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Television - 1926
John Logie Baird (1888-1946), Scottish television pioneer, succeeded in developing a crude television apparatus capable of transmitting and receiving images over a short distance. The first public demonstration of television was held on 26 January 1926 in Baird’s laboratory in Soho, London.
By 1927 Baird had managed to transmit pictures by telephone line from London to Glasgow, and in May 1930 the Baird Televisor became the first mass-produced television set, available to the general public at a price of 25 guineas.
The original Televisor models were sold in mahogany cabinets. This later ‘tin stove’ model was designed for Blair by Percy Packman, an engineer at Plessey. Only about a thousand of these sets were sold, as buying DIY kits based on the same 30-line system proved the cheaper and more popular option.
On Bing: Historic household appliances
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It never ceases to amaze me, that despite the advent of the internet, peoples' general knowledge is virtually nil. I have no interest in football as a game, but David Beckham is evident every time I open a newspaper on turn on TV. Certain things in life are unavoidable and yet many people seem to pass them by. Last September, a colleague ask me what the date was. I replied, that it was the 15th, adding Battle of Britain day. What's that? She said. So much by so many to so few? No! never heard of it.
When I explained, she was horrified that she didn't know about such an important time in our recent history, so it comes as no surprise that technology falls on stoney ground. The microwave oven for example was first marketed in 1947 and was a byproduct of radar. And what about our famous engineers, for example Isambard Kingdom Brunel, ThomasTelford, James Brindley and Henry Bessemer to name but a few. This explains why we no longer have a manufacturing industry and we now import our original inventions like the railways from abroad
A trip down memory lane here ...
The TSR-80 was the American version of the Sinclare ZX81.
The ZX-81 improved upon the ZX-80. The ZX-80 introduced computing to the household. Running 512bytes (½Kb) of RAM and the ability to handle absolute numbers, the ZX-80 was revolutionary both in design and concept. But the ZX-81 was fantastic, with 1Kb (1024bytes) of RAM, which could be increased to 16Kb with the aid of an expansion pack, and the ability to handle floating point numbers.
The ZX-81 also achieved several other innovations. In November 1980 Tomorrows World (BBC) transmitted the first computer program over the air, an event that witnessed many a child sat in front of the TV with their cassette recorders. The problem was then setting the volume to the correct level so that it would load onto the computer.
Whilst the ZX-80 was expensive, the ZX-81 was available in two models, the pre-built was available through WHSmiths (UK highstreet newsagent) for £70, but the "build-it-yourself" kit was available via mail order for £50. Being the already proud owner of a ZX-80 it was inevitable that I would become the very proud owner of the ZX-81; and following many months of paper rounds, and milk rounds I found that I was short of £2 for the kit. Thankfully Dr Weston stumpped up the shortfall and then helped me in the building of the computer.
Believe it or not, my Mom still has the machine, and the original box. The last time I tried to start it up was around 2 years ago and it worked, very much to my amazement and the startled gaze of my daughters who could not understand that this was effectively the first home computer.
Back in the early months of 1981 we were playing chess, and flying aboard our flight sim whilst only having 1Kb of RAM to play with ....