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-   -   Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc. (https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=96824)

AC/HL 25th Dec 2013 2:34 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
No chance of fitting an aerial to a vintage car loaned for a shoot. It was difficult enough persuading owners when they were in common use. Mag mount perhaps, but that would also be noticeable if you look.

colly0410 25th Dec 2013 6:57 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
The one that annoys me is when they say "over & out." We were told on the first day of my army signallers course "if you say over & out you're on a charge."

JoshWard 25th Dec 2013 10:44 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AC/HL (Post 650830)
No chance of fitting an aerial to a vintage car loaned for a shoot.

Some of the Police vehicles (including the black Ford Anglia and I believe the panda car Ford Anglia) were owned by the production company so they didn't have to keep hiring cars all the time so I guess they just didn't think about putting aerials on them...!
A bit like at the pub which must be in nearly every episode of Heartbeat- one day the sash windows were ripped out and replaced with plastic ones! A common occurrence in 'period' television programmes with no attempt to disguise them, plenty in The Great Train Robbery!

Peter.N. 26th Dec 2013 11:07 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywave (Post 650825)
I've also seen the radio operator back at the station receiving those VHF transmissions - on a Trio 9R59 short-wave comms. receiver! :-) Surely they could have found a Pye base station somewhere, (even if it was just an empty case), or failing that, knock up a 'look alike'?

I've got one in my loft if they do another series.:)

Peter

Phil G4SPZ 27th Dec 2013 9:26 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I watched a bit of "Dad's Army" (the movie) last night, and the scene in the wartime radio shop was full of anachronisms, from a post-war A22 in the window to a late 40s Alba. The shop owner describes the set he is demonstrating as a "Dulcitone" but it's clearly an early 30s Philips.

Spotting these things is an excellent way of involving partners and spouses in our unique hobby... at the same time introducing us to some period drama that just might be entertaining.

colly0410 27th Dec 2013 10:14 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
In the Dads Army film I spotted some UHF TV aerials on some of houses near the road block. When I pointed them out to SWMBO & Mother-in-law they shouted at me for being pedantic, they said I'd spoiled the film. I think it adds to the entertainment value to spot anachronisms, they think I'm crackers, but I don't care.. :)

Karen O 7th Jan 2014 2:04 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
As a child in the 1970s I recall being sat with my family, watching a 19th century drama on TV (cannot remember which drama). My dad, who was installing burglar alarms at the time, suddenly shouted 'I fitted that bell box!' Sure enough, high on a wall, to the right of someone's top hat was a red bell box.

broadgage 8th Jan 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Also in the Dads Army film refered to above, I believe that several fluorescent lights could be seen lighting one of the high street shops.

Although fluorescent lighting had been invented it was not in general use and was restricted to important factories or other enterprises vital to the war effort, not village shops.

threeseven 8th Jan 2014 9:13 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
In the Worlds Biggest Bomb, just on C5, about lead upto the biggest nuclear bomb ever exploded, by the Russians in case you were wondering and called the Tsar Bomb.
There was a recreated scene in an American bunker at the Bikini Atol test of their code name Castle Bravo weapon. The equipment shown was a random collection of test gear, including a '60's Marconi RF sig gen, which I can't think why they would need and anyway Castle Bravo was in 1954!

AC/HL 9th Jan 2014 12:12 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
If I remember correctly (it was Quiz night at my local tonight) a crashed German bomber in an episode of "Foyle's War" contains an AVO signal generator. Sadly, it didn't ruin it for me, although if it had been damaged I might have shed a tear.

Junk Box Nick 14th Jan 2014 2:56 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Len Goodman’s Dance Band Days (recently on BBC 4 and available on iPlayer) has a few vintage sets to spot.

The most notable one is the DAC90 that appears prominently in the foreground a couple of minutes into the programme.

As a documentary programme dealing with a music fashion within a defined period - the inter-war years - I think this does bear criticism as the DAC 90 is (correct me if I am wrong - and if so I'm sure someone will!) a post WWII set.

Other sets I spotted included a Philco. A lot of the shots are close-ups of dials but the eagle-eyed experts, of which I am not one, will probably be able to identify them.

