MHP The Knacker's Yard

... or the museum for retired broadcasting equipment

Cameras and other studio based equipment

This is a shot of the original Emitron camera being displayed by an EMI engineer (Mr Bernard Greenhead) at Hayes. Original EMI Emitron Camera
BBC Emitron camera on dolly This shows one of the BBC's Emitron cameras on a dolly, with a reflex viewfinder added.
This is a recreation of the above scene made in 1986 for "The Fools On The Hill." 1986 "Fools on the Hill"
Baird Spotlight Studio This is an inside view of the Baird spotlight studio, from Dallas Bowers promotion film
'Television Comes To London', dated approx 1936.
Simulation of how the Baird spotlight studio operated. From 1986, "The Fools On The Hill." Baird Spotlight Studio (Reconstruction)
1962 BBC Camera - Sydney Newman BBC Camera from 1962  the chap leaning against it is senior drama producer Sydney Newman.

Dicky Howett writes:

"The EMI camera with Sydney Newman is an EMI 203/4 (of which I own 3 and it's likely that Newman is leaning on one I own!) The studio is probably TC4 which had four EMI 203's installed in Jan 1961. Other TC studios with EMI 203's were 1 and 5. The EMI  203 was a 4 half inch IO switchable between 405,525,625 lines. I actually own a tenth of all the BBC's 203's. 

The BBCtv badging was positioned either at the front side or rear side of the 203's. The 'EMI' badge was also affixed either at the front or rear side. It was removed easily but usually kept on the camera. The BBC ONE and BBC TWO badging on cameras was a gimmick. After the advent of 625 all BBC studio origination was on 625 lines and downconverted to 405 lines which meant that there was no constant re-adjusting for the two channels. Engineers don't usually make rods for their own backs!"

BBC camera from 1964, (EMI):


1964 BBC EMI Camera
1961 Party Political Broadcast The recording of an early Party Political Broadcast in 1961, when the use of television by politicans was still a novelty.
RCA TK-41 Colour Camera, the first colour camera to go into large-scale production, as it looked when used by WGN in Chicago. The TK-41 was the basis for the Marconi "coffin" camera used in the Alexandra Palace tests of the late fifties. It used three 3" image orthicon tubes, then the only tube (apart from EMI's CPS Emitron) considered suitable for broadcasting. RCA built a few TK-40s, similar but even more complex, for NBC in 1952 and 1953, then started manufacturing the TK-40 on a small scale in 1954 and moved to the improved TK-41 in 1955. RCA sold its last two TK-41Cs in 1967. RCA TK-41 Colour Camera
abc1.jpg (56109 bytes) This is a Marconi Mark III 3" Image Orthicon used by ABC around 1960. Click on the image to see it enlarged.
Studio shot of two EMI cameras in use at ABC's Teddington studio around 1967. Click on the image to see it enlarged. abc4.jpg (47400 bytes)

Yet another camera in use by ABC circa 1960, this time a Pye camera, also using the 3" Image Orthicon tube.
Click on the image to see it enlarged.

abc2.jpg (49761 bytes)


A close up of the viewfinder of one of the above cameras.

abc3.jpg (40014 bytes)


On to the Control Room...

Thanks to Ed Ellers, Dicky Howett, Greg Taylor, Michael Coop, Gareth Randall and anyone I've forgotten who supplied the words and pictures for this feature.

Recommended Links
Find out more about the early work of J.L. Baird and how his early recordings were restored

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Last Update 17 Apr 2000