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

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Old 14th Jan 2014, 3:56 pm   #61
Junk Box Nick
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Len Goodman’s Dance Band Days (recently on BBC 4 and available on iPlayer) has a few vintage sets to spot.

The most notable one is the DAC90 that appears prominently in the foreground a couple of minutes into the programme.

As a documentary programme dealing with a music fashion within a defined period - the inter-war years - I think this does bear criticism as the DAC 90 is (correct me if I am wrong - and if so I'm sure someone will!) a post WWII set.

Other sets I spotted included a Philco. A lot of the shots are close-ups of dials but the eagle-eyed experts, of which I am not one, will probably be able to identify them.

I think, as a good part of the programme was devoted to the reaction of John Reith and the BBC to this style of dance music, that out of period props should be criticised.

If they'd asked me I could have found them a few early 30s woodies!
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 4:31 pm   #62
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

DAC90 appeared in 1946, so yes it's post-war (though not by much)
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Old 16th Jan 2014, 8:45 pm   #63
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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Old 22nd Jan 2014, 11:26 am   #64
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
I wonder if an oil lamp simply isn't bright enough to be seen to be lit under film lighting if the wick is trimmed properly.

In a film, it only has to be seen to be alight, it doesn't actually have to do anything useful.
It depends on the technology used for filming.
In years gone by, very high light levels had to be used for filming (both real photographic film and video) as a consequence any lit oil lamp in the scene appeared very dim.
However recent advances allow filming under much lower light levels, and a lit oil lamp, or gas light, or candles, can now contribute significant actual illumination, relative to other lighting.

Candles or oil lamps in a period drama filmed in 1970 will appear very much dimmer than in s similar drama filmed today.
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Old 23rd Jan 2014, 7:15 pm   #65
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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Originally Posted by Skywave View Post
Yup: noticed that. I've also seen the radio operator back at the station receiving those VHF transmissions - on a Trio 9R59 short-wave comms. receiver! Surely they could have found a Pye base station somewhere, (even if it was just an empty case), or failing that, knock up a 'look alike'?
The company my Wife owned used to supply a lot of radio related props to YTV. We offered to give them a correct period base station on a number of occasions but they declined.
The Trio was doctored by me for a scene in one of the last episodes when the police station was 'hi-jacked' by a criminal. The radio was to be knocked to the floor and smashed exposing masses of internal wiring and loose valves which would be stamped on and broken. The production assistant insisted on having enough wire to cable a telephone exchange exposed and several large coke bottle valves (actually GZ37s) to spill out. This was despite my protests that it would be totally wrong and the valves wouldn't actually fit inside the radio's cabinet!! Oh well....
I still have the mains transformer from the Trio somewhere after removing it for more room.

On another occasion YTV were making a docu-drama about the Yorkshire Ripper and approached us for the 'correct period' (Their words) radios for the police officers. We provided a quantity of the correct Burndept BE470s that were used in West Yorks. at the time. When the programme actually aired our radios had miraculously transformed into a random collection of Pye Bantams and ex. Metropolitan police Stornos....

Artistic licence, I suppose!
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Old 21st Mar 2014, 12:03 pm   #66
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

I saw "Telstar" a few weeks ago, set around 1960 to 1967, and despite the amount of recording equipment seen in the film, the only error obvious to me was the 1970s BASF logo on some of Joe Meek's tape reels.
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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 11:57 am   #67
Peter.N.
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

An episode of Heartbeat that was on the other day appeared to have a KW2000 as a PMR base station.

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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 1:08 pm   #68
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

The problem seems to be that REAL PMR base stations look boring. They're crystal controlled, tied to their assigned frequency. You might if you're lucky get a small meter and a panel lamp Obviously quite unsatisfactory from the point of drama.

KW2000s at least have tuning scales and lots of knobs.
Real spaceships don't 'Swoosh' either. Unfortunately Joe Public sees Hollywood, believes Hollywood.

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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 3:12 pm   #69
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Not on TV or film, but I visited Bletchley Park this week and was surprised at the number of wireless-related anachronisms on display, particularly in areas purporting to depict wartime scenes. Several post-war sets and items of test equipment were in evidence. None of these spoilt my enjoyment of what is becoming a very good museum, but with all the help available to the management there I would have expected rather better historical accuracy.
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Old 25th Mar 2014, 9:13 pm   #70
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Not radio related, but I recently saw 'The Monument Men' which, briefly, is about a largely American squad sent in at the end of world war two to try to recover artworks squirreled away by the Germans.

The characters spent a lot of time talking openly to each about their plans on phone (voice) field radio sets within easy listening distance of the enemy lines - not a wise thing to do, I would have thought.

