Browse some of the museum’s collection. Rollover on an image to learn more about its part in the history of television.
These scanning discs, created by television pioneer John Logie Baird, date back to the earliest experiments in television between 1924 and 1928. They represent one of only three known surviving artifacts from Baird’s earliest work on television and the earliest evidence of the development of colour television.
World’s first television patent, granted to John Logie Baird, for a system of transmitting images by telegraphy or wireless telegraphy.
This was the finest television made by John Logie Baird before WWII. The 15” tube was the largest screen on offer until 1939. This television is in completely original condition. The production numbers for this television would have been very low, probably in single figures. No other surviving example is known.
This 30–line receiver is an example of the engineering and design genius of John Logie Baird. It was one of the first TV sets available to the general public in Britain and Western Europe. About 1,000 sets were sold at just over £18 each.
This set is one of two surviving examples of the first colour television in North America. Licensed in June 1951 by the FCC, the CBS Colour Television System was replaced in Oct 1951 due to its incompatibility with the existing B&W standard and poor sales.
Felix The Cat, this very figure of him! It was in 1928 that RCA first broadcast Felix from the Empire State Building. Later, Felix was honoured when RCA transmitted his image on the first commercial television broadcast in 1939, as a lead up to the formal unveiling of television at the New York World’s Fair. Thus, Felix the Cat became Television’s First Star!
Instructions, hand written by Charles Francis Jenkins, for assembling the W1IM mechanical scanning disc television.
The Komet’s striking design combines a television, radio and phonograph in a single unit. The upper “sail” that houses the television and main speakers can be rotated while the radio and phonograph are concealed by the front door of the lower cabinet.
This TV set, the rarest on the planet, inspired a great deal of awe in its millions of viewers. Built with one of the Fair’s theme materials, Lucite, the inner workings of the receiver were thus exposed to remove any doubts that “magic” or trickery was involved. To demonstrate that the pictures on the screens were live images, volunteer family members were escorted outside to the NBC television cameras, and encouraged to wave back to the folks viewing them inside. Participants received a souvenir card with their name on it, stating, “This is to certify that you have been Televised at the RCA Exhibit Building at the 1939 New York World’s Fair”.
BBC Television was launched in November of 1936 using both the Baird 240-line and the Marconi 405-line systems. This 702-model contains a special switch that allowed the owner to view both the Baird and Marconi systems on the one receiver.
Marilyn Monroe’s personal TV set, displayed in this living room tableau, was purchased by the MZTV Museum of Television at Christie’s (N.Y.) auction entitled “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe”, October 28, 1999. The stylish copper-finished cabinet, black and white picture tube and dusty chassis remain in original working condition.
Panasonic produced particularly stylish televisions which often reflected trends in contemporary culture. This set resembles early space age design.
Philco’s Predicta televisions are possibly the most distinctive sets ever designed and sold in the USA. The set’s introduction created quite a stir in the market place. RCA’s president, David Sarnoff, was quoted as saying, “Philco has reinvented the industry and made TV more exciting again.”
The RCA CT–100 was the first retail colour television that was compatible with established television technology. It was also RCA’s first commercially available colour television. Unlike the earlier CBS system, these colour broadcasts could be received on the existing black and white system already in operation.
SONY revolutionized colour television by introducing the Trinitron colour picture tube, which produced a brighter, sharper picture. SONY won an Emmy for the development of the Trinitron picture tube.