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General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

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Old 22nd Jan 2019, 4:33 pm   #261
Grubhead
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

There's a white electric push button doorbell on Robert Shaw's house in the film Battle of Britain, very common in the 60's when the film was made, but nothing like that in 1940. Plus an outdoor light, with modern wiring. I seriously doubt he would have that at that time.
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Old 23rd Jan 2019, 12:06 am   #262
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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Originally Posted by Grubhead View Post
There's a white electric push button doorbell on Robert Shaw's house in the film Battle of Britain, very common in the 60's when the film was made, but nothing like that in 1940. Plus an outdoor light, with modern wiring. I seriously doubt he would have that at that time.
I remember spotting the light when I watched this when I was young & even then thinking it was too recent. Also the house as an aluminium up & over style garage door, which according to IMDb even if such things existed in 1940 it might have been requisitioned for the war effort.
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Old 23rd Jan 2019, 12:42 am   #263
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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...and I heard an EMG (no less!) at the Museum of Mechanical Music at Northcleach, and quite frankly, it was a huge disappointment (no pun intended). Very thin and distorted to my ears.
Probably hardened rubber in the soundbox - with the right material and in good shape, an EMG can sound startlingly real.
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Old 23rd Jan 2019, 8:56 am   #264
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Thanks Ted, that's what I guessed. But it surprised me that a museum run by very knowledgable folk would tolerate that.
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Old 23rd Jan 2019, 11:32 am   #265
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Aye, there's the rub - a museum is about preservation, and this sometimes comes into conflict with having the thing in working order, an issue which can cause great ructions among steam enthusiasts. I was lucky and had my soudboxes refurbished by a lovely guy called George Overstall, who had worked on them in period - only just in time from my point of view, as he died eighteen months later. Rebuilding and re-tuning soundboxes is in danger of becoming a lost art.
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Old 26th Jan 2019, 5:09 pm   #266
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Did anyone see the episode of Granchester last night; with that room full of electronics. It was supposed to be a computer system from the sixties but looked nothing like the ones that I had seen in the past; just large cabinets with some lamps on the front. It looks as though they had just gathered whatever was available from an electronics scrapyard and racked it up. I'm sure I saw a Marconi sig gen in there as well as large analogue meters. I am still puzzled at the box containing a large amount of leaking Mercury which was suggested retained memory better?
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Old 26th Jan 2019, 8:37 pm   #267
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

It is all rather random! They made a much better effort in Thunderbirds!!
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Old 26th Jan 2019, 10:46 pm   #268
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Wasn't Thunderbirds made in the sixties, though, when what sixties computers looked like was still current knowledge?

Large boxes and mercury is possibly a nod to mercury filled acoustic delay lines used dynamic memory.
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Old 26th Jan 2019, 11:09 pm   #269
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Looks more like a prod designer's take on Colossus...
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Old 27th Jan 2019, 12:26 am   #270
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

To me, that's just laziness on the Producers/Directors part, there's more than enough information out there to be able to reproduce something even slightly closer to reality.

Maybe they thought there wasn't anybody left alive that would remember any of that.
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Old 27th Jan 2019, 1:34 am   #271
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

I agree, that's a hopeless recreation of a 1960s computer machine room, though it's not unlike a 1950s computer research lab where lots of odd bits of hardware would have been in use.
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Old 27th Jan 2019, 2:00 am   #272
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

The rotating blackboards look more 70's to me. And the florescent tube too looks to modern.

Was the computer done to play noughts and crosses!
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Old 27th Jan 2019, 2:22 am   #273
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Seems the Producers did take some advice, Dr Andrew Herbert OBE and the National Museum of Computing get a mention in the credits.
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Old 27th Jan 2019, 10:01 am   #274
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Been there. They ask your advice and go their own sweet way anyhow...
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Old 27th Jan 2019, 10:33 am   #275
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Probably no budget to do it "properly", so they just settled for random bits of old equipment.

Thinking about the programme, though, isn't that set in the '50s, not the '60s?
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 10:59 am   #276
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

A good spot on 'Endeavour' on Sunday evening, episode 'Apollo'. The episode was set at the time of the first moon landings (if you believe all that stuff...) in 1969, which were being shown on TV sets in a shop window. One of them was a Sony TV-110UB, released in 1971. A foolish error, seeing that TV9-90UBs (correct for the year) are hardly difficult to find.
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 11:06 am   #277
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

I think they often look at props and think 'hmm that looks old, that'll do'.
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Old 27th Feb 2019, 10:18 pm   #278
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Default Gramophone on ITV's "Endeavour"

I've just watched the latest episode of "Endeavour", which was broadcast on Sunday evening. Did anyone spot the deliberate mistake?

A bit over half an hour in, a character is found having committed suicide while listening to what looks to me to be a Columbia "Viva-Tonal" Grafonola. Morse examines it, noting that the deceased was listening to Mahler, but apparently not noticing that the disc is being played from the wrong side, and the soundbox is mounted at an odd angle.

It's probably my age, but I'm always surprised that errors like this are not noticed during production.
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Old 27th Feb 2019, 11:25 pm   #279
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Yes, spotted that! It also looked suspiciously like an lp!
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Old 27th Feb 2019, 11:42 pm   #280
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

I must admit I hadn't noticed that, as I was concentrating on the gramophone, but you are absolutely right, Nick. It is an LP - there are clearly visible track gaps. That's also why, when Morse swings the turntable back and forth, no sound comes out.
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