Subliminal Advertising (Apr, 1958)

Now ad men have a new way to persuade you. They can pop a suggestion into your mind, using TV or movies, without your knowing it

TV’s New Trick: Hidden Commercials

By Wesley S. Griswold

PROBABLY you’ve heard about—perhaps even worried about—a revolutionary new way to beam messages into the human mind. Especially suited to TV and movies, the new idea-injecting technique is said to work while you, all unawares, are innocently enjoying the program. The idea-words appear superimposed on the picture images too fast and too dimly to be seen in the normal way. Yet they register on your mind.

Despite rejection by the national networks, uneasy skepticism by the F.C.C. and alarm from people who fear that this strange development may bring wholesale invasion of privacy and risk of political tyranny, two means of reaching people’s subconscious minds by television are currently being tested.

World’s Tiniest TV Camera (Apr, 1956)

For 1956 that is actually an impressively small camera.

World’s Tiniest TV Camera
Telecasting of programs by means of a TV camera palmed in the operator’s hand is forecast as a result of the recent development of a new electronic device in West Germany. As shown in the photo (left), the video pickup is smaller than many microphones. Heart of the instrument is a miniature tube called the ‘Mini-Resitron.”

This camera works in pretty much the same way as conventional, larger TV “eyes,” converting optical images into electrical signals. Operation depends largely on a sensitive layer of semi-conductor material developed by Prof. I. Walter Heimann. The inside of the camera is an amazingly compact array of tiny components and intricate wiring. Subminia-ture tubes and other parts are clustered around the “Mini-Resitron,” while a flexible metal hose is wrapped around the cable that leads from the camera.

Still in the experimental stage, the new unit will probably go into production some time later this year.

The BBC did American Inventor 50 years ago. (Jul, 1955)

This show looks like it was really cool. It’s basically American Inventor without the overt competition.

BBC Puts Inventors On TV
INVENTIONS ARE the stars of one of the most popular television shows in Britain.

The Television Inventors’ Club of the British Broadcasting Corporation has been on the air for seven years. During this time more than 7000 inventions have been submitted to the club, of which 580 have been shown on the air. A quarter of these have caught the eyes of manufacturers and many are already in production.

The inventions range from a simple shirt stud which allows for the shrinkage of the collar, to a compressible ship’s fender which eases a 24,000-ton vessel against a dock.

A number of British inventors have hit the jackpot through the program. One of them actually did it with a better mousetrap, and the world has already beaten a path to his door to the tune of over a million sales. Years of patient observation taught the inventor that a mouse twists its head when approaching the bait and nibbles from below. His trap therefore springs when the bait is lifted—not pushed down. A tidy profit was also made by the inventor of a stair elevator for invalids. A moving step, carried on rails, is drawn up the staircase by a cable and winch. More than 500 inquiries poured into the BBC when this device was shown on TV.

The beginnings of ubiquitous surveillance (Jan, 1965)

A Cure For Crime in the Parks

Here is a modern solution to the problem that is plaguing every large city in America today!

By Robert Hertzberg

A COLLEGE professor walking his dog is knifed to death. The small daughter of a foreign diplomat is robbed of her bicycle. A woman pushing her baby in a carriage has her purse snatched.

Where do these crimes take place—in a lawless Suez port town, or in the very heart of America’s richest city? You only have to read the newspapers to know that murder and mugging are frequent occurrences in New York’s famed Central Park, an otherwise beautiful oasis of lakes, playgrounds and trees bounded on three sides by the world’s plushest apartment houses and on the other side by an incredibly overcrowded and festered slum.

New TV Sets Project Pictures (Aug, 1949)

New TV Sets Project Pictures
A PACKAGED projection unit made by North American Philips Co. is being incorporated in current models by more than a dozen manufacturers of home television receivers. Some of these new models will throw the video picture on a screen outside the unit, just like home movies. Main components of the Protelgram® are shown in the photo at right. The optical system is diagrammed below.
A 2/2-in. picture tube, whose face is a lens as well as a fluorescent screen, forms the heart of the unit. A 25,000-volt power supply produces a picture of high brilliance on the tube face. The image is reflected by a concave mirror and another tilted at 45 degrees. Spherical distortion is removed as the image passes through a correcting lens.
The projector is a modification of the Schmidt-type optical system. Most of the receivers in which it will be used will employ 12- by 16-inch viewing screens in the cabinet; a few will use the projector to throw a three- by four-foot image onto an external screen.

Zebra TV Skin (Sep, 1954)

Those kick ass. I want a leopard skin TV.


