John Logie Baird in 1943 with a 1933 Televisor

1943 in Sydenham
Keystone Press Agency

A photograph of John Logie Baird adjusting the controls of a 1933 Bush mirror drum Televisor. The location of this picture is likely the living room of the house in London at the time. At the time this picture was taken (1943), this television was 10 years old.

The Bush mirror drum receiver was in fact a scaled-down version of six prototypes built in the spring of 1932.

Approximately 100 of these scaled-down Luxury sets (to be priced at £75 ea.) were manufactured by Bush Radio in 1933, designed to receive the 30-line mechanical television broadcasts (transmitted between 1929 and 1935).

Noel Ashbridge, Chief Engineer of the BBC cautioned the Baird company against putting them on the market given that the "obsolescent" 30-line medium wave broadcasts were due to be closed down. The Baird company invited Sir John Reith, Director-General of the BBC, to attend a dinner to inaugurate the placing on the market of the first consignment of the Bush sets, which Reith refused.

None of the 100 were actually sold, and this is probably why this set ended up in Baird's living room. Only 3 examples of this model are known to survive today. The note on the back of this photo which states this was 'one of the most popular machines' is therefore incorrect.

This set was the last incarnation of the 30-line Televisors, and also the last mechanical home receiver produced by the Baird company.


Object Number:
silver gelatin print
  • object genre
  • image
The Daily Herald Collection at the National Media Museum, Bradford