Scanning Phototelegraph, 1881.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm

Scanning Phototelegraph, 1881.

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The scanning phototelegraph was invented by Shelford Bidwell (1848-1909) in 1881. This is his original apparatus (the earliest television-related object in the Science Museum's collection) and has examples of the sillhouette images it transmitted and received. It is the forerunner of today's Fax machine and used a selenium cell connected to a simple scanning system.

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