TV “SERVICE-SAVER” is the title of the booklet held by the young lady using the telephone in photo A. Recently issued by the Raytheon Manufacturing Company, this booklet contains numbered pictures of faulty TV reception. It is a timesaver for TV-set owners and repairmen. The house-wife matches the picture on the screen with a similar one in the book. She then reads the number over the phone to give the repairman a good idea of what is wrong before he leaves the shop.

Intense activity in color TV continues in various manufacturer’s laboratories. Photo B shows engineer Donald Perry in the service department of Motorola Inc., checking out the composite color-bar signal which appears on the oscilloscope and on the face of the color tube.

The TV set illustrated in photo C is a portable model available with either 17 or 21-in. screen. This decorator’s model has control knobs on top, and a choice of “sleeves” in a variety of modern colors and durable fabrics that can be changed quickly.
The first compatible color-TV cameras to come off the television industry’s commercial production lines are the two units illustrated in photo D. These RCA units were recently shipped to the National Broadcasting Company and the Columbia Broadcasting System respectively.

Exploding the Television Boom (Feb, 1939)

Very interesting (and long) article from the dawn of the TV era (1939) explaining all of the hurdles; technological, economical, political, etc that will have to be jumped before TV is widely available. A lot of it sounds similar to the current emergence of internet based video distribution. Just as they are today, the major movie studios and radio networks were unsure of how to handle this new beast. They feared it would replace them, so the bought in, then gave up, then bought in again, a lot like what we’re seeing with TV networks allowing their content to be distributed online.

According to the printed stories, Paramount will soon be set for big-scale television on a national basis, with transmitting stations on both coasts planned to give the public “this new type of entertainment”. When sound broadcasting began to loom as the movies’ first really serious competitor, Paramount bought an interest in the Columbia Broadcasting System, and then dropped it when they learned that there was nothing wrong with the movies that good pictures couldn’t cure. Now, apparently, Paramount is making another attempt to cover itself, and protect its stockholders by entering television in case it does materialize into something more than hot air.

There are also some interesting parallels to the DRM questions flying about today:

He will also make receivers—in fact, he’s making one right now for the Empire State signals—but under the Paramount set-up the new receivers will reproduce only his broadcasts, not the NBC or CBS ones!

And some funny assumptions about radio’s future:

No grade “A” broadcast station uses phonograph records; will they step down a notch and use “image records?”

The answer I guess was, yes. Though sattellite and streaming media are chaning this, for the last 50 years, TV and Radio content (with the exception of sports, news and talk radio) have been ruled by recorded programming.

Full article text after the break.

Home Made TV Station (Aug, 1949)

Next time you bitch about trying to get your video blogging software to work, check out what this guy had to scrape together to get an amateur TV station running in 1949. He built a garage full of equipment and had three giant antennas.

Radio ‘Ham’ Builds TV Station

California amateur sends voice and picture over transmitter made from $500 worth of war-surplus parts.

By Andrew R. Boone

PULSING through the California skies from a weather-beaten back-yard shack, the image of a beautiful brunette flows into television receivers around San Francisco Bay. The boys who have seen her call the vision Gwendolyn.

Reproduced by a collection of secondhand tubes and war-surplus video equipment, Gwendolyn represents the first standard TV image broadcast successfully and repeatedly by an amateur. Soon, from the same station, W6JDI-TV, radio ham Clarence Wolfe, Jr. hopes to televise live images.

Early VCR (Jun, 1964)

Watch Your Favorite TV Show ANY Time

The race to market a home TV tape recorder is getting hotter. Fairchild’s entry offers a much-improved picture

ONE of these days, you’ll sit down after supper, flip the dials on your home TV tape recorder, and watch a rerun of that afternoon’s base-ball game.

Recently I spent an afternoon trying out a prototype model of such a machine made by Fairchild Camera and Instrument Co. I recorded programs off the air —both pictures and sound—while I was watching the program. Immediately after the show, I played back the recording while the images of the original telecast were still fresh in my mind. Although there was some loss of definition, the image quality was good—as good as most people see on their home TV sets. I watched the playback of an entire Danny Kaye show recorded a few days earlier— without being conscious that I was watching a recording.

Make-Up For Television (Sep, 1939)

Make-Up For Television

Elaine Shepard, Hollywood film actress, could pass for an Indian in war paint when she wears the new standard television make-up. White high-lighting around the nostrils, eyes and hollows of the throat is necessary for good reproduction. Lips, eyebrows and eyelashes are blue-black.