Chalk Hill Media's Virtual Museum

The National Media Museum (U.K.)

We recently had the opportunity to visit the National Media Museum in Bradford, England.  It is an amazing facility with eight floors of interactive galleries devoted to Radio, TV and Film in the United Kingdom.  It also includes two cinemas as well as an Imax theater.  It definitely is the "place to be" for anyone with a passion for media.  

One entire floor is devoted to TV and TV Programs.  Many artifacts from the BBC and other UK networks can be found here.

A few of the vintage TV's on display.

This oddity is a CBS Field Sequential color TV from the early1950's.  Note the color wheel, which rotated to make color out of a monochrome image.
I've never seen one of these in person before.

More TV's.  Lest you think this is a static display, there is an interactive touch screen in front of the viewer which simulates the display.  Touch on a particular TV, and up pops a picture of it with choices of finding out specific details about the set in question, finding out about TV shows that would have been popular when it was new, and finding out about history of the world when the set was new.  Very cool.

A 1950's Era British Video Projector.  Black and white, of course.

Marconi MK III Camera

Pre War BBC Camera

The same camera on its "Dolly."  Ingenuity abounds.  There was no budget for a "real" perambulator, so BBC engineers used the chassis of an Austin 7 automobile.  Yes those tires were once on an automobile!

EMI Color Camera from the BBC

PYE Camera Control Unit

Marconi Image Orthicon Color Camera, probably a close relative of the RCA TK-41

A British (MOY) Film Recorder for making Kinescopes.

More of the exhibit with the Marconi Color camera in the background.

Some more modern cameras.


This EMI Camera is housed in a very heavy duty - the British would say "robust" - case to survive the rigors of an Outside Broadcast truck. 

Several American TV's were on display, despite the fact they would have never worked with the UK TV system when they were new, at least, not without significant modifications. Notable was a Hallicrafters on the left and a Philco Predicta on the right.

There is MUCH more to see than just a few TV Cameras!  There are tons of interactive exhibits that are fun for the whole family. They include a working two camera TV studio where guests are invited to run the cameras and be the talent.  You can also practice your teleprompter skills as a newsreader for the BBC or learn about chroma-key while becoming a part of a vintage Dr. Who TV show.

If you are visiting the UK, this site is highly recommended.  It is located in Bradford, which is about a ten minute ride from the Leeds Central railway station.   Connections from London are easy and plentiful.

You can visit on line at