History of Electronics

in the International Vintage Electronics Museum, Hove, UK


===========================================================================================
A concise history of Electronics (seen through consumers' products) narrated by Enrico Tedeschi
===========================================================================================
NOTE: We are prepared to travel to give talks about this or other subjects. Items in bold will be on show. Items in Italics will be projected on a TV screen.

Enrico Tedeschi, Winner of 1997 G4FPM Award of "Lecturer of the year"

Pre-electronics
- Once (about 100 years ago) to keep people entertained at home there were only Music boxes, phonographs (Edison 1886) and gramophones (also pianoforte, books, chat, in front of a fireplace)
- to write you could use a quill, a fountain pen or a typewriter (1829) forerunner of the modern laptop
- to communicate voice at long distance you used a telephone (1876)
- to power houses there was a war between Edison = Electric Bulb (who championed direct current) and Tesla (Tesla coil 1891) who supported alternating current. In the end Tesla (as you can see today) won
- To communicate upon long distance you had to use the telegraph (1833) using keys and wires. The results were printed on a strip of paper.

Radio
- Then Guglielmo Marconi invented Wireless Telegraphy (1896)
- To transmit Marconi and others used spark transmitters with Ruhmkorff coils (1855)
- To receive he used coherers, crystal detectors and magnetic detectors
- Then Sir Ambrose Fleming invented the electronic valve (1904) = Edison effect
- DeForest added another element (the grid) and invented the amplifying valve = triode (1907)
- With the valve, radio broadcasting became possible. Regular, programmed radio broadcasting started in London in 1922

Recording
- The first magnetic audio recoders used wire as a recording medium then magnetic tape in open reels (paper supported at first, plastic later) and finally the Musicassette (PhilipsEL 3300 = 1963) now in general use.
- RCA tried its own Stereo 8 tape system but, after an initial success, failed to conquer the market.
- The first communication satellite was put in orbit in 1962 (Telstar) forerunner of the current Satellite TV transmissions
- 1969 = man goes to the moon. Sony TC-50 is the official tape recorder.
- 1992 = SONY produces the first MD Walkman (minidisc) recorder the MZ-1.

Television
- Zworykyn develops a iconoscope which will be later used as a TV screen (1924) in the all electronic system developed by EMI.
- Scottish born John Logie Baird started producing (in Hastings at first and in London later on) commercial TV sets in 1927
- BBC started regular broadcasting TV programs in 1936 at Alexandra Palace, London (suspended during the war)
- Philco produced the first portable TV set in the world (H2010 Safari)in 1959
- Sony produced the first direct view portable TV in 1960 (TV8-301W)
- In 1977 Sinclair produced the first multistandard pocket TV (MTV1)
- In 1982 Sony produced the first flat screen TV (FD-200)
- The Sinclair FTV1 did not appear until the year after (1983)

Transistor
- After the war (1948) the Transistor was invented in the Bell Laboratories in the USA (by Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley)
- Hearing aids were the first commercial application of the new solid state invention (1952)
- In 1954 the first transistor radio (Regency TR-1) was produced with the help from Texas Instruments
- In 1955 Japan started making transistor radios (Sony TR-55)
- In 1957 Sony produced their first shirt pocket transistor radio (TR-63) followed by an avalance of other makers
- in 1957 Texas Instruments produced the first solid state Integrated circuits as a vacuum tube one had already been produced by Loewe (model 3NF) in 1926
- The first radio using the IC was produced by Sony in 1967 (ICR-100)

Calculators
- In 1971 Intel produced the first Microprocessor (4004) for a Japanese calculator company (Busicom)
- The first really pocketable calculator was produced by Bowmar in 1971 (901B). Before that calculators were mechanical at first and then electro-mechanical.
- In 1972 Hewlett Packard produced the first scientific pocket calculator (HP-35) which soon replaced the slide rule
- In the same year (1972) Sinclair introduced the thinnest calculator of them all (Executive)
- The first solar calculators appeared in 1976 (Teal Photon)

Watches
- In 1972 the first LED digital watches started to appear on the market (Sinclair Black Watch 1975)

Video
- 1965 saw the introduction by Sony of the first video tape recorder for home use (CV-2000)
- 1971 Sony produced the U-MATIC professional video system
- 1972 Philips produced the VCR system of video recording
- 1975 Sony produced the first popular video recording system the Betamax SL-6300
- 1978 JVC of Japan produced what is now the most popular of video recording systems: the VHS
- 1978 saw the introduction of Betamax 2 (half the speed)
- 1979 saw instead the introduction to the double speed VHS system
- 1981 Philips introduced the Video 2000 video system
- 1983 Grunding introduced the reversible version of the Video 2000, the 2x8
- 1985 Sony introduced the final Super-Beta system
- a compact version of the VHS system (VHS-C) appeared in 1985
- In 1985 a group of manufacturers started to produce the agreed video standard called Video 8
- 1985 saw the first book sized 8mm video camera (Sony CCD-M8)

Computer
- During the second world war radar (1937) was used to detect enemy ships and airplanes (December 1943)
- The Colossus valve computer, at Bletchley Park, was used to decript enemy's (the German Enigma machine) coded messages
- The first commercial home video game model Odyssey was sold by Magnavox in 1972
- The first commercial home computer was sold in 1976 as a kit (Altair)
- The first practical commercial home computer were put on the market in 1977 (Apple II, Tandy TRS-80 and Commodore Pet)
- The first practical pocket computer Radio Shack TRS-80 (made by Sharp) appeared in 1980
- The first British pocket computer, the Psion Organizer I (one line display!) was produced in 1983?
- The first British computer kit appeared in 1978 as the Science of Cambridge MK XIV
- The first computer to be priced under 100.00 appeared in 1980 (Sinclair ZX-80)
- The first computer to be priced under $100.00 appeared in 1981 (Sinclair ZX-81)
- The most popular home computer ever (at that time) was produced by Sinclair (Spectrum) in 1982
- The first IBM computer (5150) was put on the market in 1981. It was poised to became the most used computer system in homes and offices
- The first commercial GUI computer (Lisa) was produced by Apple in 1983
- The Macintosh (the computer that changed it all) appeared in 1984

Various
- Sony produced the first Walkman (TPS-L2) in 1979
- 1981 = Sony annouces the first digital still camera (Mavica) with CCD
- The world's first digital CD audio player (CDP-101) was made by Sony in 1982
- In 1985 Sony produced the first portable CD player (D-50)
- The first cellular telephones started to appear on the market in xxxx
- The smallest cellular telephone was produced by Sony in 1992
- In 1985 Sinclair produced one of the first mass produced electric vehicles (C-5)
- In 1992 Sinclair produced one of the first mass produced electric bike Zike
- One of the first second generation of digital cameras was produced by Canon (model RC-260E) in 1989

[Back to the Museum page] [Back to the Home page]
Write to Enrico Tedeschi, enrico@Brighton-UK.com

Page maintained by webmaster@Brighton-UK.com