Timeshift – Dial ‘B’ for Britain is a really cool and fascinating insight into the history of the telephone.
First shown on BBC4 on 20th April 2017 this programme tells the history of the British telephone line over 100 years and the telephone on the High Street and in British households over this period. If you think the problems we have today getting a phone line installed are something new – think again, the infrastructure has always been expanding and demand always seems to exceed the supply. From being a plaything of the wealthy the telephone became a necessity of the 20th century and though mainly used for connectivity today it is still very much part of our lives.
The program takes us into the exchanges, talks to engineers, switchboard operators and experts and contains a fantastic array of vintage clips of the telephone in all its glory. Included in the program are a number of phones which we lent the BBC in making the program.
If you want to watch; it is still available on the BBC iplayer for a few days – Timeshift – Dial B for Britain
We currently have this amazing JVC Videosphere TV in stock – fully working and converted to Freeview so you can enjoy 21st century viewing in full black & white!
Designed in 1970 by JVC Japan, this iconic round television was inspired by the moon landing in 1969 and the age of space exploration. The shape is based on an astronaut’s space helmet and this version in white plastic with the smoked acrylic visor epitomises this. The Videosphere was first produced in 1974 and was sold up until the early 1980s.
Obviously with the move to digital television the analogue components in the TV no longer pick up a signal, however as our aim is to make old beautiful technology still usable we have retro fitted a remote control Freeview box. The original tube is still is good order, so all we have done is provided a workable signal. The Freeview box is discreetly hidden in the base of the TV, so aesthetically the TV still looks the as it would have when new, but with the added usefulness of the remote control.
The TV is working and in great vintage condition; it has been rewired, electrically checked and fully PAT tested. The Tuning dial, controls for volume, brightness etc, all operate as they should, the metal hanging/carrying chain is present and correct as is the extendable aerial, which is still in one piece.
Pop to our shop to catch this slice of vintage technology.
Go the V&A or Plastics websites for the full history
We had a call from the lovely Jane Kelly who was launching ‘Photoshoot Magazine’ an online quarterly ‘behind-the-scenes’ magazine for photographers, models, make-up artists and other creatives. Editor Jane and the Photoshoot team are a group of professional photographers, journalists, designers, make-up artists and models who host their own in-house creative shoots and they required Retro props for the cover of the new magazine.
She needed a number of phones so we supplied her with two of our restored GPO red vintage dial telephones to recreate an iconic shot from the 1980s. The phones were featured on the front cover of the first edition of the magazine in Nov 2013 and there was a piece about us in the magazine too!