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The NBC logo has been ‘proudly’ presented to American radio and television audiences since 1942, though the corporate emblem has gone through more than a few changes in the National Broadcasting Company’s history. In the beginning, NBC television aired its first official logo, a microphone set among the lightning bolts borrowed from the company’s radio days. Next to appear was the xylophone and mallet logo in 1953, along with the three-tone chimes first heard on NBC radio in 1927. The now well-known peacock first came about in 1956, created by John J. Graham, featuring the eleven-feather array, and was instrumental in focusing on the new age of color in broadcasting. Since NBC’s parent company was RCA, it was indeed a marketing strategy as well, intended to promote the purchase of color television sets. The NBC ‘snake’ logo crawled across the screen from 1959 to 1975. The re-designed peacock, still with eleven feathers, reappeared during a broadcast of Laramie in 1962, and was also combined with the tag-line ‘in living color’ similar to its predecessor. Next came the ‘fancy-cut’ red and blue N logo in 1976, lasting until 1979, when the peacock flew again, though this time ‘proudly’ superimposed over the N. In May of 1986, NBC’s sixtieth anniversary ushered the current version of the peacock into the limelight, with its head facing stage-right towards the future, and displaying just six feathers to signify the company’s six divisions during that period: News, Sports, Entertainment, Stations, Network, and Productions.

Originally posted 2011-11-25 09:56:22.