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

Herald1360 25th Dec 2018 11:50 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Spotted a couple of possibles in tonight's Torvill & Dean biopic-

Early on a row of period correct 13A sockets with what looked like a two button LCD display timer plugged in.

Mid '70s- a pile of what looked like VHS videocassettes with handwritten labels for various films.

A year or two later, perhaps, but '76/'77?

There were a few other unlikely (from an engineering viewpoint) scenes but not involving "our" equipment.

kirstyd 13th Jan 2019 11:09 pm

Re: Halcyon Hotel
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wireless_john (Post 913053)
Has anyone been watching the Halcyon Hotel on ITV?

In the last episode there was a scene in which two people are dancing to music coming from a gramophone.

A close up of the gramophone was shown and I took the attached photo - the record was going clockwise - I checked! Don't know where the tone arm was going though!

John

i am always amazed by the almost HI FI quality sound wind up gramaphones seem to have when seen on tv

Herald1360 15th Jan 2019 2:33 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Could that have been a strobing artefact like the wheels on wagons in westerns and propellers on planes?

merlinmaxwell 15th Jan 2019 3:19 pm

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

i am always amazed by the almost HI FI quality sound wind up gramaphones seem to have when seen on tv
Recently I heard an acoustic gramaphone at "Milestones" (Basingstoke) it sounded very good indeed.

vidjoman 15th Jan 2019 3:22 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
"the record was going clockwise - I checked! Don't know where the tone arm was going though!"
As many phonograph units stored the soundbox and horn in a tray at the back of the box - to anyone who doesn't know better - the needle would be placed at a point closest to the record. They wouldn't have thought about moving the arm/soundbox across to the other side of the record so that the needle was trailing rather that facing the direction of rotation - plowing. Plowing the groove is often seen posted in various places.

Nickthedentist 15th Jan 2019 3:54 pm

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

Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell (Post 1111075)
Recently I heard an acoustic gramaphone at "Milestones" (Basingstoke) it sounded very good indeed.

...and I heard an EMG (no less!) at the Museum of Mechanical Music at Northcleach, and quite frankly, it was a huge disappointment (no pun intended). Very thin and distorted to my ears.

Grubhead 22nd Jan 2019 3:33 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
There's a white electric push button doorbell on Robert Shaw's house in the film Battle of Britain, very common in the 60's when the film was made, but nothing like that in 1940. Plus an outdoor light, with modern wiring. I seriously doubt he would have that at that time.

Richard_FM 22nd Jan 2019 11:06 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I remember spotting the light when I watched this when I was young & even then thinking it was too recent. Also the house as an aluminium up & over style garage door, which according to IMDb even if such things existed in 1940 it might have been requisitioned for the war effort.

Ted Kendall 22nd Jan 2019 11:42 pm

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

Originally Posted by Nickthedentist (Post 1111083)
...and I heard an EMG (no less!) at the Museum of Mechanical Music at Northcleach, and quite frankly, it was a huge disappointment (no pun intended). Very thin and distorted to my ears.

Probably hardened rubber in the soundbox - with the right material and in good shape, an EMG can sound startlingly real.

Nickthedentist 23rd Jan 2019 7:56 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Thanks Ted, that's what I guessed. But it surprised me that a museum run by very knowledgable folk would tolerate that.

Ted Kendall 23rd Jan 2019 10:32 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Aye, there's the rub - a museum is about preservation, and this sometimes comes into conflict with having the thing in working order, an issue which can cause great ructions among steam enthusiasts. I was lucky and had my soudboxes refurbished by a lovely guy called George Overstall, who had worked on them in period - only just in time from my point of view, as he died eighteen months later. Rebuilding and re-tuning soundboxes is in danger of becoming a lost art.

Mike-repairman 26th Jan 2019 4:09 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
4 Attachment(s)
Did anyone see the episode of Granchester last night; with that room full of electronics. It was supposed to be a computer system from the sixties but looked nothing like the ones that I had seen in the past; just large cabinets with some lamps on the front. It looks as though they had just gathered whatever was available from an electronics scrapyard and racked it up. I'm sure I saw a Marconi sig gen in there as well as large analogue meters. I am still puzzled at the box containing a large amount of leaking Mercury which was suggested retained memory better?

PaulR 26th Jan 2019 7:37 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
It is all rather random! They made a much better effort in Thunderbirds!!

Herald1360 26th Jan 2019 9:46 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Wasn't Thunderbirds made in the sixties, though, when what sixties computers looked like was still current knowledge?

Large boxes and mercury is possibly a nod to mercury filled acoustic delay lines used dynamic memory.

Ted Kendall 26th Jan 2019 10:09 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Looks more like a prod designer's take on Colossus...

Terry_VK5TM 26th Jan 2019 11:26 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
To me, that's just laziness on the Producers/Directors part, there's more than enough information out there to be able to reproduce something even slightly closer to reality.

