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Media > Video > Telcan

1963 June 24

The quest for home video

Photo: Terra Media Archives

The Telcan fixed-head longitudinal videotape recorder, an early device intended for use in home-taping of television programmes. The recorder, mounted on the top of a television cabinet, uses quarter-inch tape running at 120 ips past fixed heads, carrying two 15-minute tracks. The intended price is 61 19s (61.90). It has been developed by Norman Rutherford and Michael Turner of Nottingham Electronic Valve Company (NEVC), but neither Telcan nor NEVC survive.
        An actual model can be found in Nottingham Industrial Museum. The website devoted to the country house, Wollaton Park, where the museum is located, not only gives an incorrect date for Telcan's invention but mischievously implies that Rutherford and Turner were the inventors of video recording and that this was the breakthrough invention that lies behind all today's home video. [It also claims that 'cat's eyes' used for marking the centre of roads were invented by a Nottingham man, when everyone—and especially every Yorkshireman—knows they were invented by a man named Percy Shaw from Boothtown, Halifax, Yorkshire, who became one of T S Eliot's 'Bradford millionaires'.]

Chronomedia 1963
The quest for home video index

Page updated 22 October 2001