Tekkiepix.com
 











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Tekkiepix, an archive gallery of historic technology pictures and stories
Initially supported by a Shiers Trust grant from the Royal Television Society 

 

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (George Santayana)

Or put another way, perhaps if the consumer electronics companies remembered past mistakes they wouldn't keep on shooting their feet off with format wars and standards battles.

The kind of pictures you will see on this site

 

 

Timeline

Picture Stories
 
Copyright

About

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Contact Us
 

 

 

 

 

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New Picture Story added:
  • VCR - Dream Product
  •  
  • The consumer VCR was a dream product. Something thst everyone wanted or needed even if they did not realise it until they could buy it.

  • If the VCR hadn't been so desirable, the format wars and standards battles that bedevilled its launch would have killed it.

  • Read the full story Part 1 here

Welcome to this work in progress, 'proof of concept', demo site
 

You have reached tekkiepix.com, a free access archive of old technology pictures - mainly of everyday and entertainment electronics.

This site will be of absolutely no interest to 99.99% of the population, and intensely boring to people who want to be first on the block with shiny new i-stuff. But hopefully it will be a useful research tool for anyone who is curious about Life Before Apple.

Tekkiepix has gone through many trial versions, based on comments for which I am grateful, and to make it easier to use. Now the format is more or less settled, more material can come on line. Some pages are unfinished and there will doubtless be some typos and broken lnks. But the time nseems right to go 'live' and seek constructive comments.

Well over 2000 digitised images are now stored offline, indexed and ready to post. There are many more available for processing. Because of funding from the RTS, some priority has so far beeen given to TV and Video. Whether I invest more time depends on feedback.

To search for specific content please go to the Timeline which lists major technical developments through the 20th Century and into the early 2000s. Cllcking on any highlighted entry in the Timeline will then take you to a Picture Story - original pictures with storyline words culled from articles or notes which I wrote at the time.

Or you can browse the list of Picture Stories. Some are complete; some are part constructed.

Or see below for random taster examples of the kind of photos posted or available for later posting

 

Edison Phonograph Fireside Model B Edison Home Model A Phonograph  
Edison Phonograph Fireside Model B
This is where "canned" home entertainment began, with Thomas Edison's cylinder phonographs
 



 

Charles Ginsburg inventor the the VTR Charles Ginsburg inventor the the VTR
Charles Ginsburg of Ampex designed the first VTR in 1956.
It was for broadcast use of course, and filled half a room
 

 

 

First Philips VCR
Early 1970s; the first real home VCR from Philips


 

First 'piano key' VHS VCR from JVC
which was followed by the 'piano key' VHS deck from JVC 


 

Badged VHS deck from Ferguson and others
and often badged by companies such as Ferguson



 

Peter Goldmark of CBS with the fist vinyl LP Peter Goldmark of CBS with the fist vinyl LP  
Peter Goldmark of CBS with the fist vinyl LP Peter Goldmark of CBS is here demonstrating the first LP in 1948, along with colleague Rene Snepvangers. They are at the original disc cutting lathe and comparing a few LPS with the equivalent mountain of 78s  


 

Badly pressed LP Some LPs were pressed with a lot less care than others; this one had the label smack dab in the middle of the music 


 

The first CDs were pressed in clean rooms - and so were video discs The first CDs were pressed in clean rooms - and so were video discs
The first CDs were pressed in clean rooms more like hospital operating theatres
 and so were video discs


 

Early home video required a mains socket Early home video required a mains socket
Early home movie making - before the coming of camcorders - was tied to a mains plug
The eqipment was used mainly for education



 

Early portable video shooting needed two-part systems

Early portable video shooting needed two-part systems

Early portable video shooting needed two-part systems Early portable video shooting needed two-part systems
The first portable - or luggable - video filming systems came in two bulky parts
 
One of many prototype single piece camcorders
Then the first camcorder prototypes arrived -but they were still pretty bulky beasts


 

The first camcorder to go on consumer sale was Sony's Betamovie; it recorded but did not play back
 The first camcorder to go on consumer sale was Sony's Betamovie; it recorded but did not play back

The first camcorder to go on consumer sale was Sony's Betamovie; it recorded but did not play back


 

An early 'portable' video system An early 'portable' video system
The first portable video players were huge - compared to a modern mobile which does much much more
 


 

John Mullin with an early tape recorder Bing Crosby with an early tape recorder
After WWII John Mullin took German tape recorders back to the USA
Bing Crosby backed the development of both audio and video tape because pre-recording shows made life much easier for him


 

Publicity stunt from an 1980s German hifi show
Early portable audio? No, a publicity stunt at a 1980s hifi show in Germany


 

Sony's LP-playing toy car Sony's LP-playing toy car
As a Christmas gift, one of Sony's top engineers in Tokyo made this model car that played an LP by running round it in circles
Production models were later sold in Japan as a toy

Sony's LP-playing toy car


 

TV at the 1936 Berlin Olympics 

This is one of the TV cameras used to televise the 1936 Berlin Olympics - it was made by Telefunken and is being operated by Walter Bruch, later to invent the PAL colour TV system used for analogue TV in most of Europe


 

The UK first got the chance to watch digital TV through an ordinary aerial in November 1998 - and led the world into DTTV

 

 The BBC's plans for DTTVThe BBC's plans for DTTV

 The BBC's plans for DTTVThe BBC's plans for DTTV

 

 Now try the Timeline or Picture Stories

 

Please note that although the images being put on line are in low resolution and heavily watermarked to discourage unauthorised copying, the original scans are however stored offline in high resolution
See the sample pictures below which are unmarked and of higher quality (although still well below the quality archived).
Click on the pictures and allow a little time for the images to display in a separate tab.

 

Building an Astra satellite as used by Sky
SES-Astra satellite being built by Hughes in California for Sky
The grand opening of Thorn EMI's VHD factory in Swindon
Grand opening of the factory that Thorn-EMI-Ferguson built in Swindon to manufacture video discs for JVC's ill-fated VHD system
A Philips engineer working in the Eindhoven labs on the doomed illfated HD-MAC TV system
Philips engineer working in the Eindhoven labs on the pre-digital HD-MAC TV system
   

 

 





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