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Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

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Mechanical Television

Baird Televisor

(click on picture for high resolution image)

The Baird Televisor was made by Plessey in England from 1930 through the early 30s. It was the first television receiver sold to the public. About 1000 of these sets were made and sold for about 26 British Pounds, which, at the time, was a considerable amount of money. When buying a Televisor, the purchaser signed a contract, which described the programming available. The Televisor was also available in kit form. This is serial number 717.

1928 description of image quality Service Manual
1930 programming schedule Television Scanning and Synchronizing
Baird window display Televisor advertisement
Instructions for actors being televised Televisor kit
Operating instructions Televisor sales contract

The set uses a 30 line scanning disk, and is about 3 feet wide and two feet high. The image is about the size of a postage stamp.

In order to make the picture appear wider, the scanning lines are not equally spaced. The three lines on each edge are spaced farther apart than the ones in the middle, as shown in this photo from the 30s:

A photo taken off the screen by Richard Diehl

Because neon tubes have a limited life, we have modified a LED neon replacement made by Peter Yanczer and installed it in the set so we can operate it without wearing out the original neon. This set is now displaying pictures, for the first time in about 70 years.

Original neon lamp

LED replacement made by Peter Yanczer

1930 demonstration. Is this set modified with a lens disk and crater lamp, or is it a fake image?