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These unique objects date back to the origins of radio and television broadcasting. Mainly related to the British professional television and radio industries, explore the technologies and engineering of broadcasting represented by these objects.
BBC L1 lip microphone, 1937-1960
L1 lip microphone, manufactured by Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company Limited for the BBC, Chelmsford, Essex, England, 1937-1960
Marconi Mark II television camera head, 1951
Marconi Mark II television camera head, made by Marconi's Wireless Telegraphy Company Limited, British, 1951.
Video Networks Limited (HomeChoice) set top box, 2000-2006
Video Networks Limited (HomeChoice) set top box, manufactured by Video Networks Limited, 2000-2006
Pace DSL4000 IPTV set-top box with Remote Control
Pace model DSL4000 IPTV set-top box, with remote control, manufactured by Pace plc, British, 2001.
Tape and Splicing Block
Splicing block with two boxes of tape and razor blade (see Note).
Savoy Hill 'Meat Safe' Microphone Stand
Savoy Hill "Meat Safe" microphone stand for the Marconi-Sykes Magnetophone type microphone, made by Marconi's Wireless Telegraphy Company Limited, probably Chelmsford, Essex, England, 1923
Pye B16T television receiver
PYE B16T table-top television receiver, manufactured by Pye Limited, East Anglia, England, 1946-1948.
'Digit Al' soft toy, 2008
'Digit Al' doll, designed by Abbot Mead Vickers BDDO, unknown maker, 2008. Produced to promote the digital television switchover.
Picture and waveform monitor and camera control chassis for the Marconi Mk II television camera, 1950-1955
Picture and waveform monitor B.D. 627C, plus camera control chassis B.D. 626E for the Marconi Mk II television camera, made by Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, Chelmsford, Essex, England, 1950-1955
Remote control unit for Pace TDS850NB HD satellite receiver for Sky+ HD, 2008
Pace remote control for Sky+ HD satellite receiver, manufactured by Universal Electronics for Pace plc, Europe, 2008.
Pace TDS850NB HD satellite receiver for Sky+ HD, 2008
Pace Sky+ HD satellite receiver, manufactured for Pace plc, Europe, 2008. It includes Sky+ functionality and a built in HD video recorder.
home built 405-line television receiver, 1951-1953
Home-built 405-line television receiver with 7 inch screen constructed by electrical engineer J Hueting of Peckham, London, England, about 1952. Assembled using an ad-hoc assortment of electronic parts. Similarly the cabinet is constructed from scrap wood and metal collected at the time.
Marconi-Sykes Magnetophone, Serial Number 271376, made by Marconi's Wireless Telegraphy Company Limited, probably Chelmsford, Essex, England, 1923. Very early moving coil microphone, DC energised. Uses the large flat coil as the diaphragm. Used at Savoy Hill, mounted in the 'Meat Safe' microphone stand. This example missing the coil.
Watson varifocal zoom lens model 75/6.7, 1948
Watson varifocal lens Model 75/6.7 (No 206), manufactured by Watson & Son, Barnet, London, England, 1948. Watson varifocal lens Model 75/6.7 (No 206). Example of a television camera zoom lens, to fit a Pye Mark III camera. Used to film the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Black-and-white television made by Murphy Radio Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, c.1968.
Trinitron colour television
Trinitron colour television, made by Sony Corporation, Japan, c. 1983.
Percussion mallet with green rubber head, made by Premier Percussion. Inscribed "Premier 592 Hard". Part of BBC Radiophonic Workshop collection
Satellite dish, known as the 'Squariel', to receive British Satellite Broadcasting television.
BBC Communications panel
Communications panel, made by Calrec and used in the gallery of the 'North West Tonight' studio at BBC Manchester.
'Televisor', made by Baird International Television Ltd, London, 1932.
Percussion mallet with red yarn head
Percussion mallet with red yarn head. Part of BBC Radiophonic Workshop collection
15" Flatscreen Television
15" Flatscreen Television with power cable, scart lead, remote control, instructions and receipt made by Mcperson, Italy, 2004.
‘Crystal Palace’ Capactive Fader
‘Crystal Palace’ capacitive fader designed by Dave Young, 1967 (see Note). In this device, an electric motor cannibalised from a variable-speed dictation machine turns a ‘capacitive’ vane. The vane is connected to the input of a FET amplifier via the gold nib of a Conway-Stewart fountain pen. There are a series of audio inputs and outputs wired within the unit which can be configured to produce different effects. Sixteen sounds could be smoothly combined using this device, opening up the possibility of rich sound montages. It was used in Brian Hodgson's music for 'The Machine Stops' in 1966.
television band converter
Television band converter for reception with Band III (ITV) as well as Band I (BBC), made by Electrical & Musical Industries Ltd, Hayes, c.1955.
Monopoly board game
'Coronation Street' Monopoly game, produced in 2000 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the show.
Keracolor Sphere TV set
Keracolor Sphere TV set, made in 1970 by Group Systems (Keracolor) Ltd, Northwich, with associated archive material.
Spiral metal wire on domed metal base
Spiral metal wire on domed metal base. Part of BBC Radiophonic Workshop collection
Metal discs on wire
Metal discs on wire - possibly arcade tokens. Part of BBC Radiophonic Workshop collection
Electric bell on wooden base, with kettle whistle
Electric bell on wooden base, with kettle whistle. Part of BBC Radiophonic Workshop collection
Tape Guide (without sand)
Tape guide without stand, labelled, 'Do not fiddle with'. 'The do not fiddle with tape guide was a hefty metal stand, with a drum on the top, and it was spring-loaded, so when you put your tape loop thorugh, it would tension it for you. Producers would often absent-mindedly twist the arm round and break the spring, so someone had written on the top "do not fiddle with".' Brian Hodgson.
Tannoy ribbon microphone, No. 37
Tannoy Ribbon Microphone, No. 37, c1972. This microphone is one of those used in the House of Commons to cover debates and speeches for BBC broadcast. The Tannoy ribbon microphones were also known for their distinctive brass barrel-like appearance. Although Tannoy did the installation around 1972, broadcasts from Parliament did not officially begin until 3rd April, 1978. The Tannoy microphones were removed in 1992 to be replaced with more modern units.
BBC Vision mixing desk
Vision mixing desk, made by Grass Valley Group and used in the gallery of the 'North West Tonight' studio at BBC Manchester.
Lamp Shade, used as a sound source
Lamp shade used as a sound source by Delia Derbyshire for 'Blue Veils & Golden Sands', 1967 (see Note). 'I like using natural sounds combined with synthesized sounds to create something that perhaps hasn't been heard before.' Delia Derbyshire.
Small percussion mallet
Small percussion mallet with black rubber head. Part of BBC Radiophonic Workshop collection
Triangle musical instrument
Triangle musical instrument. Part of BBC Radiophonic Workshop collection
Post Office Television Detector Van
Post Office Television Detector Van, built by the Post Office Engineering Department for use in Northern Ireland in the 1960s. The antenna for these sorts of vehicles was initially attached to cars but, due to practicality, later was fixed to vans such as this Dodge Commer Van. Registration number LYK 126X, Chassis number PBCA 2590L432644, Engine number 7221-0044.