• TV services suspended for two weeks due to fuel shortages.
  • 28,000 sets sold during the year.
  • Purchase tax increased from 33.3% to 50%.
  • Approximately 35,000 TV licenses by the end of the year.
Graph of TV sales during 1947 [8K]
Fig.1 : Television Sales During 1947 / Early 1948

In February a fuel crisis lead to power shortages, with many firms finding it necessary to install their own power generators. The TV service was suspended during the crisis, much to the annoyance of both manufacturers and dealers who had been working hard to build up sales of television sets. A reduced TV service resumed on 11th March. The effects on sales can be clearly seen in figure 1.

Also in February, the B.B.C.'s test transmissions were now made between 10am and 11am instead of the previous half hour before and after afternoon transmissions. The previous transmission of demonstarion films between 11am and 12:10 were continued.

In August, with the country in the grips of a financial crises, an emergency budget was held which saw in an increase in purchase tax from 33.3% to 50%.

On the 9th of November the first high definition telerecording was made by BBC Television to produce a re-transmission of the Remembrance Service outside broadcast from the Cenotaph, which being televised for the first time. The film was re-broadcast in the US by NBC the same evening. Telerecording was again used on the 20th when the BBC staged a major outside broadcast to cover the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip Mountbatten.

The lucky few who owned a television set found themselves having to pay more for their house insurance. It was estimated that one in every thousand sets caught fire !

15th Radiolympia

GEC BT7092 Table Model [8K]
Philco A1707 Beethoven T907 Invicta TL31 GEC BT7092 R.I. T484
Some of the sets at the show.

Although many new televisions made an appearance at the show, continued shortages of materials meant a fair number of these sets did not begin deliveries for almost a year, such as the GEC BT7092 (July 1948, shown above) and the Dynatron TV21 (November 1948!). Also shown was the Ekco TSC48, the first post-war mirror lid TV and one of only two such types to ever be released after the war (the other being the Beau Decca a few years later). Other manufacturers such as Philco (A1707), Beethoven (T907) and Sobell went to extrordinary lengths to hide the television screen when it was not in use.

Cossor 902 in clear plastic cabinet [15K] Many manufacturers at the show displayed special show versions of their products housed in clear plastic cases. This includes Cossor's model 902 console television, showing typical construction of the early post war sets with a substantial main chassis with a seperate bulky power chassis below. Cossor Model 902 [5K]
Baird Grosvenor
The Baird "Grosvenor"

By far the most expensive set at Olympia was the Baird "Grosvenor". This had a huge 22"x19" flat viewing screen, an eleven waveband radio, automatic record player and 30W of audio output. The price was expected to be around £1500.

A small manufacturer, Haynes, displayed a television utilising a 14" C.R.T. This C.R.T. was produced by E.M.I. for two H.M.V. pre-war sets that were shown at the ill-fated 1939 Radiolympia. H.M.V. probably did not utilise these C.R.T.s post-war and it seems Haynes made use of remaining stocks.

Despite the record sales of 440,320 tickets for the event, in December at the A.G.M. of BREMA general feeling was that there should be no Radiolympia in 1948. The reason given was "... to enable the industry as a whole to concentrate on production for its export target and to allow the manufacturers of radio and television receivers more time for the development and production of new sets". The export target was probably the main reason as the Government had set the industry a target of £12,000,000 in exports.


In May, both Mazda and Mullard announce their first ranges of valves using the new B.V.A B8A base. Of particular interest was the new Mullard EF42, an R.F. valve intended as the replacement for the popular EF50 in consumer products.

An artical in Wireless World magazine for December gives a good insight into the efficiency of, or rather lack of efficiency, of television line-scan coils. Of the power required for scanning, only 10% of the total power required actually performed the job itself.

Cossor released there model 901 television, the first British set to use a tube incorporating an ion trap in an attempt to reduce ion burn of the screen.

News From Abroad


Pye demonstate television at the Grand'place in Mons on the 15th September 1947, though at this point in time I'm not sure of the significance of why Pye might be there at that particular time.

Photographs by Marcel G. Lefrancq, reproduced with permission.
Further images can be found at http://www.lefrancq.be/MGL/tv_1947_b.htm


Picture of RCA TV-radiogram [14K]
RCA combined television-radiogram from America.
<1946 Gallery of Sets from 1947 1948>

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J.Evans 2003-2012
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5th December 2012