Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

Please Become a Member of the Museum

 

Mechanical Television

Jenkins Model 100 Scanning Disk

(click on picture for high resolution image)

This set was made by the Charles Jenkins Co. in early 1931. It is the model 100 Radivisor. It was also available as a kit - the model RK-1. Here are links to Jenkins camera, newspaper articles, and information on Charles Jenkins.

Much of the wiring in this set was rotten, and was replaced. The motor and phonic synchronizer operate, but the motor speed is erratic, and the picture will not lock in. The motor assembly will be rebuilt in an attempt to solve this problem.

This particular set was used at W9XAK at Kansas State College (now Kansas State University). W.R. Mitchell, an electrical engineering student from Salina, acquired the Jenkins disk and built what he claimed was the first superhetrodyne television receiver. It was completed in October, 1931, and Mitchell reported to the local paper, "It has given excellent visual reception from a station in Chicago, and fair reception, at times, from Washington, D.C., New York, and Boston stations." In 1982, Mitchell wrote a letter describing his recollections.

In November of 1931 Mitchell published a paper titled "Tomorrow's Television Set" in the Kansas State Engineer journal describing the receiver. The February 27, 1932 issue of Radio World magazine reported that "W. R. Mitchell, 514 N. 17th st., Manhattan, Kan: W2XAB (the CBS station in New York, broadcasting on 2.8 mHz) comes in very clear and strong, and I receive all the evening programs regularly"

The scanner was passed down to Mr. Mitchell's son, who sold it to a collector, who, in turn, sold it to the museum.