Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5

Mechanical Television

Rochester, NY TV Demonstration

This flyer probably was made to advertise a demonstration of television. There is no date on the flyer, but May 31 fell on a Wednesday in 1933, 1939 and 1944. It is known that Sanabria demonstrated theatre TV in 1933 at Sears in Rochester. However, several things in the text of the flyer indicate a later demonstration.

The flyer states that TV will "transmit sound and images from one of our front windows", implying that subjects from outside would be telecast. Mechanical TV cameras were not capable of this. Also, the flyer mentions that the images were in black and white, while the Sanabria projection system created an orange image. Finally, a 5 foot screen size is mentioned, while the Sanabria system used screens of 6 1/2 and 10 feet.

However, there is no record of TV demonstrations in department stores in 1939 or 1944. RCA did demonstrate TV across the country in 1939, but did it with NBC radio affiliates. And Sears was selling TV sets in 1939. If the flyer is from 1939, why didn't the flyer mention these sets?

Steve Dichter suggested that a clue might be in the script used in the word Sears.

1933 Christmas Catalog

1939 Sears Catalog

1939 Sears TV Brochure

The 1933 script is identical to that in the flyer. Based on the above, it is likely that the flyer describes the 1933 Sanabria demonstration.