Mr. I. Magination

Mr. I. Magination was one of the earliest American television shows for children. It ran live as a half-hour weekly show on CBS from 1949 to 1952 and was broadcast from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.[1][2][3]

Paul Tripp as Mr. I. Magination

The host, Mr. I. Magination (Paul Tripp), dressed as a train engineer, gathered a group of children each week. The same child actors appeared on a rotating basis. Two would be selected to ask about a career, occupation, activity, and such. Tripp would then play a "magic" slide flute, then he and the children would board a train and travel to Imagination Land, where they would meet a professional from each of the two areas for that week's show.[4]

Guests were as diverse as Damu, a lion tamer from Ringling Brothers Circus, and test pilot Scott Crossfield.[5] His wife, Ruth Enders Tripp, also acted in the show.[1] The show was also a pioneer in using simple, early special effects, such as making it appear as if the opening train ride went through a tunnel to enter Imagination Land, emerging from the smoke from its engine.[5][6]

Yul Brynner served as the director of the show at times, but did not appear as a performer. The show also featured performances by Walter Matthau, Richard Boone, Joe Silver, Ted Tiller, and Simon Oakland.[5]

Mr. I. Magination also was featured on several RCA records for children, including Billy On A Bike and Mr. I. Magination Meets Rip Van Winkle; there are at least two versions on LP (long playing) record.[7][8][9][10][11]


  1. ^ "I. Magination" To Get Col. Wax. Billboard. 8 July 1950. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  2. ^ Life Tours the Children's TV Shows. Life. 24 December 1951. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  3. ^ Hollis, Tim, ed. (2001). Hi there, boys and girls!: America's local children's TV shows. University Press of Mississippi. p. 361. ISBN 1-57806-396-5. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  4. ^ Woolery, George W. (1985). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part II: Live, Film, and Tape Series. The Scarecrow Press. pp. 341–343. ISBN 0-8108-1651-2.
  5. ^ a b c Honan, William H. (1 September 2001). "Paul Tripp, 91, Early Children's TV Host". New York Times. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  6. ^ Gould, Jack; Gould, Lewis L., eds. (2002). Watching television come of age: the New York Times review. University of Texas Press. p. 266. ISBN 0-292-72846-8. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  7. ^ Mr. I-Magination Meets Rip Van Winkle. Billboard. 3 March 1951. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  8. ^ Spaceship to Mars (with Mr. I-Magination). Billboard. 22 November 1952. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  9. ^ TV and Disk Springboard For Greatest Number of Acts on Way to Stardom. Billboard. 8 July 1950. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  10. ^ Columbia Hypos Kidisk Etchings. Billboard. 15 July 1950. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  11. ^ Columbia Adds to Kidisk Line. Billboard. 16 August 1952. Retrieved 8 September 2011.