South West England Vintage Television Museum
Updated: 2nd December 2013 - Added Philips 1446U
This page contains pictures of some slightly-interesting Black and White television sets.
When the TV Museum is up and running, these sets will all be on display properly. At the moment a lot of the sets are in storage, however, if you would like to see any of them "in the flesh" in Solihull, UK, please email me at email@example.com.
405 Line Only CRT Sets
This first TV is a wonderful little 1939 HMV 904 with a 5 inch tube. Unfortunately it doesn't belong to me - the set was fished out of the rubbish pile at Exeter Recycling Centre a good few years ago by one of the attendants. The TV screen had been covered up with paper (notice the rectangular sticky bits above and below the tube) and, presumably, the set had been used only as a radio. The set was sent off to auction in London and fetched 800 pounds at Sotheby's. I wish I'd been there. Sob. :-(
The set is a 1954 Philips 1446U . This was one of the sets near the bottom of my long "To Do" list but my pal Tony came round one day and spotted it and insisted it be the next job on my list. Out it came and after a good weekend's worth of prodding, fiddling and twiddling (which can be read about here) the set was all sorted out and the picture below was duly taken.
1954 Philips 1446U
The next set is a 1947 Pye model B16T. These sets were produced from 1946 and were the first TV that people could buy after the war. I bought this set from a pal of mine called Peter in Devon. Peter had done quite a lot of work to get the set going so it only needed a few tweaks and niceties from me to tart the set up a bit. As well as a couple of valves, I've had to replace some rubber wiring and a few other components, although there a still one or two faults that I need to iron out to get the set tip-top again. Thanks Peter - It's an excellent set.
This set is a 1949 Pye model LV20. It is a typical-of-the-age Pye 405 line TRF set. It uses a "Wedge" shaped chassis, loads of red Mullard EF50's (with horrible wobbly intermittent valve-holder contacts) and a 9 inch Mullard tube. I was half way through the restoration of this set, when I accidentally connected my VHF modulator to the live chassis and blew the modulator up. Doh! The set is now partly restored, although there are still a few minor faults to be sorted out.
The next set is a 1948 Ekco 9" model TS46. I bought the set from a chap in Shropshire after it failed to sell on ebay. The cabinet looks as though somebody has tried to tart it up a bit with liberal applications of wood "stopping" filler and varnish. The insides look as though they've had the same treatment, with various components missing including the original combined on/off switch and volume control (which has been replaced by a pot with no switch). Various other electronic components have been removed too, no doubt to provide spares for other sets, but all this stuff (including the cabinet) can be sorted out and I'm quite sure the set will live again.
Next is a little 1949 Ekco 9" model TS88. I bought it several years ago from a shop in Woodbury called Kilve Marchant Antiques. The tube emission is low, but it gives a very good picture, if a little dull. It's best viewed in a darkened room. Unfortunately, and quite worryingly, a very fine hairline crack has appeared in the front of the Mazda CRM92A tube and, although the vacuum is still intact, I suspect that the tube has become quite dangerous.
This set is a 1950 single channel Ambassador model TV2; it is one of the few sets that I've bought from ebay. The set is a very unusual shape and was designed to fit into the corner of a room. It uses a 12-inch Mazda CRM121 tube, although I suspect the emission is low as someone has fitted a heater booster transformer. The set isn't in top condition although it does look complete (apart from it's 2 back covers which are both missing.) The "Ambassador" badge is also broken on the front, and I would very much like to find a replacement. If you have one that you would like to sell me, I would be very happy. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
The next set is a 9" Sobell T90 set. It came from a good friend of mine, the late Bob Cook who had it lying in the back of his workshop for many years. Although not obvious at all from the top or sides, this set was riddled with woodworm and all-but fell apart after I doused it in woodworm killer and then went to lift it up. :-(
This is a 1950 Bush model TV22. It is a set that I wanted for many years, and I only recently bought it from the National Vintage Communications Fare in Birmingham. The TV22 is a very attractive set, and good examples are highly regarded by collectors and restorers. I have yet to start any restoration on it, but I will take another picture of it when it's working.
