Monday, 3 December 2012

Television in Boston.

In December 1948 Mr. Ron Diggins of West Street, the well known wireless expert, invited a newspaper reporter to a top room of his establishment to see the latest wonder - television. Although reception was not perfect, the fact that the impulses were being picked up at all was remarkable, for Boston stood far out of the usual 40 mile radius which was supposed to be at that time the maximum extent of reception from Alexandra Palace. Sets operating around Boston had to be considerably boosted up by amplifiers but while this improved reception of the images it also magnified interference.

Mr. Diggins twiddled with various controls and tuned in the focus of the image and there appeared on the screen a lady announcer who told of what was to come and what had gone. Then followed a sequence of pictures - actually from a film - ranging from horse racing to high speed motorcycle racing. There was an opera in progress, acrobats, ballet, the launching of a ship and a French vocalist singing a song and altogether it was described as "a wonderful entertainment."
Visibility was marred by a constant succession of bright light flashes or illuminated dots, which Mr. Diggins explained were caused by cars, buses and the general traffic in West Street below. Below could be heard the noise of a bus or some other vehicle gaining speed and changing gears and every movement was recorded on the screen by a series of flashes. There were others too, constantly flickering and interfering with reception. These, Mr. Diggins said, were set up by spark plugs on cars and a score of other electrical gadgets within picking up distance. To demonstrate he asked that an electrical drill to be switched on in the room below and as soon as it started the picture disappeared.
It was thought that when the time arrived that we had a transmitter within reasonable and effective distance it would not be long before television was so perfect as to be in demand for almost every home - how trrue that statement became.

1 comment:

  1. Does anyone know where on West Street Mr Diggins was located?