I think, as a good part of the programme was devoted to the reaction of John Reith and the BBC to this style of dance music, that out of period props should be criticised.

If they'd asked me I could have found them a few early 30s woodies!

richrussell 14th Jan 2014 3:31 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
DAC90 appeared in 1946, so yes it's post-war (though not by much)

AC/HL 16th Jan 2014 7:45 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
One post relating only to cars deleted.

broadgage 22nd Jan 2014 10:26 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Herald1360 (Post 650777)
I wonder if an oil lamp simply isn't bright enough to be seen to be lit under film lighting if the wick is trimmed properly.

In a film, it only has to be seen to be alight, it doesn't actually have to do anything useful.

It depends on the technology used for filming.
In years gone by, very high light levels had to be used for filming (both real photographic film and video) as a consequence any lit oil lamp in the scene appeared very dim.
However recent advances allow filming under much lower light levels, and a lit oil lamp, or gas light, or candles, can now contribute significant actual illumination, relative to other lighting.

Candles or oil lamps in a period drama filmed in 1970 will appear very much dimmer than in s similar drama filmed today.

Omegaman 23rd Jan 2014 6:15 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywave (Post 650825)
Yup: noticed that. I've also seen the radio operator back at the station receiving those VHF transmissions - on a Trio 9R59 short-wave comms. receiver! Surely they could have found a Pye base station somewhere, (even if it was just an empty case), or failing that, knock up a 'look alike'?

The company my Wife owned used to supply a lot of radio related props to YTV. We offered to give them a correct period base station on a number of occasions but they declined.
The Trio was doctored by me for a scene in one of the last episodes when the police station was 'hi-jacked' by a criminal. The radio was to be knocked to the floor and smashed exposing masses of internal wiring and loose valves which would be stamped on and broken. The production assistant insisted on having enough wire to cable a telephone exchange exposed and several large coke bottle valves (actually GZ37s) to spill out. This was despite my protests that it would be totally wrong and the valves wouldn't actually fit inside the radio's cabinet!! Oh well....
I still have the mains transformer from the Trio somewhere after removing it for more room.

On another occasion YTV were making a docu-drama about the Yorkshire Ripper and approached us for the 'correct period' (Their words) radios for the police officers. We provided a quantity of the correct Burndept BE470s that were used in West Yorks. at the time. When the programme actually aired our radios had miraculously transformed into a random collection of Pye Bantams and ex. Metropolitan police Stornos....

Artistic licence, I suppose!

suebutcher 21st Mar 2014 11:03 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I saw "Telstar" a few weeks ago, set around 1960 to 1967, and despite the amount of recording equipment seen in the film, the only error obvious to me was the 1970s BASF logo on some of Joe Meek's tape reels.

Peter.N. 22nd Mar 2014 10:57 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
An episode of Heartbeat that was on the other day appeared to have a KW2000 as a PMR base station.

Peter

Radio Wrangler 22nd Mar 2014 12:08 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
The problem seems to be that REAL PMR base stations look boring. They're crystal controlled, tied to their assigned frequency. You might if you're lucky get a small meter and a panel lamp :-) Obviously quite unsatisfactory from the point of drama.

KW2000s at least have tuning scales and lots of knobs.
Real spaceships don't 'Swoosh' either. Unfortunately Joe Public sees Hollywood, believes Hollywood.

David

Phil G4SPZ 22nd Mar 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Not on TV or film, but I visited Bletchley Park this week and was surprised at the number of wireless-related anachronisms on display, particularly in areas purporting to depict wartime scenes. Several post-war sets and items of test equipment were in evidence. None of these spoilt my enjoyment of what is becoming a very good museum, but with all the help available to the management there I would have expected rather better historical accuracy.

SiriusHardware 25th Mar 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Not radio related, but I recently saw 'The Monument Men' which, briefly, is about a largely American squad sent in at the end of world war two to try to recover artworks squirreled away by the Germans.

The characters spent a lot of time talking openly to each about their plans on phone (voice) field radio sets within easy listening distance of the enemy lines - not a wise thing to do, I would have thought.