Next is a 1953 Bush model TV24. This was very kindly supplied by a late friend of mine called Bob Cook who had it in the bottom of a big trunk for many years. It didn't require an awful lot of technical skill to repair - I simply replaced all the wax capacitors, some rubber wiring and the thing worked - as easy as that really. (Actually, Andy Beer gave me a good tip for replacing a VDR that commonly fails, although it turned out to be OK in this set.) The inside and outside of the cabinet were really dirty, but a bit of cleaning has brought the thing up nicely. It does have a minor problem in that it takes ages to warm up, but I know what the problem is and I'll get round to fixing it one day. (Maybe...) The Bush TV24 was almost identical inside to the Bush TV22 (Above), although it had a bigger (12-inch) tube. When new, the TV24 was more expensive than the TV22, although now TV22s are very desirable and the poor old TV24s are not really worth anything...
The next set is yet another Bush. This time it's a 17-inch 1955 model TV56. This set has had quite a lot of restoration work carried out, although some of the rubber wiring is perishing badly and needs replacing. The Bush model TV66 looked almost identical to this set but used PVC wiring which didn't rot as badly as the nasty rubber stuff. There was a 14-inch version of this set, the TV53 which had a quite odd-looking rectangular tube. This set works very well, although the horizontal linearity needs a little bit of a tweak. There are also a couple of wax capacitors that I have not replaced in the line timebase section, which I must replace soon otherwise there is a danger of them damaging other components (i.e. the Line Output Transformer.)
The set is a 1958 Ferguson 306 and belongs to a pal of mine called Tony. This picture was taken a few years ago before the set had any real attention or restoration carried out. I'm sure the set is in mint condition by now. ;-)
Next is a very large and heavy Invicta Television / Wireless / Record Player. It came from an excellent chap called John from London. I went up with Andy Beer to look at it originally and we decided that it would need a much larger car than I had to take the huge beast away. Some weeks later I came up to London with a Transit van to pick the thing up (Much to John's relief) and we managed to cart it down the stairs and into the van without too much bother. Save for a few valves, it appears to be complete, but it does need some electrical restoration before it is really useable. Many thanks John - it's a fantastic set.
Invicta TV / Radiogram
Many years ago this 1959 Philips 21-inch TV model 21TG100 was used in my living room as my everyday set (through a remote-control extender, a remote control video and a "Dinosaur" 625-405 line standards converter.) It came from a second-hand shop on the A377 between Exeter and Barnstaple in 1998. A sign on the top said "10 Pounds - Probably Still Works." It didn't, although it didn't need an awful lot of work to get it going. The PL81 cathode resistor had gone open circuit, and the usual replacement of capacitors in the frame stage produced a cracking picture and the set is still working exceptionally well today. Does anyone know if there's supposed to be a "Frame Lin Top" control anywhwere?
This next set is a Pilot from the mid to late 1950s, although I have no idea of its model number. It was donated to the museum by a very nice lady in Bristol called Cynthia. Thanks Cynthia - It's excellent and will be very well looked after. If anyone has any idea of the model number I'd be very pleased to hear from them.
Pilot TV (Unknown Model)
This next set is a 1961 Pye V220 and came from an excellent chap from Stoke-on-Trent. Apparently it worked before it went into storage, but I haven't been brave enough to fire it up yet.
This set is a 1966 HMV 2634 "Imp" and uses the Thorn 980 chassis, the last single-standard 405-line-only chassis. The set is identical in all but colour to the Marconi 4634 "Mini", the Ferguson 3639 "Junior 12" and the Ultra 6641 "Cub". The set works pretty well after a reasonable amount of work, although the scan coils are falling out of their enclosure causing the pincushion distortion shown in the picture. The set is now owned by my mate Tas in St. Albans.
HMV 2634 "Imp"
405 Line Only Projection Sets
These sets worked by using a very small (but extremely bright) cathode ray tube (CRT) and a set of lenses and mirrors which projected the pictures onto a translucent plastic screen. The CRTs themselves didn't last an awfully long time, but they were much cheaper and easier to replace than a conventional CRT.
This set is a 1952 White Ibbotson 2015 single channel projection set which was rescued from Exeter recycling centre. Somebody has pinched all the valves out of it, but apart from that, it looks fairly sound electrically. I haven't done anything about fixing it yet. In fact I haven't even replaced the missing valves. I have recently been contacted by relatives of Mr Ibbotson, and was very kindly supplied some operating instructions for this set.
