Aleene & Dorothy Gardener - Handy Hints Television Show - 1951
Sometime around 1951, Aleene got the idea to go on
television with her "Make Your Own Corsage" kits. She had
first learned about television in 1942 when she had seen it
being previewed at the old Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire
Boulevard. During the Easter Parade in Los Angeles, there
was a television camera and monitor set up to show people
what televisions could do in the very near future. She
recalls, "It was amazing to see. We take it for granted
today, but for us back then, it was like going to the moon
would be for a later generation."
In 1951, she contacted KTLA in Los Angeles, the first commercial television station to broadcast west of the Mississippi River. (At its launch in 1947, estimates of the number of television sets in the Los Angeles area at the time ranged from 350 to 600.)
Aleene "talked her way" onto a show called "Handy Hints", hosted by Dorothy Gardener. Aleene recalls, "I originally had to pay for my appearance time on the show." Dorothy liked what Aleene demonstrated and invited her to start making weekly guest appearances demonstrating florals and flower arrangements. She continued to appear on this show for about a year.
After appearing on the show for a couple of months, there was a company selling television sets at the TV studio, so Aleene bought one. She was suddenly the hit of the neighborhood. Ten - twelve neighbors and family would come over in the evening and everyone would sit together to watch TV on the 7" set. (That's right - 0nly 7").
It wasn't too long after that Aleene started her own show "Fun with Flowers" which ran for about 13-weeks.