Throwback Thursday: WIN-T in the John Martin Smith Collection

Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!

Did you know that WANE-TV Channel 15 used to have studios in Waterloo? Today let’s take a look at the DeKalb County connection to this local television station.


When they first signed on the air in September of 1954, the Channel 15 station went by the name of WIN-T, and broadcast from a transmitter on County Road 29, south of Auburn. Although it was the second TV station Fort Wayne had launched (Channel 33 was the first), the station was technically licensed to Waterloo, where it also had several studios.

Like other TV stations of the time, WIN-T was only on the air for part of the day, usually shutting off around midnight. Along with news and sports, they aired shows like I Love Lucy, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Science Fiction Theatre, as well as music programs for groups like The Down Homers. In 1956, WIN-T was also one of over a hundred U.S. TV stations associated with the NTA Film Network, a part-time television network which broadcast films and first-run television shows.

Down Homers

The station’s time in Waterloo ended up being short-lived. In 1956, The Indiana Broadcasting Company bought the station, and decided to move the entire operation to Fort Wayne, on the grounds that almost 90% of the local revenue for the station was from Fort Wayne, compared to 7% from Waterloo. The call letters were then officially changed to WANE-TV, made effective April 1, 1957.

Want to see more? Click here and search “JMS” and “WIN-T.”


About Jenny

I am the Associate Director of Eckhart Public Library. My office is in the Administrative Annex, but I can often be found roaming the Eckhart Public Library Campus, performing acts of librarianship in every department! I love to read and learn about history. I'm also a huge fan of movies, TV and pop culture in general, and I love to read books of all types. Currently, I'm working my way around the romance section, with some historical fiction and graphic novels thrown in for variety! But you never know what I'm going to pick up next.
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One Response to Throwback Thursday: WIN-T in the John Martin Smith Collection

  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: Happy New Year! | Charlie Chat

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