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Old 11th Jan 2018, 4:55 pm   #1
millie01
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Default Emitron Camera Tube

I came across a thread from several years ago about these. I know there is one in the museum of broadcasting, one I think in the Science Museum and I assume the BBC have some but Iíd love to know how many survive today if anyone knows. Thank you.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 5:29 pm   #2
peter_scott
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

I don't know how many survive but if you are interested in some of the history take a look at: http://www.nostalgiatech.co.uk/Emitron.htm

Peter
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 6:45 pm   #3
dseymo1
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

There were (are?) a couple of Emitron cameras in the Alexandra Palace museum, but I don't know how complete they are. I did ask a guide when I was there, but he couldn't tell me.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 7:03 pm   #4
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Thank you for the link peter_scott, I canít be totally sure but I think itís my Dad in one of the photos.

Thank you for your replies, sadly I only have the tube not the whole camera.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 7:48 pm   #5
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Hello

Interested that you say you have a tube, which sort is it? A picture might help. There were at least 3 different types as well as the American ones.

http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/emi/em...37/1937p2.html

regards

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Last edited by beamcurrent; 11th Jan 2018 at 7:51 pm. Reason: extra info
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 8:25 pm   #6
millie01
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

This is the best I can do at the moment in artificial light.

FA98BFB0 1778 4546 91F6 99258659FB5A
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 9:04 pm   #7
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

A pal of mine has a particular interest in camera and other imaging tubes and has built up quite a collection, many bought from the US and elsewhere around the world. If you need any specific information I've no doubt he would be happy to help.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 9:35 pm   #8
jamesinnewcastl
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Hi

I'd love one of these very early tubes! About two four months ago there was an ebay sale of one of the CCTV cameras as used on the American 'Drones' intended to be flown into the German submarine pens. Yes, the first radio controlled armed drone in 1944/5! An American 4 engined bomber stuffed full of torpex and fitted with two CCTV cameras, one looking at the controls and another out the window. A radio video link to a following aircraft so that a drone pilot could fly the plane. Oh and of course other radio links and servos to operate the aircrafts controls. One of the Kennedys volunteered to fly the bombed up plane before baling out. Sadly the aircraft blew up, there is a good documentary about it.

Anyway all that drivel leads up to my not buying the thing for £300 because the 'postage' was also £300 and possibly the tube would break. BUT what you get as well as the tube are the focus and deflection coils - if you are like me and want the thing to work these are as valuable as the tube!

There are a few people who have restored these cameras and even built from scratch on the web. Sadly if you want one you may need to get them from the states, post war they were sold off for survelliance cameras.


Cheers
James

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Old 11th Jan 2018, 10:16 pm   #9
peter_scott
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Quote:
Originally Posted by millie01 View Post
This is the best I can do at the moment in artificial light.

FA98BFB0 1778 4546 91F6 99258659FB5A
That's the second generation of Emitron. The long necked Emitron as in Brian's website:
http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/emi/em...ngunnotes.html

Peter
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 1:38 am   #10
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

How much would Millie's Emitron realise at auction, assuming of course that she ever wanted to part with it?

Is there even precedent of such a sale?
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 7:59 pm   #11
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

A value is very difficult to advise - it's what <<somebody>> is prepared to pay and that is very hard to predict in this case. It probably comes under the heading of 'priceless' simply because nobody knows.

It's really so rare, so valuable (in the non-monetary sense) and so important! If It did come up for sale, it would be nice to think that it would go to a bona-fide museum. The UK Science Museum now has 'custody' of all the known ones (so far as I know), so possibly another important body such as the Bodleian Library? They have custody of many important things such as the Marconi Archive and it would be a great 'home'. Another possibility is the BFI, but that's debateable. Neither EMI or Marconi (the other half of Marconi-EMI) still exists and the BBC has off-loaded its physical heritage back to the Science Museum, so no possibilities there.

The Emitron is, of course, a member of the iconoscope class of camera tube. Based on the RCA patents, quite a few were actually being built around the world (Italy, Japan, Holland, Germany and USSR), but it's still a very significant survivor.

