This article was written about a year after George Orwell introduced the world to Big Brother. Since closed circuit television cameras have become one of the most important and wide spread tools of “Big Brother” it seems a rather appropriate title for the article. The even mention the privacy aspect in comparison to the “much-debated wire-tapping”.


By Creighton Peet

YOU CAN use it for anything—absolutely anything. It will show you what’s going on around corners, through walls, underwater, in the dark, at the bottom of an oil well—or inside the human stomach.

It’s TV’s little brother, a small and comparatively inexpensive wired television setup designed for industrial uses. Already three such devices are on the market. Diamond Power Specialty, a subsidiary of I.T.&T. has the Utiliscope; Remington Rand has developed its Vericon, and RCA the Vidicon. In one model the orthicon tube is the size and shape of a small flashlight, and its housing looks like a 16-mm. home movie camera.

Early Pay Per View TV (Oct, 1947)

It’s comforting to know that the media industry’s fascination with screwing their customers by telling them how they can use their own TVs is nothing new.

Pay-as-You-Look Television
“Phone vision,” developed by Zenith Radio Corporation, offers paying television audiences the cream of latest stage plays and movies. A combination home receiver brings in free programs as usual. Special features reach it partly by air, partly by phone line. Blurred when viewed alone (above, right), the radio image becomes clearer (left) with key frequencies received by phone. “Admission charges” go on phone bill.

NBC Proves Television Practical (Mar, 1937)

NBC Proves Television Practical

TRANSMITTING television movies across Metropolitan New York the National Broadcasting Company recently proved that this new science had definitely left the laboratory and was ready to be offered to the American public. More than two hundred spectators gathered around television receivers set up in the sixty-second floor of the RCA Building in New York City to watch the thrilling broadcast, which included both live talent and movies.

The program originated in the television studios of the National Broadcasting Company and was transmitted over coaxial cable to the television sending apparatus located atop the Empire State Building. Here a transmitter operating on 343-line definition sent the television pictures out over the air
to be picked up by the receivers located high up in the RCA Building.

Although the broadcast exceeded the wildest expectations of the newspaper representatives who attended the demonstration it will still be several years before television will be offered to the public due to complications which must be remedied. A standard line definition must be decided upon and permission of the Federal Communications Commission secured for commercial broadcasting.

Build a Fan Motor Television Receiver (Jan, 1932)

A Fan Motor Television Receiver for Experimenters


Here is a simple and easily-built type of television receiver with which you can pick up the television images now being transmitted over the air from a number of stations.

THE time is now ripe for radio fans who build their own sets to construct a television receiver. Several broadcasting stations are on the air transmitting on both long and short waves, and have so perfected their apparatus that a simple receiver like that illustrated in the accompanying drawings will bring out the pictures with a fair degree of clarity and brilliancy.

Recorder stores TV stills (Jan, 1964)

I’m a big fan of any media you have to peel.

Recorder stores TV stills
This German recorder makes stills of moving TV images.

Video pulses are fed through a recording head to a magnetic-foil disk (background above) spun at 3,000 r.p.m. Scanning speed is 2,000 inches a second. A pushbutton starts the cycle for an instantaneous single picture.

A playback feeds the stills to another TV set. Up to 10 can be recorded on one foil, which can be peeled off for filing.

Early Cantenna, Color Converter for B&W TV (Sep, 1955)

Did you think all those Wi-Fi hackers had invented the cantenna? This has them beat by a good 45-50 years.

  • Airmen’s “Can-Tenna”

    At the Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma there’s a short-wave antenna that proves you should never throw away anything! It is the antenna for a Globe King transmitter and is made of 84 beverage cans that have been soldered together, end to end. Its height is 27 feet, 10 inches, about a quarter wave length of the 40-meter band.

  • Color Converter for Black-and-White TV

    Black-and-white TV sets are converted to full color by an adapter that costs about $150 plus installation. The adapter includes an electronic circuit to reduce the
    black-and-white picture to 12-inch size. A rotating filter, electronically synchronized, stands in front of the set to add full color to the picture.

TV’s Fabulous Fluffs (Apr, 1950)

It looks like the market was already crying out for YouTube back in 1950. I’m not sure how fans actually “collected” these slips, wardrobe malfunctions and “boners” since there was no good way to record, let alone distribute them.

TV’s Fabulous Fluffs

By West Peterson

TO see or not to see—that was the question. It was one of television’s most embarrassing moments.

Engineers of CBS-TV were on hand with their equipment at the monster reunion show of the Air Force Association in Madison Square Garden, New York City, in October, 1948.

For an hour everything went smoothly. There was a succession of screen stars on the stage. The camera took them in closeup for the TV fans. Then along came Gypsy Rose Lee, the eminent strip teaser.

Would she be a good girl and leave her clothes on? Or would she yield to the clamor of the vets and do something to shock television’s self-appointed censors?

Home televiser (Jun, 1970)

Home televiser
It’s actually a miniature TV station. It plays color—or black-and-white—film cartridges through your color —or black-and-white—TV. It’s the Teleplayer. Motorola and CBS developed it for business and educational use, but intend, eventually, to put one in your home. It will be out in September for $795.


Why use those annoying glasses when you could stare through slits cut in a pipe?


By Paul A. O’Neal

YOUR FIRST LOOK at 3-D TV will be just as startling and realistic as when you first viewed the new 3-D movies at your local motion-picture theater.

Three-dimensional vision is actually easy to accomplish on television. Whereas in cinematography there are many problems in producing 3-D in large auditoriums, TV can be utilized in a small room and need provide for only a few viewers at any one time. There is no need for using two films and keeping them matched, and no wide-angle screen or throw-away Polaroid glasses are required.

Ad: Micro TV Breakthrough (Sep, 1979)

In a comment on Flat Screen TV in 1958 MilanMerhar says:
“Sinclair Radionics introduced its “Microvision TV1A pocket TV” in 1977 using the same side-scanning technology as described for the Aiken tube.

The major technical problem such designs have is severe geometric distortion, the compensation for which greatly complicated the analog scanning circuitry of the day. In fact, Sinclair claimed it had taken them over ten years to perfect that aspect of their design. “

I don’t know if this model uses that tube design, but it’s pretty interesting none the less. Sure does look a lot smaller from the front, doesn’t it?

Micro TV Breakthrough

Remember the $400 Sinclair Micro TV? Here’s the story on the greatest TV value ever.

That Sinclair TV shown above is small-the smallest TV in the world.

And when it was first introduced last year, it made history. So did its high price-$395.

Our company never sold the unit for two reasons: 1) It was being promoted as a pocket TV and we felt it would not fit in most pockets and 2) We felt $395 was too high a price for the unit regardless of its quality, size and features.