But the one I really liked was the characters arriving at an American - occupied British airfield instantly recognisable to any warplane nerd as Duxford - it went OK to begin with, as the camera swept across a parked B17 ('Sally B)' and a P-47 Thunderbolt, swung past the iconic hangars and then finally paused on the WWII control tower, which had appropriately costumed officers milling around on the balcony.

Only problem was, they didn't remove the added-on modern storey with its outward-tilted tinted glass windows :-)

antenna441 31st Mar 2014 10:44 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
1 Attachment(s)
I recently attended a short talk and demonstration by a member of the 1st world war society, where he appeared in a typical privates uniform, which he described, in detail. In the question and answer session at the end, someone asked if he ever shouted at the television, when WW1 programmes were on. He said. "All the time" so it's not just us radio specialists... My contribution to this thread is from Foyle's war. the attached screen shot is of what is undoubtedly a Bush AC41 from 1954. I'd hate to be in a props department.......

antenna441 17th Apr 2014 8:55 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
1 Attachment(s)
Great British Menu BBC2 Wednesday. Main Course on the theme of 70th anniversary of 'D' day. Prop used to provide appropriate period music, 1949/50 Philips 581A. The food looked good.!!!!

screen shot attached

Nicklyons2 12th Oct 2014 7:10 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Now I know there have been other posts regarding anachronisms in film and TV programmes which, IMHO, are sometimes excuseable when they are 'near misses' and don't contravene historical accuracy too much (don't mention that Radar 'show'). I do find it strange, however, when TV makes programmes about itself or stars of TV and gets it wrong. I cite in this "Cilla"; never mind the 300 series phone in the phone booth, the AT&T 500 phones in a London hotel or the ITT-KB TV in Brian Epstein's 'pad'. What I found incredibly strange was the scene in the Granada building with the wrong logo everywhere. The arrowed G appeared more or less with colour 1968/9; the scene was around 1965 when the 'Andy Pandy/ Kid's Brick' letters were in use. What's worse this was an ITV show, is there no-one at ITV who is aware of ITV's history?

Having said all this, other than for the above, I really enjoyed the 'mini series' and, in general thought it had pretty high production values. It is still available on the ITV player for another week or so should any of you wish to take a look.

ColinTheAmpMan1 9th Jan 2015 7:56 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Hi,
I recently saw the film "The Theory of Everything" which is about Stephen and Jane Hawking's marriage years and is excellent, despite a few "dramatic" additions and errors. In a number of scenes there is a desk-top computer which looks to me to be one of the Commodore models, possibly a PET. Since the this part of the film is set around the time that Hawking wrote "A Brief History of Time" which was first published in 1988, I am not sure whether the Commodore is anachronistic or not. Sales of the PET were in decline by 1982 and I would have thought Hawking could have afforded the most modern of home computers.
Perhaps others might be more knowledgeable?
Incidentally, as Peter Bradshaw has pointed out in the Guardian, it is very odd that no-one seems to be smoking in the film....
Colin.

Ted Kendall 16th Jan 2015 10:16 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Just finished watching the BBC4 doc about recording, in which a 4038 is introduced as a "Coles 4038 from the early thirties"...!

Firstly, the design dates from 1953.

Secondly, it was branded as STC until the 1970s.

Thirdly, and worst of all, it is the BBC's own design.

If the Corporation can't get its own history right, how are we to believe anything else in the programme? :wall:

Peter.N. 17th Jan 2015 12:21 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Have you noticed how all the on/off/volume controls on stage sets seem to have been moved to the right hand hand side, and how many of the sets must have been fitted with directly heated valves as they come on instantly.

Peter

Phil G4SPZ 17th Jan 2015 12:28 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
They also seem to work in reverse, i.e. turn clockwise to switch 'off'. I often see the same happen with valves (the stopcock type) and water taps.

merlinmaxwell 17th Jan 2015 1:06 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

and how many of the sets must have been fitted with directly heated valves as they come on instantly.
Even worse they do come on 'instantly' not even the 1/2 to 1 second delay, or time to adjust the volume control. A 'Miss Marple' I watched a while ago had an Ekco A22 with the whole tuning dial lit up very brightly, and indeed to turn it off was clockwise (on the right/correct knob though).

jamesperrett 18th Jan 2015 9:42 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ted Kendall (Post 735556)
Just finished watching the BBC4 doc about recording, in which a 4038 is introduced as a "Coles 4038 from the early thirties"...!
...
If the Corporation can't get its own history right, how are we to believe anything else in the programme?

