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TV debuted, as far as World's Fairs go, at the New York World's Fair in 1939, right? That's what we always hear.

Check this out:

Television at the 1935 Brussels, Belgium Exhibition

Brussels-1935-TV--exhibitio.jpg

This is a postcard from the Exhibition (World's Fair), where the French television pioneer Barthélémy and the Compagnie des Compteurs (CDC) held TV demonstrations. (information courtesy of Denis Asseman)

Here is a similar view of the building. This was actually a pass to get inside for free (see back side). I found this card this evening for sale on the web site of a postcard dealer in Berlin, Germany, and then went looking on the 'net to find out more about it, and found the picture and information above.

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back1314354.jpg

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Yes, somewhere here at the house I have a photo of the television cameras used at the 1936 Olympics. They were gargantuan.

Here it is!

post-91-1206801596_thumb.jpg

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Yes, that's one the Berlin television cameras at the 1936 Olympics. Although in your picture, the lens is fully retracted into the housing. The picture I have shows it extended way out, telephoto-style.

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Actually this is the camera in my picture, and it doesn't look quite the same as yours. This one was a monster.

fernsehkanonen.gif

Here is yours with the lens extended (sorry about the watermark- us beggars can't be choosers!)

0722578.jpg?D=2A24F6DC2E3757844BEFFECCD87C8CB79A4B5498388EE01DB4E35D4983735C1E71F2EA03C1582BFB866AA3B696DB54EA45CB4A269D8551C3F3BCEA27343CA52EE964273C41B84377521A9BF02DB727A0BBCA92E2272F589E85F4BDCF4D4E4239F21A55BC441F2F7F360811D76F6C39A0BF95F37E3D0CD133BF57EB6755586625DD3A2AED79B2EFE5B8963AC09E825C6C13BC69D41C4AEB48C32F858745F8D6022DDD37EDC6661EF0

lympics1.jpg

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Thanks, Randy - first time I have seen the 1935 pix. At the 1936 Olympics, one of the cameramen was Walter Bruch, who later was the inventor of the European PAL colour TV system.

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This is very interesting information. What does it do to the concept that the so-called first television broadcast was on April 30, 1939 from the opening ceremonies of the NYWF to an audience in Radio City?

Do we know much about what was in that Brussels exhibit and to whom were the Germans broadcasting televised images of the Olympic events in 1936?

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I believe it is widely recognized that the British were the first to have a regular television service, prior to WWII. The broadcasts in Germany would be considered more experimental at the time, going to state-sponsored TV viewing parlors, special showings to military hospital patients, and that sort of publicity venue rather than general availabillity to the public. The RCA debut in 1939 is a definite second to England, as far as I know. Hitler did not see practical propaganda possibilities in TV, so it got short schrift, budget-wise. This is not to say there weren't great technical strides being made in various countries, but the true commercialization had not happened there yet, whereas England was clearly headed for an expanding and viable service. Alas, the onset of war caused the Brits to unceremoniously shut off transmission in the middle of a program. Reportedly, when broadcasts resumed after the war, the announcer started with "As I was saying when we were so rudely interrupted..."

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The 1936 Olympics telecast was not broadcasted over-the-air- it was strictly a live closed circuit affair, piped into 28 "viewing rooms" that were like small theaters, spread around the city of Berlin. Each of those rooms was equipped with a "projection TV setup" rather than a tube television, which was kind of innovative itself. The projection unit shot the image onto a movie screen.

For the Olympics the Germans used two different camera types- one based on RCA technology and and one type based on Farnsworth.

Those were two distinctly different technologies- one was an early electronic version which was the forerunner of modern television, and the other was "mechanical"- which was the earliest television technology but was abandoned by the early 40's.

How the Germans piped two distinctly different camera technologies into the projection units in those 28 viewing rooms would seem to be a daunting prospect technically, and I haven't seen any explanation of how they merged the two technologies. Maybe 14 rooms used the Farnsworth feed and the other 14 used the RCA feed, or something like that.

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I believe the BBC was showing a Mickey Mouse cartoon when they pulled the plug, and they started up after the war with the announce you mentioned, Wayne, then picked up the same cartoon in the same place. I have the details as to dates, cartoon name, etc. somewhere at home. I got a kick out of spotting a file on this when I was researching my Disney TV book.

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"What does it do to the concept that the so-called first television broadcast was on April 30, 1939 from the opening ceremonies of the NYWF to an audience in Radio City?"

Hi Jim,

that was just PR. We have been broadcasting regular television in New York since 1928 (technically) and "regular" programming of 28 hours a week in July of 1931. There were at least 8 stations in 1931 in NY.

Best,

MB

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Interesting.

How many people had television receivers in NYC prior to the opening of the NYWF?

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It would be REALLY interesting to find out how many families in New York at that time had more than one television set.

What's the average for an American household today? Something like 3?

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It would be REALLY interesting to find out how many families in New York at that time had more than one television set.

Guaranteed zero homes with more than one. Also, the standards (number of scanning lines) had been changing from time to time, so the only sets out there had been experimental. RCA used 343 lines, then 441. The U.S. standard of 525 lines was established in 1941.

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I notice, when looking at a 1933 map of A Century of Progress, that there was a "Television Theatre" at that exposition. I had never noticed that before and it is illuminating to find that information. In "The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams, which takes place during the Great Depression, Jim (the gentleman caller) tells Laura how much he enjoyed A Century of Progress. He calls it "a wonderful exposition." He then tells her he hopes to get in "on the ground floor" of the television industry.

He must have seen the Television Theatre in Chicago.

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Hi All,

if memory serves, "Guernica" by Picasso is also mentioned by Tom Wingfield in wonderful that play - and that was at the 1937 Paris. Tom metioned it when describing the time period of the late 1930's.

MB

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That is correct., MB. He was making a reference to the event at Guernica rather than the painting per se, and his comments are found in the Tom Wingfield's opening monologue in "The Glass Menagerie."

Jim

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Where was the Television pavilion in the Brussels exposition :

tele_belge.jpg

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Where was the Television pavilion in the Brussels exposition :

That is interesting. Does anyone have more information?

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Wayne those two pictures are from the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. The other photos and map are from the 1935 World's Fair, on the same location in Brussels (and a few buildings from 1935 were re-used in 1958).

Laurent do you know if the Atomium for 1958 was built at the intersection of the Boul. du Centenaire and Avenue de Bouchout? I'm guessing that it's about the location where one would find the Atomium today. I think the Stade (stadium) is still there today? I know there is a zoo nearby also, as well as a miniature city.

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Laurent do you know if the Atomium for 1958 was built at the intersection of the Boul. du Centenaire and Avenue de Bouchout?

Exactly at this place...

Photo taked from the Atomium, view of the "Grand Palais" built for the expo35 :

gp35.jpg

I'm guessing that it's about the location where one would find the Atomium today. I think the Stade (stadium) is still there today? I know there is a zoo nearby also, as well as a miniature city.

The stadium is always here, the Heysel Stadium, but it must to change of name, due to the big accident in 1985, where there were 39 dead and over 600 injured.

The mini-europ :

mini_europ.jpg

And the remaining parts of the USA 1958 pavilion, the base (actually Flemish television studios) :

usa58.jpg

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