Hand Set for Television Uses Midget Screen (Dec, 1938)

Hand Set for Television Uses Midget Screen
Nicknamed a “television monocle,” a miniature unit recently on display at an exhibition in London, England, is a complete sight-and-sound receiving set. Shaped like a hand-type telephone, the apparatus has an earphone through which the user hears the sound accompanying a televised broadcast while watching the moving images flash across a small built-in screen, two inches wide, placed so that it is directly before the eyes. The instrument, which weighs just under two pounds, can be used even in a lighted room with good results, it is said. An exhibition visitor is shown at the right trying out the television hand set.

  1. Casandro says: April 21, 200811:49 am

    It’s amazing how far advanced they were back then. A 2 inch TV is now hard to get, but Sony introduced an 8 inch OLED set recently, and they used to have smaller ones in the past.

    However I don’t think that this is a comfortable viewing distance for such a screen.

  2. angrydroid says: April 21, 20081:28 pm

    Phew… i thought at first it was a television for midgets.
    Not sure I am relieved to see it’s a handheld eyeball-melter though…

  3. mike brisendine says: April 21, 20084:37 pm

    At under two pounds, I think a tripod or a pole would be a good accessory for veiwing a 30 minute program.

  4. Compwalla says: April 21, 20086:25 pm

    Midget! Made my day. 😉

  5. Giley says: July 18, 20084:43 am

    Amazing. But notice the power and RF cables. Not exactly portable but technology has to start somewhere.

  6. Andrew L. Ayers says: June 13, 201011:44 pm

    Reading this:


    I’m left trying to figure out whether this is a mechanical or electronic television system (seems a little small for either), and also, just who they were expecting to buy it:

    “Though the television audience grew in 1939, it was still very small, with only 2000 sets in use by April, 1940.” – from the link above, regarding RCA.

  7. JMyint says: June 14, 20105:09 am

    It would have to an electronic television, by 1935 development of mechanical systems had pretty much ended and a mechinical display would be much larger. I was thinking that this set couldn’t be direct view because of the depth of the viewer.

  8. jayessell says: June 14, 20108:42 am

    There are several documentaries on early television at the aptsarchive at YouTube.




  9. Jari says: June 14, 20109:52 am

    From the shape of the set, I think it only have a CRT pointing forwards, 2 mirrors and a lens for shrinking the picture and give more brightness to it. All the other electronics is where the umbilical goes.

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