D-700 photographic facsimile receiver

Made:
1954-1964 in United Kingdom
maker:
Muirhead and Company Limited

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Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Musuem

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Musuem

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Musuem

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Musuem

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Musuem

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Musuem

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Musuem

D-700-KM picture receiver, made by Muirhead & Co. Ltd, made in the United Kingdom between 1954-1964. Serial number 298819.

This picture receiver, an early example of a facsimile machine, was used to publish the first photographs taken from the surface of the Moon in 1966.

During the Cold War, at the height of the Space Race, this picture receiver intercepted and recorded the first pictures ever to be transmitted from the surface of the moon. The pictures were taken by the Soviet space probe Luna 9, the first space probe to 'soft land' on the Moon and take pictures of its surface. The pictures were intercepted by the Jodrell Bank observatory, Cheshire, on 4 February 1966.

The Muirhead picture receiver was a facsimile machine leant to Jodrell Bank by the Daily Express newspaper. It could intercept and receive the photographs because they were transmitted by the Soviet probe through Radiofax technology. In 1966, Radiofax was widely used by newspapers around the world to send and receive pictures.

Muirhead’s D-700-KM receiver had the advantage of being portable, therefore it could be easily transported to Jodrell Bank. It was more compact than earlier facsimile machines and could sit on a surface rather than being mounted in wall-racking, as was the case with earlier facsimile machines. It cost £950 in 1954.

Details

Category:
Space Technology
Object Number:
Y1988.151
Materials:
metal (unknown) and plastic (unidentified)
Measurements:
overall: 34.7 kg
type:
picture receiver
taxonomy:
  • processes and techniques
  • copying
credit:
Gift of Daily Express