Emitron television camera tube, type 5954, 1935.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The 'Emitron' camera tube used an electron beam to convert light from the scene in the studio into a television signal. It was developed by Tedham and McGee at the newly incorporated EMI (Electrical & Music Industries) for the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) in 1935. It was similar in design to the Iconoscope, invented by the electrical engineer Vladimir Zworykin (1888-1982) for RCA (Radio Corporation of America). When the world's first regular high-definition television service began broadcasting from Alexandra Palace in London in 1936, the cameras in the studios used the Emitron tube.