Melted Farnsworth Image Dissector Television Camera Tube

1935-36 in United States
Philo Farnsworth

Melted Farnsworth Image Dissector tube A Farnsworth Image Dissector tube from about 1936

Image dissector tube by Philo T Farnsworth, used by Baird, rescued from the remains of the Crystal Palace in London following the fire on 30 November 1936 (melted).

Melted Image Dissector tube, made by Philo T Farnsworth, c. 1936.

In 1927, Philo T Farnsworth patented and produced the first operational, all-electronic television system. His camera tube design was known as the Image Dissector. In 1934, Baird company directors hired Farnsworth in order to have their own electronic television camera to compete with EMI's Emitron. Farnsworth’s Image Dissector tube was used in the Baird Electron Camera but the Image Dissector was not light-sensitive and thus was unsuitable for studio work compared to the Emitron.

Less than a month after the launch of high-definition television at Alexandra Palace, fire broke out in the Crystal Palace building which housed most of Baird Television Limited's laboratories, research studios and stock of spare parts. This melted tube was picked out of the wreckage after the fire by Farnsworth himself.


Object Number:
glass and metal (unknown)
overall (estimate): 125 mm x 210 mm x 145 mm, 0.5kg
television camera tube
The National Media Museum, Bradford

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