Having built a working (image) iconoscope camera and having 'custody' of several of these later types of this class of tube, I know the dilemma of whether a private collector should really have them or a reputable, real museum. Tricky, that one.

At the end of the day, it's for the owner to decide its destiny - keep/sell/donate - and that's just how it should be. If there's family connections, 'keep' looks attractive (well, it would be for me).

Just my thoughts!

Best regards,

Paul M

PS James - I did ship an RCA iconoscope from the USA and it did survive! These were much, much more common than UK manufactured versions. One day I will power it . . .

Last edited by PaulM; 12th Jan 2018 at 8:11 pm.
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 8:55 pm   #12
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulM View Post
PS James - I did ship an RCA iconoscope from the USA and it did survive! These were much, much more common than UK manufactured versions. One day I will power it . . .
Cheers Paul - If it were a military product and designed for bombers I should have trusted it more - but I was also a little worried about import duties too!

James
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 11:08 pm   #13
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

This thread is interesting:
https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...hlight=emitron

The photos below are of an Emitron that sold on eBay and on the 18th July 2011 I sent them to Simon Waughan. Unfortunately I can't remember if there was any relationship between this and the donation refered to in the thread above. Perhaps Simon will see this and remember.

I think this was in response to a message I received on the www.405-line.tv forum but my link to this no longer works.

Peter
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 12:06 am   #14
millie01
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Thank you all for your replies. It was on my Dad’s office wall until he retired, then the loft for thirty years before being left to me. Being so fragile I was curious to know how many survive rather than a price for it. I didn’t realise there were so few although I suppose quite a lot may be unknown in private hands.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 10:34 am   #15
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Just for general interest from the still frame that Simon Vaughan posted in the earlier thread I think it shows that the Emitrons were manufactured from laboratory boiling flasks.

Peter
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 11:37 am   #16
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

One of the problems with such rarities is that they do create speculation!

I have a dim recollection that the eBay sale Peter mentioned fell through?

At about the same time there was also a story came to light of an Emitron being found during the clear-out of television centre.

So far as the history is concerned, I did study this formally and Chapter 5 of my thesis describes the rivalry and co-operation between the inter-linked transatlantic Marconi, EMI and RCA companies. It's available on line at:

https://www.research.manchester.ac.u.../FULL_TEXT.PDF

A definitive list of Emitron camera tube survivors is probably never going to be possible, but even rarer are the Baird Television Limited's versions of the iconoscpe. The only known survivor of those is at Strathclyde University, but are there others?

These mid to late 1930s tubes are rarer than Rembrandts, but sadly they're not treated with anything like the same reverence!

Best regards,

Paul M
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 11:38 am   #17
millie01
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

My Dad once told me that when Mullard broke one they had borrowed for a trade exhibition they had to recreate it which meant tracking down one of the original retired glass blowers. Thatís partly why I was curious as to how many survive now; whether itís in the 10s or 100s
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 9:10 pm   #18
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Quote:
At about the same time there was also a story came to light of an Emitron being found during the clear-out of television centre.
There was indeed an Emitron tube in a glass dispaly case along with a number of other tubes. This case was in the workshop area under studio 1 and was there till almost the very end. I have Photos of it.

I don't know were that case and the tube ended up in the confusion of the on going sell off auctions. I think, hope, it is still in the possession of some BBC department.

BTW I would have guessed that there would be more than 10, but certainly a lot less than 100 surviving Emitron tubes.

As far as I know there are no surviving short neck tubes and I only know of one Super-Emitron, a prototype http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/emi/em...37/superp6.htm

A page of notes about Emitron Cameras. http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/emi/em...otes+list.html

Brian
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 11:57 pm   #19
peter_scott
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

Hi Brian,

I apologise for my bad memory but I seem to have the photo of a short necked Emitron as below. I don't know where I got it but it is present day.

There is also the one in the National Museum of Scotland that I have a photo of in my Emitron website.

Peter
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 12:28 am   #20
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Default Re: Emitron Camera Tube

The camera tape is a nice touch on that exhibit.
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