Maybe they thought there wasn't anybody left alive that would remember any of that.

paulsherwin 27th Jan 2019 12:34 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I agree, that's a hopeless recreation of a 1960s computer machine room, though it's not unlike a 1950s computer research lab where lots of odd bits of hardware would have been in use.

Grubhead 27th Jan 2019 1:00 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
The rotating blackboards look more 70's to me. And the florescent tube too looks to modern.

Was the computer done to play noughts and crosses!

G8KBG Tony 27th Jan 2019 1:22 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Seems the Producers did take some advice, Dr Andrew Herbert OBE and the National Museum of Computing get a mention in the credits.

Ted Kendall 27th Jan 2019 9:01 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Been there. They ask your advice and go their own sweet way anyhow...

Herald1360 27th Jan 2019 9:33 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Probably no budget to do it "properly", so they just settled for random bits of old equipment.

Thinking about the programme, though, isn't that set in the '50s, not the '60s?

Studio263 21st Feb 2019 9:59 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
A good spot on 'Endeavour' on Sunday evening, episode 'Apollo'. The episode was set at the time of the first moon landings (if you believe all that stuff...) in 1969, which were being shown on TV sets in a shop window. One of them was a Sony TV-110UB, released in 1971. A foolish error, seeing that TV9-90UBs (correct for the year) are hardly difficult to find.

Mike-repairman 21st Feb 2019 10:06 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I think they often look at props and think 'hmm that looks old, that'll do'.

Tom_I 27th Feb 2019 9:18 pm

Gramophone on ITV's "Endeavour"
 
1 Attachment(s)
I've just watched the latest episode of "Endeavour", which was broadcast on Sunday evening. Did anyone spot the deliberate mistake?

A bit over half an hour in, a character is found having committed suicide while listening to what looks to me to be a Columbia "Viva-Tonal" Grafonola. Morse examines it, noting that the deceased was listening to Mahler, but apparently not noticing that the disc is being played from the wrong side, and the soundbox is mounted at an odd angle.

It's probably my age, but I'm always surprised that errors like this are not noticed during production.

Nickthedentist 27th Feb 2019 10:25 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Yes, spotted that! It also looked suspiciously like an lp!

Tom_I 27th Feb 2019 10:42 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I must admit I hadn't noticed that, as I was concentrating on the gramophone, but you are absolutely right, Nick. It is an LP - there are clearly visible track gaps. That's also why, when Morse swings the turntable back and forth, no sound comes out.

Andrew2 28th Feb 2019 9:13 am

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

Originally Posted by Grubhead (Post 1114583)
The rotating blackboards look more 70's to me. And the florescent tube too looks to modern.

Was the computer done to play noughts and crosses!

I went to a Grammar school in 1964 and I'm pretty certain the classrooms in the 'new block' had them.
In fact, my junior school had a mobile one on castors. About 1962/3.
EDIT. Hmmm - could be a false memory, the junior school one was possibly a conventional board on a mobile stand.

Andrew2 28th Feb 2019 9:16 am

Re: Gramophone on ITV's "Endeavour"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom_I (Post 1124540)
I've just watched the latest episode of "Endeavour", which was broadcast on Sunday evening. Did anyone spot the deliberate mistake?

A bit over half an hour in, a character is found having committed suicide while listening to what looks to me to be a Columbia "Viva-Tonal" Grafonola. Morse examines it, noting that the deceased was listening to Mahler, but apparently not noticing that the disc is being played from the wrong side, and the soundbox is mounted at an odd angle.

It's probably my age, but I'm always surprised that errors like this are not noticed during production.

This error is very common and shows up in dramas, comedies and even adverts. I can only think the 'young & trendy' production staff have never seen any kind of record player.

vidjoman 28th Feb 2019 9:28 am

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

Originally Posted by Grubhead (Post 1114583)
The rotating blackboards look more 70's to me.

At my Technical School in 1954 we had rotating blackboards that were fixed to the wall. They were there when I started so must have been fitted earlier, possibly when the school was converted from a country house in (I think) 1950/51.

Herald1360 28th Feb 2019 10:14 am

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

Originally Posted by Tom_I (Post 1124565)
I must admit I hadn't noticed that, as I was concentrating on the gramophone, but you are absolutely right, Nick. It is an LP - there are clearly visible track gaps. That's also why, when Morse swings the turntable back and forth, no sound comes out.

Also, since Morse was supposed to be a music lover, would he have gone round putting sticky fingerprints all over a record?

Brigham 28th Feb 2019 2:59 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Amazing how quickly people have forgotten how to put a record on!

