According to legend, the film statue Oscar got its name because it looked like somebody's uncle. Tony, theater's highest award, is an abbreviation of Antoinette Perry. For Historians, here is how Emmy® got her name.
Emmy® history goes back to the first ceremony.
The TV Academy's constitution empowers it to "recognize outstanding achievement in the television industry by conferring annual awards of merit as an incentive for achievement within the industry..." In 1948, Charles Brown, then president of the young organization, named a committee to select award winners for the year. He also asked for suggestions on a symbol and what it should be called. Some thought "Iconoscope" (for large orthicon tube) would be an impressive title, but it was pointed that it would be shortened for "Ike," a name reserved for Dwight Eisenhower.
Another television favorite was "Tilly" (for television). But in the end, Emmy®, a derivative for Immy (a nickname for the image orthicon tube) was chosen. The name was suggested by pioneer television engineer Harry Lubcke (president of the Academy in 1949-50).
Once the name had been selected, the next chore was the symbol. Some one hundred-and eighteen sketches were submitted to the committee and when candidates were cut to only two, designer Louis McManus presented an entry and the committee knew it had found its Emmy®.
On January 25, 1949, the first annual TV Awards were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club with Walter O'Keef as host. Of the six awards presented that evening, one went to McManus as a special tribute.
As McManus was called to the head table, he was told, "Louis, here she is...our baby. She'll be here long after we're gone." McManus was then presented with a gold lifetime membership card and an Emmy®.
© NY NATAS