The National Media
We recently had the opportunity to visit the
National Media Museum in Bradford, England. It is an amazing
facility with eight floors of interactive galleries devoted to Radio, TV
and Film in the United Kingdom. It also includes two cinemas as
well as an Imax theater. It definitely is the "place to be" for
anyone with a passion for media.
One entire floor is devoted to TV and TV Programs.
Many artifacts from the BBC and other UK networks can be found here.
A few of the vintage TV's on display.
This oddity is a CBS
Field Sequential color TV from the early1950's. Note the
color wheel, which rotated to make color out of a monochrome
I've never seen one of these in person before.
More TV's. Lest
you think this is a static display, there is an interactive
touch screen in front of the viewer which simulates the display.
Touch on a particular TV, and up pops a picture of it with
choices of finding out specific details about the set in
question, finding out about TV shows that would have been
popular when it was new, and finding out about history of the
world when the set was new. Very cool.
A 1950's Era British Video Projector. Black
and white, of course.
Marconi MK III Camera
Pre War BBC Camera
The same camera on
its "Dolly." Ingenuity abounds. There was no
budget for a "real" perambulator, so BBC engineers used the
chassis of an Austin 7 automobile. Yes those tires
were once on an automobile!
EMI Color Camera from the BBC
PYE Camera Control Unit
Marconi Image Orthicon Color Camera, probably a
close relative of the RCA TK-41
A British (MOY) Film Recorder for making
More of the exhibit with the Marconi Color camera
in the background.
Some more modern cameras.
This EMI Camera is
housed in a very heavy duty - the British would say "robust" -
case to survive the rigors of an Outside Broadcast truck.
Several American TV's
were on display, despite the fact they would have never worked
with the UK TV system when they were new, at least, not without
significant modifications. Notable was a Hallicrafters on the
left and a Philco Predicta on the right.
There is MUCH more to
see than just a few TV Cameras! There are tons of
interactive exhibits that are fun for the whole family. They
include a working two camera TV studio where guests are invited
to run the cameras and be the talent. You can also
practice your teleprompter skills as a newsreader for the BBC or
learn about chroma-key while becoming a part of a vintage Dr.
Who TV show.
you are visiting the UK, this site is highly recommended.
It is located in Bradford, which is about a ten minute ride from
the Leeds Central railway station. Connections from
London are easy and plentiful.
You can visit on line at