Welcome

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the results of my work in restoring what has turned out to be the world’s earliest recordings of television that were originally made in the 1920s and 1930s in the UK.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 →)

April 7th, 2017 - Paper: ‘The Great British Broadcasting Competition’ published 7th April 2017

Prior to its appearance in the next available slot in the ‘Media History’ Journal, my latest paper ‘The Great British Broadcasting Competition: a multi-disciplinary analysis of the emergence of BBC television’ has now been published online at http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/ZGWj39cRwvayXhEdQfCg/full The abstract is below: ‘The business reasons behind the decision to start the BBC television service in 1936 […]