What Iconic Award Was Almost Named The “Ike” Award?
Answer: The Emmy Award
It would be easy to think that the Emmy Award was named after a famous actress, the award creator’s daughter, or any other practical line of reasoning that involves the golden-winged award ending up with a feminine nickname.
The reality of how the Emmy ended up with such a name is a bit more winding, technical, and involves a stop at the nickname “Ike” first. When it came time for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to pick a name for their new award (and the associated ceremony), founder Syd Cassyd suggested “Ike,” a nickname for the television iconoscope tube. Given the popularity of “Ike” as a nickname for Dwight D. Eisenhower, however, the academy vetoed the suggestion. Television engineer and academy president Harry Lubcke suggested “Immy,” a nickname for the image orthicon tube found in early television cameras. Immy stuck and was later feminized to “Emmy” to match the female form of the statuette.
Speaking of the statuette, the design of the Emmy Award is of a golden winged woman (representing the muse of art) holding up a traditional mid-century atomic model (to represent science) intended to cover both the artistic and technical categories encompassed by the Emmy Award.
Image Courtesy of NASA.