White Ibbotson 2015
Next is another White Ibbotson set that I bought from a very nice old couple from Weston-Super-Mare. It had originally been bought by them from a hotel and was used regularly until it got relegated to the back room. The bottom section where the castors are got very wet in storage and needs replacing, but I suspect that this is a fairly simple job for a carpenter. A band-3 tuner has been fitted to this set but this will be removed as soon as I get round to restoring the set.
White Ibbotson TV
And yet another White Ibbotson set, but this one is slightly different to the previous 2. This set is a front (or forward) projection set. To watch this old monster, you wheeled the unit 3 or 4 feet from a purpose built screen and the picture would be projected forward from the lens concealed behind the 2 doors on the front. As with almost every other White Ibbotson set I've ever seen, this has no model number stamped on it. Does anyone know what it might be? And does anyone have a White Ibbotson standalone screen they might be able to sell me?
White Ibbotson TV
Here's another old projection set that a very nice man called Fred from Bristol gave me. It is a Stella, (Can't remember the model number) but it is just a rebadged Philips set. It has been dismantled internally and will need quite a bit of restoration to get it going again.
This next projection set was very kindly donated by a great chap called Tim Collyer and his family in loving memory of their relative Jessie Harvey whom the television belonged to from new. Many thanks Tim and family - it's a superb set and it'll be getting attention soon. The set is a Decca model 131; these sets are fairly common as far as projection sets go, but unfortunately a lot of them are not in as good condition as this one which has been very well looked after. Many of these sets were also fitted with a 3 band radio which slotted into the panel on the right hand side. This set is in excellent condition internally and externally and shouldn't be too difficult to restore. The set also came with its original operating instructions. Fantastic.
405 and 625 Line (Dual Standard) CRT Sets
This next TV is a Ferguson 3652 which uses the Thorn 1400 Dual-Standard chassis. This Thorn 1400 chassis was always plagued by intercarrier buzz on the sound which you could never really cure, even with the official and non-official mods. Never mind - It looks nice anyway.
Note - This set is becoming famous on the Internet. It recently appeared in a series of (slightly rude and not really all that funny) "Flash" animations after somebody "borrowed" the picture off this site. It has also appeared in American TV company "PBS"s advertising commercial after they also "borrowed" the picture. Click here to see the picture. Many thanks to Ed Ellers who captured the picture for me. If anyone else would like to use this picture, they are more than welcome, but I would appreciate being asked first. (Click on the picture for a much higher resolution version.) Please email me at email@example.com.Thank you.
Next is a Bush TV191D dual standard set. It is displaying a 405 line picture of Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) from a 1970's British TV series called "The Avengers" This set is running on 405 lines through a "Dinosaur" converter, but with the I.F. / R.F. section switched to U.H.F. The picture isn't actually as blue as the image shows, it's just that the picture was taken in the evening and my camera isn't so good in low light...
Here is a Ferguson 3629 "Personal". It was given to me by a very nice lady Methodist minister called Sheila from a place not far from Birmingham. It didn't need an awful lot to get it going, mostly the usual capacitors in the frame stage etc. The set uses the Thorn 950 chassis which runs the whole width of the cabinet, hence the TV's unusual shape.
Ferguson 3629 "Personal"
625 Line Only CRT Sets
The first set in this category is an Ekco "11 Plus". It has a fully transistorised chassis and is probably a bit modern for these pages, but I thought it looked quite interesting. This set, along with several others on the site, came from an excellent chap called Ian from a place near Brighton.
Ekco 11 Plus
The next two sets look all but identical (other than a slight difference in the speaker grille.) They are both Ferguson Couriers, however, the top set uses the Thorn 1580 hybrid (valve and transistor) chassis and the bottom set is fully transistorised, using the Thorn 1590 chassis. The transistorised version can be used on 12 volts, but the hybrid version is mains-only.
Ferguson 3805 "Courier" (Hybrid Thorn 1580 Chassis)
Ferguson 3816 "Courier" (Transistorised Thorn 1590 Chassis)
This next TV was a total wreck when I was given it several years ago; it's a 1938 GEC BT9121. As the set was in such a poor condition and missing so many parts (mechanical bits, CRT etc.,) I thought I would let Andy Beer have it as he has far more patience (and skill) than I have and if any one could get it going, it was Andy. He is having a new cabinet made for the set using dimensions supplied by the Alexander Palace Television Society and pictures of the old cabinet (which unfortunately got thrown away). The set was very kindly given to me by a late friend, Bob Cook from Exmouth.
2 Pictures of the GEC BT9121
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