Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

Early Electronic Television

The Alexandra Palace TV Station

Britain Inaugurates Television for Public Use - Radio News, January 1937
Complete "Black Book", Technical Description of the EMI - Marconi Television System



When the BBC began telecasting in 1936, Alexandra Palace, on a hill in London, was chosen as the site for the transmitter and studios. This was the only TV station in England until a second station was started in Birmingham in 1950. Here are program schedules from the early days of Alexandria Palace and a British Pathe film segment.

When England declared war on Germany in 1939, the transmitter was converted to send out signals to confuse German navigation signals for their bombers. Here is a video from the Alexandra Palace Television Society explaining the history and technology (5 parts), and an article in 405 Alive describing the use of the system.

An Emitron camera

The film transfer camera

Here is an early program

Baird control panel

EMI studio control panel

EMI Visual transmitter

EMI Visual modulator

EMI Transmitter control room

Aural Transmitter (used by both the EMI and Baird Systems)

The station's predicted coverage area. TV reception was reported at greater distances than the 40 or so miles shown above.