Council for Higher Education., December 1972||series 1||box 2||folder 7|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Hall, Wallace W. Northeastern California Higher Education Study: A Report Prepared for the California Rural Consortium and the Coordinating Council for Higher Education., December 1972||series 1||box 2||folder 8|
|California -- Reports - Regional -- Hall, Wallace W. Supplemental Report to Northeastern California Higher Education Study: Prepared for the California Rural Consortium and the Coordinating Council for Higher Education., January 1973||series 1||box 2||folder 9|
|Colorado -- Reports -- Governor's Commission on Public Broadcasting, State of Colorado. First Report., July 31, 1979||series 1||box 2||folder 10|
Series 2: Miscellaneous Publications and Reports, 1975-1982 and undated (0.25 linear foot)
This series is comprised of articles, bulletins and reports focusing on educational broadcasting, television signal translators, and the influence of mass media on human behavior. The documents are arranged in alphabetical order.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Comstock, George. "Education and Television: the Persistent Challenge," Television & Children,Volume 5/Number 3 (Summer 1982): 9-13, Summer 1982||series 2||box 2||folder 11|
|Craney, E.B. "The History of Translators," 1975; National Translator Association Bulletin, September-December 1978, March 1979||series 2||box 2||folder 12|
|"Executive Summary" [public broadcasting - state], undated||series 2||box 2||folder 13|
|Lederer, Laura J. "The Effect of Mass Media on Human Behavior and Decision Making Program," The L.J. and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation., undated||series 2||box 2||folder 14|
Series 3: Audiocassettes, 1949-1991 (2 audiocassettes)
This series is comprised of two audiocassettes and a descriptive letter. One cassette contains a 1949 interview with "Death Valley Scotty" recorded by John Crabbe. The other cassette is a recording of the 1952 banquet of the Institute for Education by Radio and Television which featured the cast of "Kukla, Fran & Ollie".
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Correspondence, December 1991||series 3||box 2||folder 15|
|Audiocassettes, 1949; 1952||series 3||box 2||folder 16|
For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Selected Search Terms
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.
- Broadcasters -- California -- Archives.
- Crabbe, John C. (John Crozier), 1914- -- Archives.
- Television in education -- California -- History -- Sources.