News

Close up view of Photo-telegraphy reciever, with photographic equipment for exposing a roll of photo paper, with a black glossy surface.

Exciting Arrival of Rare Photo-telegraphy Equipment

A fantastic addition to our working collections

In July the museum received a very special set of working equipment. Dated around 1946, our Photo-telegraphy Transmitter and a separate Receiver were donated to the museum by Gerald Parnall.

The Receiver was used by a National Newspaper to transmit photographs up to the late 1970s. During his visit, Gerald was pleased to demonstrate a photograph being sent between the two machines, watched by a group of our enthusiastic volunteers.

Mesmerising Machines

The Photo-telegraphy Receiver was manufactured by Muirhead-Jarvis. The ‘Daily Mail’ newspaper group had some thirty transmitters and receivers, and another three hundred were sold worldwide.

The portable Photo-telegraphy Transmitter was made by Muirhead-Belin. In 1949, the D-368 model cost £600 to buy, the same price as a Ford V-8 Pilot car!

Charlotte Dando, Collections Manager said, “The plan is to have the machines on display in the museum in the near future so that visitors can see how photographs were once transmitted”.

Further Investigations

While the Receiver and Transmitter are safe in collections store our volunteers and staff will work with Gerald and others to tell the stories and history of these fascinating objects. Staff will also work on finding a more public home for both items and explore how to display them as working exhibits.

Have a look for yourself

Videos and photographs of the Receiver and Transmitter in action can be found on our YouTube and Facebook sites.