• First female news reader aapears on B.B.C. T.V. (regional).
  • ITV coverage reaches 90%.
  • Approximately 10 million TV licenses by the end of the year.

The April budget sees the exemption of purchase tax on cathode-ray tubes (both new and reconditioned) whilst purchase tax on televisions and radios reduces from 60% to 50%.


The Radio Components Show

The show, held between the 6th and 9th of April sees the appearance of a number of new valves. The most notable was Mullard's new PCC89 double-triode intended for use in the tuners of televisions. Utilising the frame grid construction method it offered almost twice the gain of the then currently widely used PCC84. Ediswan Mazda also introduced their 30L15 aomed at the same applications as the PCC89.

The National Radio Show

There seems to have been little in the way of new designs at the show other than the widespread use of the 110-degree C.R.T. However one interesting set was the model 1021 "Telerama" displayed by Philco. It took full advantage of the latest 110-degree 21" CRT's to not only produce a "corner" set but to also make it wall mountable


In October it was reported that a 170-degree 17-inch screen has been prototyped ny Multi-Tron Laboratory in the U.S.A. using "electron optical projection". Weighing only 6Lb and requiring a very low scanning power it would be an obvious candidate for use in a transistorised television receiver. However it required significant redesign of the scanning coils and drive circuitry; a 160-degree version had also been developed which, it was claimed, could use standard 110-degree circuitry although requireing a much higher scanning power of ~3½watts (though still less than current 110-degree CRT's).


The year sees ITV coverage expand in three areas. On the 15th January Tyne Tees began providing the ITV service for the north-east of England, transmitting on channel 8 from a 100KW transmitter at Burnhope. On the 27th of October Anglia Television began the ITV service for the East of England from the Mendelsham transmitter, at the time the highest mast (1,000ft) in Europe. Soon afterwards, on the 31st of October, Ulster Television began providing the ITV service for Northern Ireland from the Black Mountain transmitter using channel 9. ITV now covered 90% of the UK population.

Meantime, on October 5th a low power (1KW) BBC transmitter installed at Peterborough began operation. Peterborough was almost exactly half way between the Sutton Coldfield and Norwich transmitters but could not receive either of them reliably.


In April/May Philips Electrical Ltd. aquired control of Cossor Radio and Television Ltd (a subsidiary of A.C.Cossor Ltd) together with the right to use the Cossor tradmark in the fields of radio, television and sound reproduction in all countries except Canada and Pakistan.

At about the same time, Pilot Radio became a wholly owned subsidiary of Ultra Electric Ltd.

News From Abroad

At the start of the year there were just over 1 million televisions in use in Japan. It had taken over five years to reach this level.

On October 31st Nigerian television starts at Ibadan, run by the West Nigerian government in collaboration with Associated Rediffusion. There were two transmitters, at Ibadan and Ikeja, broadcasting in English for about six hours a day, with main programmes at 18:30-23:00. The Government also ordered 500 receivers from UK sources with plans for a further 500 more; these were to be placed in schools and community centres for educational programmes transmitted in the early afternoon.

Ghana was scheduled to have a television service operating in time for H. M. The Queen's visit in November. The station was to be at the country's capitol, Accra, and broadcst using the 625-line standard.

On November 2nd the Australian Broadcasting Commission began television transmissions in Brisbane.

Other television services begin Bulgaria, Ecuador, Honduras (525-line), India, Lebanon and Panama.

During 1959, France begins test tranmissions using the SECAM colour system.

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J.Evans 2003
Last updated
29th October 2003