This site presents the results of my work in restoring what has turned out to be the world’s earliest recordings of television that were originally made in the 1920s and 1930s in the UK. There are three types of surviving recordings – all vision-only without audio:

  • the experimental Phonovision recordings from 1927-8 made by John Logie Baird and his team as a byproduct of developing a videodisc player.
  • off-air domestic recordings of the vision signal from the broadcasting period of Baird’s 30-line TV from 1929-1935. One of these is dateable and happens to be an extract from a television special: ‘Looking In’ – the world’s first television revue. Another recording (though not dated) features Betty Bolton, a star of vaudeville, west-end musicals, radio and film as well as television.
  • a disc from Major Radiovision Ltd., sold from 1934 through Selfridges to provide effectively a test video signal for receiver/displays

I hope you find the site fun and informative.

Don McLean

Recent news (more →)

October 8th, 2015 - University of Glasgow acquires the Clapp Collection

I would like to congratulate the University of Glasgow in their acquisition of the collection of Clapp memorabilia surrounding Baird’s Transatlantic TV event. The collection comprised a Phonovision disc (SWT515-4) owned by Ben Clapp (Baird’s first technical ‘assistant’), Clapp’s amateur radio logbooks (W2CVJ/G2KZ) for the event and lead-up, and associated paraphernalia. The logbooks were made […]