It wasn't the only problem. I'm sure that electrical recordings were standard before the 1930's and I'm also fairly sure that hill and dale discs were much rarer than they were made out to be on that programme. There were a few other things that I can't remember now...

Herald1360 21st Jan 2015 5:38 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil G4SPZ (Post 735665)
They also seem to work in reverse, i.e. turn clockwise to switch 'off'. I often see the same happen with valves (the stopcock type) and water taps.


Errr, don't stopcocks and old style taps normally turn off clockwise as you screw the washer down onto the seat?

HamishBoxer 21st Jan 2015 5:42 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Yes!

ms660 21st Jan 2015 5:46 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Try telling that to some program makers.

Lawrence.

merlinmaxwell 21st Jan 2015 5:54 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Errr, don't stopcocks and old style taps normally turn off clockwise
They used to, my new taps turn off in different directions depending on hot or cold, a right pain. Back on topic, what was the BBC4 recording programme called? I would like to watch it on Iplayer.

Phil G4SPZ 21st Jan 2015 7:38 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
What I meant was, you see radios being switched off 'backwards' by rotating the control clockwise. You also see valves, taps and stopcocks being turned off 'backwards', i.e. by turning anticlockwise.

For some time, the standard Water Board pattern valve worked cack-handedly, i.e. clockwise to open and anticlockwise to close. Most confusing.

G6Tanuki 21st Jan 2015 7:56 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Herald1360 (Post 736960)
Errr, don't stopcocks and old style taps normally turn off clockwise as you screw the washer down onto the seat?

It depends: the traditional "plug cock" used for low pressure water service and gas-lighting had no directionality: if it was 'on' you could turn it either way through 90 degrees to get an 'off' condition. And a 90-degree turn either way would then turn it on.

The lever/handle at 90-degrees to the pipe [achieved by turning either way] was the traditional sign-of-offness.

Hard detents on such valves are a rather recent idea!

merlinmaxwell 22nd Jan 2015 7:56 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
If you think about a 'normal' right handed screw with a fixed nut (tools easily available for right handed threads) moving a plug, then you know why taps and the like are clockwise off, anticlockwise on.

pmmunro 22nd Jan 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
It's hard to understand I know, but there are people who actually find screw threads boring.

Have you ever heard my Joseph Whitworth memorial, lecture?

PMM

McMurdo 22nd Jan 2015 8:21 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Hi Merlin the programme is Sound of Song presented by Neil Brand. Great series.

Phil G4SPZ 22nd Jan 2015 8:28 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I imagine that the right-hand thread became the de facto 'standard' purely because the majority of people are right-handed, and with manual thread-cutting and screw-driving the maximum torque can be exerted by the right hand in a clockwise direction. And of course ergonomics.

It's more difficult to suggest why electronic controls such as volume, brightness, contrast etc all tend to be 'clockwise to increase'. That said, I believe the BBC adopted the opposite direction for their studio equipment, and stuck with it for many years. It probably has its roots deep in the early days of telegraphy or telephony; I'm sure someone will know.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PMM
Have you ever heard my Joseph Whitworth memorial lecture?

No, but I'd love to! Please start another thread...

dave walsh 22nd Jan 2015 9:07 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
According to the Sound Of Song P2 write up I've read, it looks extremely interesting and includes the not so well known story of Bing Crosby kick starting Ampex because he wasn't keen on live performance and looked for a high quality means of recording for radio. No doubt there will be some anomalies there as well but it's a pretty good series on the whole so far, I think.