But the one I really liked was the characters arriving at an American - occupied British airfield instantly recognisable to any warplane nerd as Duxford - it went OK to begin with, as the camera swept across a parked B17 ('Sally B)' and a P-47 Thunderbolt, swung past the iconic hangars and then finally paused on the WWII control tower, which had appropriately costumed officers milling around on the balcony.

Only problem was, they didn't remove the added-on modern storey with its outward-tilted tinted glass windows
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Old 31st Mar 2014, 11:44 pm   #71
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

I recently attended a short talk and demonstration by a member of the 1st world war society, where he appeared in a typical privates uniform, which he described, in detail. In the question and answer session at the end, someone asked if he ever shouted at the television, when WW1 programmes were on. He said. "All the time" so it's not just us radio specialists... My contribution to this thread is from Foyle's war. the attached screen shot is of what is undoubtedly a Bush AC41 from 1954. I'd hate to be in a props department.......
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Old 17th Apr 2014, 9:55 am   #72
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Great British Menu BBC2 Wednesday. Main Course on the theme of 70th anniversary of 'D' day. Prop used to provide appropriate period music, 1949/50 Philips 581A. The food looked good.!!!!

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Old 12th Oct 2014, 8:10 am   #73
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Now I know there have been other posts regarding anachronisms in film and TV programmes which, IMHO, are sometimes excuseable when they are 'near misses' and don't contravene historical accuracy too much (don't mention that Radar 'show'). I do find it strange, however, when TV makes programmes about itself or stars of TV and gets it wrong. I cite in this "Cilla"; never mind the 300 series phone in the phone booth, the AT&T 500 phones in a London hotel or the ITT-KB TV in Brian Epstein's 'pad'. What I found incredibly strange was the scene in the Granada building with the wrong logo everywhere. The arrowed G appeared more or less with colour 1968/9; the scene was around 1965 when the 'Andy Pandy/ Kid's Brick' letters were in use. What's worse this was an ITV show, is there no-one at ITV who is aware of ITV's history?

Having said all this, other than for the above, I really enjoyed the 'mini series' and, in general thought it had pretty high production values. It is still available on the ITV player for another week or so should any of you wish to take a look.

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Old 9th Jan 2015, 8:56 pm   #74
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Hi,
I recently saw the film "The Theory of Everything" which is about Stephen and Jane Hawking's marriage years and is excellent, despite a few "dramatic" additions and errors. In a number of scenes there is a desk-top computer which looks to me to be one of the Commodore models, possibly a PET. Since the this part of the film is set around the time that Hawking wrote "A Brief History of Time" which was first published in 1988, I am not sure whether the Commodore is anachronistic or not. Sales of the PET were in decline by 1982 and I would have thought Hawking could have afforded the most modern of home computers.
Perhaps others might be more knowledgeable?
Incidentally, as Peter Bradshaw has pointed out in the Guardian, it is very odd that no-one seems to be smoking in the film....
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Old 16th Jan 2015, 11:16 pm   #75
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Just finished watching the BBC4 doc about recording, in which a 4038 is introduced as a "Coles 4038 from the early thirties"...!

Firstly, the design dates from 1953.

Secondly, it was branded as STC until the 1970s.

Thirdly, and worst of all, it is the BBC's own design.

If the Corporation can't get its own history right, how are we to believe anything else in the programme?
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 1:21 pm   #76
Peter.N.
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Have you noticed how all the on/off/volume controls on stage sets seem to have been moved to the right hand hand side, and how many of the sets must have been fitted with directly heated valves as they come on instantly.

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Old 17th Jan 2015, 1:28 pm   #77
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

They also seem to work in reverse, i.e. turn clockwise to switch 'off'. I often see the same happen with valves (the stopcock type) and water taps.
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Old 17th Jan 2015, 2:06 pm   #78
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Quote:
and how many of the sets must have been fitted with directly heated valves as they come on instantly.
Even worse they do come on 'instantly' not even the 1/2 to 1 second delay, or time to adjust the volume control. A 'Miss Marple' I watched a while ago had an Ekco A22 with the whole tuning dial lit up very brightly, and indeed to turn it off was clockwise (on the right/correct knob though).
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Old 18th Jan 2015, 10:42 pm   #79
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Kendall View Post
Just finished watching the BBC4 doc about recording, in which a 4038 is introduced as a "Coles 4038 from the early thirties"...!
...
If the Corporation can't get its own history right, how are we to believe anything else in the programme?
It wasn't the only problem. I'm sure that electrical recordings were standard before the 1930's and I'm also fairly sure that hill and dale discs were much rarer than they were made out to be on that programme. There were a few other things that I can't remember now...
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 6:38 pm   #80
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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They also seem to work in reverse, i.e. turn clockwise to switch 'off'. I often see the same happen with valves (the stopcock type) and water taps.

Errr, don't stopcocks and old style taps normally turn off clockwise as you screw the washer down onto the seat?
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