Backpack TV transmitter from 1951


12 Responses to “Backpack TV transmitter from 1951”

  1. mr_josh says:

    And now CNN just says, “Send in your cell phone footage!”

    I quietly dream of being the guy who invents the world’s first time machine so that I can send my cell phone back to the ’60s to some engineer’s desk at Bell or PARC or MIT, then see how the present changes.

    “Backpack, eh? Can you play Tetris on it? No? Well, I can. Well I can for 45 seconds until the demo runs up, I’ll be damned if I’m paying 8 bucks for cell phone Tetris…” And on and on…

  2. mrfitz says:

    causes cancer in less than a month!

  3. Hanglyman says:

    He looks like a 50′s Ghostbuster. Back then they wore suits and went door to door, and had a proton pack-mounted cross to scare away the minions of Satan.

  4. carsick says:

    I know I’ve seen a shot of Mike Wallace in one of those. I believe it was while he was doing interviews from a convention floor. Google has turned up the image yet though.

  5. hawkins says:

    Even sillier was the nickname for these machines: creepy-peepy (after the walkie-talkie, I suppose, made popular during the war in the previous decade).

  6. boingperch says:

    “No, I’m not Commander Cody, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

  7. Ned613 says:

    The photo was published before the safari jacket became the standard issue uniform for photo journalists.

  8. Jack says:

    I like the fact he’s wearing a suit and tie. A far cry from the sweats and polo shirts techs wear today.

    But you know what is also funny? The TV backpacks (tape machines) that some TV crew members wear in the film Dog Day Afternoon. It would be nice to see a survey of backpack tech items from ye olden days.

  9. Jardine says:

    Someone probably realized that having people that crawl around in tight spaces and work with dangerous equipment wear a suit and tie is a stupid idea. The tie is a choking hazard and the clothes are going to get dirty or ripped.

    From the description of it only transmitting a mile, this seems like it’s intended more as a unit for a news crew to report on location to relay the signal back to the station. Or maybe it was paired with a more powerful transmitter (on a truck or something) that would relay the signal back to the station so the crew could report from farther away.

  10. Agent 86 says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it looks like a ray gun?

    …and now that we actually have ray guns, why do they not look like this?!

  11. Chemical Orphan says:

    Anyonone else immediately think of Al Franken’s gear?

  12. Argon says:

    He’s never going to lift off with that wimpy rotor.

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