Did no one see The Eichmann Show on Tuesday [BBC2] with Marconi engineers building a TV Studio within the court? It's not got a brilliant write up for the script which was as wooden as the panelling. What's the verdict on the Hardware though?. The actual historical footage is beyond comment here or anywhere else:(
Dave W

AC/HL 22nd Jan 2015 9:07 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
TV isn't real life though. When you turn a tap on, for example, it's physical. TV is an illusion created for the whole spectrum of viewers, a minute proportion of whom will know more about a particular scene than the programme makers possibly could.
The Producer and Director will be more concerned with actor position and prop visibility, than which knob does what, as long as the effects match some movement.

Station X 22nd Jan 2015 9:58 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
My theory about why right hand threads are most common is this.

The first threads would have been cut freehand on a lathe. For a right handed person it's normal to have the lathe head stock on the left. Cuts are made towards the headstock and that produces a right hand thread.

If you watch the TV series "Wish Me Luck" there's a scene where a radio operator is asked to repair a set. She picks up a screwdriver and pretends to undo some screws. but she rotates the screwdriver clockwise.

Phil G4SPZ 22nd Jan 2015 10:48 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I've no personal knowledge of this, but according to on-line sources, the earliest screw threads date from around 400BC (long before the first screw cutting lathe of 1770) and were used in presses, to generate sufficient pressure to extract oils and juices from olives, grapes etc. I may be wrong, but again, the maximum force that could be applied (by a right-handed operative) to the handle of a grape press would involve placing his or her right hand at the furthest end of the operating lever and pulling like mad. This action would require the screw to have a right-hand thread.

By all accounts, some early screw threads were indeed filed by hand!

Ted Kendall 22nd Jan 2015 11:28 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesperrett (Post 736062)
It wasn't the only problem. I'm sure that electrical recordings were standard before the 1930's and I'm also fairly sure that hill and dale discs were much rarer than they were made out to be on that programme. There were a few other things that I can't remember now...

Electrical recording arrived in the market in 1925, stealthily at first to avoid rendering the entire back catalogue unsaleable overnight. Hill and dale was the standard for cylinders, Edison Diamond Discs, Pathe up to the late 20s, and one or two other labels.

There are patches of remarkable insight in these programmes and other bits which are plain sloppy. Revisionism is rife, as it frequently is in televised history these dayshttps://www.vintage-radio.net/images/smilies/soapbox.gif

Nickthedentist 19th Feb 2015 10:13 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ColinTheAmpMan1 (Post 733795)
I recently saw the film "The Theory of Everything" which is about Stephen and Jane Hawking's marriage years and is excellent, despite a few "dramatic" additions and errors.

Me too, and very enjoyable it was too.

A few oddities from stuck out for me. Jane's home phone in the 1960s seemed to be some weird 1970s European thing that I didn't recognise, and its dial tone was the modern-day, digital exchange one, not the purring that was in use until the late 1980s.

And as a student, Hawking listened to Wagner in his bedroom on a small, upright portable reel-to-reel machine. Seems unlikely to me!

There were also a few very American-sounding phrases said by the main, British characters, e.g. "I've just fixed you a ride" and "Can I get two pints of...".

Nick.

paulsherwin 20th Feb 2015 12:49 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
"Can I get..." drives me nuts. It seems to have entered British English as a result of people watching '30something' in the 80s and 'Friends' in the 90s. That phrasing certainly wouldn't have been used in Britain before 1980. I'm not sure it was used in America before 1980.

I find anachronistic idiomatic phrasing much more irritating than minor errors with prop selection - it's just so incredibly lazy and unprofessional.

Nickthedentist 20th Feb 2015 7:31 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by paulsherwin (Post 744418)
"Can I get..." drives me nuts.

Glad it's not just me then!

wireful3 20th Feb 2015 8:22 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Anachronistic idiomatic phrases seem far more obvious than wrong props.

Michael Maurice 20th Feb 2015 9:00 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
If you've watched the film Munich, set in 1972 just after the massacre of Israeli athletes during the Olympics, a suspect is being interrogated and its being recorded on a Revox B77. The B77 didn't come out till 1977.

Phil G4SPZ 10th Mar 2015 10:30 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
My wife is well-trained, and will pause the TV and summon me to look at any old radios that she spots. On an episode of "Father Brown" a group of men are clustered round a Bush DAC90. Correct for the period, but this Bush was fitted with a carrying handle! Who'd do such a thing?


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