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Old 21st Jan 2015, 6:42 pm   #81
HamishBoxer
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Yes!
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 6:46 pm   #82
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Try telling that to some program makers.

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Old 21st Jan 2015, 6:54 pm   #83
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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Errr, don't stopcocks and old style taps normally turn off clockwise
They used to, my new taps turn off in different directions depending on hot or cold, a right pain. Back on topic, what was the BBC4 recording programme called? I would like to watch it on Iplayer.
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 8:38 pm   #84
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

What I meant was, you see radios being switched off 'backwards' by rotating the control clockwise. You also see valves, taps and stopcocks being turned off 'backwards', i.e. by turning anticlockwise.

For some time, the standard Water Board pattern valve worked cack-handedly, i.e. clockwise to open and anticlockwise to close. Most confusing.
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Old 21st Jan 2015, 8:56 pm   #85
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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Errr, don't stopcocks and old style taps normally turn off clockwise as you screw the washer down onto the seat?
It depends: the traditional "plug cock" used for low pressure water service and gas-lighting had no directionality: if it was 'on' you could turn it either way through 90 degrees to get an 'off' condition. And a 90-degree turn either way would then turn it on.

The lever/handle at 90-degrees to the pipe [achieved by turning either way] was the traditional sign-of-offness.

Hard detents on such valves are a rather recent idea!
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 8:56 pm   #86
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

If you think about a 'normal' right handed screw with a fixed nut (tools easily available for right handed threads) moving a plug, then you know why taps and the like are clockwise off, anticlockwise on.
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 9:13 pm   #87
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

It's hard to understand I know, but there are people who actually find screw threads boring.

Have you ever heard my Joseph Whitworth memorial, lecture?

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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 9:21 pm   #88
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Hi Merlin the programme is Sound of Song presented by Neil Brand. Great series.
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 9:28 pm   #89
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

I imagine that the right-hand thread became the de facto 'standard' purely because the majority of people are right-handed, and with manual thread-cutting and screw-driving the maximum torque can be exerted by the right hand in a clockwise direction. And of course ergonomics.

It's more difficult to suggest why electronic controls such as volume, brightness, contrast etc all tend to be 'clockwise to increase'. That said, I believe the BBC adopted the opposite direction for their studio equipment, and stuck with it for many years. It probably has its roots deep in the early days of telegraphy or telephony; I'm sure someone will know.

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Have you ever heard my Joseph Whitworth memorial lecture?
No, but I'd love to! Please start another thread...
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Last edited by Phil G4SPZ; 22nd Jan 2015 at 9:31 pm. Reason: Witty attempt at humour added
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 10:07 pm   #90
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

According to the Sound Of Song P2 write up I've read, it looks extremely interesting and includes the not so well known story of Bing Crosby kick starting Ampex because he wasn't keen on live performance and looked for a high quality means of recording for radio. No doubt there will be some anomalies there as well but it's a pretty good series on the whole so far, I think.

Did no one see The Eichmann Show on Tuesday [BBC2] with Marconi engineers building a TV Studio within the court? It's not got a brilliant write up for the script which was as wooden as the panelling. What's the verdict on the Hardware though?. The actual historical footage is beyond comment here or anywhere else
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 10:07 pm   #91
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

TV isn't real life though. When you turn a tap on, for example, it's physical. TV is an illusion created for the whole spectrum of viewers, a minute proportion of whom will know more about a particular scene than the programme makers possibly could.
The Producer and Director will be more concerned with actor position and prop visibility, than which knob does what, as long as the effects match some movement.
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 10:58 pm   #92
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

My theory about why right hand threads are most common is this.

The first threads would have been cut freehand on a lathe. For a right handed person it's normal to have the lathe head stock on the left. Cuts are made towards the headstock and that produces a right hand thread.

If you watch the TV series "Wish Me Luck" there's a scene where a radio operator is asked to repair a set. She picks up a screwdriver and pretends to undo some screws. but she rotates the screwdriver clockwise.
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Old 22nd Jan 2015, 11:48 pm   #93
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

I've no personal knowledge of this, but according to on-line sources, the earliest screw threads date from around 400BC (long before the first screw cutting lathe of 1770) and were used in presses, to generate sufficient pressure to extract oils and juices from olives, grapes etc. I may be wrong, but again, the maximum force that could be applied (by a right-handed operative) to the handle of a grape press would involve placing his or her right hand at the furthest end of the operating lever and pulling like mad. This action would require the screw to have a right-hand thread.

By all accounts, some early screw threads were indeed filed by hand!
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 12:28 am   #94
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesperrett View Post
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...
Electrical recording arrived in the market in 1925, stealthily at first to avoid rendering the entire back catalogue unsaleable overnight. Hill and dale was the standard for cylinders, Edison Diamond Discs, Pathe up to the late 20s, and one or two other labels.

There are patches of remarkable insight in these programmes and other bits which are plain sloppy. Revisionism is rife, as it frequently is in televised history these dayshttps://www.vintage-radio.net/images/smilies/soapbox.gif
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Old 19th Feb 2015, 11:13 pm   #95
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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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.
Me too, and very enjoyable it was too.

A few oddities from stuck out for me. Jane's home phone in the 1960s seemed to be some weird 1970s European thing that I didn't recognise, and its dial tone was the modern-day, digital exchange one, not the purring that was in use until the late 1980s.

And as a student, Hawking listened to Wagner in his bedroom on a small, upright portable reel-to-reel machine. Seems unlikely to me!

There were also a few very American-sounding phrases said by the main, British characters, e.g. "I've just fixed you a ride" and "Can I get two pints of...".

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Old 20th Feb 2015, 1:49 am   #96
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

"Can I get..." drives me nuts. It seems to have entered British English as a result of people watching '30something' in the 80s and 'Friends' in the 90s. That phrasing certainly wouldn't have been used in Britain before 1980. I'm not sure it was used in America before 1980.

I find anachronistic idiomatic phrasing much more irritating than minor errors with prop selection - it's just so incredibly lazy and unprofessional.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 8:31 am   #97
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

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"Can I get..." drives me nuts.
Glad it's not just me then!
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 9:22 am   #98
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

Anachronistic idiomatic phrases seem far more obvious than wrong props.
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Old 20th Feb 2015, 10:00 am   #99
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

If you've watched the film Munich, set in 1972 just after the massacre of Israeli athletes during the Olympics, a suspect is being interrogated and its being recorded on a Revox B77. The B77 didn't come out till 1977.
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Old 10th Mar 2015, 11:30 pm   #100
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Default Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.

My wife is well-trained, and will pause the TV and summon me to look at any old radios that she spots. On an episode of "Father Brown" a group of men are clustered round a Bush DAC90. Correct for the period, but this Bush was fitted with a carrying handle! Who'd do such a thing?
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