Steve G4WCS 28th Feb 2019 3:17 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
not vintage, but in the specsavers hearing ads advert at the arctic base where he asked on the radio for supplies and got a "surprise", Im a bit perplexed as too whey there is a farnell signal generatot sat atop his short wave transceiver

PaulR 28th Feb 2019 3:29 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I would have thought that to anyone with the slightest bit of mechanical insight the correct position of a gramophone arm would be obvious. As Andrew says it has become very common recently. As the use of technology increases the understanding of what is actually going on seems to decrease.

Fortunately my 1 year old granddaughter has become very attached to my recently restored Decca AMG111 record player and the pile of 78 rpm children's records we play on it. At least she may carry on the tradition!

Herald1360 28th Feb 2019 9:53 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Technically I suppose that positioned as per Endeavour with the arm on the wrong side but the needle still trailing it would play. The tracking angles would still be miles out, though.

rambo1152 1st Mar 2019 12:00 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
2 Attachment(s)
(I posted about this elsewhere in the forum, apologies for the repetition)

The Manchester Metrolink used this record player analogy on a poster to promote its new ticketing scheme.

Attachment 179213

The corresponding image on their website seems to have been corrected.

Attachment 179214

electronicskip 2nd Mar 2019 11:49 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Not exactly vintage but on Doctors, the lunchtime soap, I noticed that the police were wearing Baofeng 2mtr handhelds as their police radios!

Funny I've never heard any police on my identical model ha ha.

SteveCG 2nd Mar 2019 12:24 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
On the latest episode of Endeavour. This was loosely set in about 1969/1970 I guess by the previous episodes. In which case the skyline of the village without a single Band I/III aerial in sight as well as UHF designs that somehow looked too modern for that era, had me smiling...

Radio Wrangler 3rd Mar 2019 11:58 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I was just thinking of how much hassle it would be to change all the TV aerials in a village as a temporary measure for a few days of filming. Then I thought about what they'd think were suitable aerials considering their grasp of all other technologies.

David

julie_m 3rd Mar 2019 12:21 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Surely changing the aerials on roofs is something you could do in post-production? It isn't as though you would have to draw every frame individually by hand these days .....

emeritus 3rd Mar 2019 12:34 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I remember noticing all the TV aerials on the roofs of a Georgian terrace in a 1960's film set in the Victorian era. I think it was "The Wrong Box" featuring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, but not absolutely sure, it was circa 1968.

Herald1360 3rd Mar 2019 12:41 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I've just watched that (found it in a caravan I bought) and didn't notice anything. I'll have to have another look!

Mike-repairman 3rd Mar 2019 12:51 pm

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

Originally Posted by Nickthedentist (Post 1124562)
Yes, spotted that! It also looked suspiciously like an LP!

Yes you can see the separate tracks if you look closely.

Well that's put paid to that LP with that nice steel needle!

Electronpusher0 3rd Mar 2019 9:47 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I've just watched the Netflix film "The boy who harnessed the wind", a great piece of drama "based on a true story" about a boy in Malawi who built a windmill generator from scrap and used it to pump water so his village could have a harvest in the dry season. Indeed at the end they showed actual footage of the boy in question.

Unfortunately they compressed the actual steps he took in developing this and showed him charging a 12V car battery using a 6V bicycle dynamo and then using it to power a pump at the top of the well to suck up the water, without priming it first.

I have just ordered the autobiography to find out what really happened.

Peter

Grubhead 1st Apr 2019 5:52 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Last night's Victoria on ITV had a steam loco with the British Railways emblem on the tender. And I thought the railways were nationalised in 1948!

PaulR 1st Apr 2019 9:18 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I have just seen a recording of Victoria and commented to my wife that the loco was in BR livery and was not at all Victorian only to be accused of being a nerd and told just to enjoy the programme!!!

dave walsh 1st Apr 2019 11:30 pm

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
It's artistic lie sense chaps. Unfortunately we can see what 99% of the population are blissfully unaware of and would prefer to ignore. The best example was the Beatles ad for the [recovered] single "All Those Years Ago" which had a "wrong date" radio" but looked absolutely right! I can't explain why or the difference:shrug: That's why we are not Androids [I think???] My daughter has a very accomplished friend who looked just the same as her at nine years of age and they were often assumed to be sisters. The friend was a mathematical prodigy but worked in Care Homes [aged 15] and has now qualified as a Doctor [that's not very common]. My artistic daughter only felt inadequate once by comparison but I pointed out that when we took her friend to see Great Expectations at the local theatre, not only was she unable to suspend disbelief [somewhat essential during a play] she couldn't deal with a "Young" Pip stage left and an "Older" Pip stage right, at the same time... all of which my daughter took in her stride. Really obvious blunders in a specific Documentary might be another matter I agree. Some of the new information "buried" in Ch5's new Eygptian series on Sunday nights [for example] is very interesting but the presentation there is awkward and awful.

Dave W

Mike-repairman 2nd Apr 2019 7:26 am

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

Originally Posted by PaulR (Post 1133542)
I have just seen a recording of Victoria and commented to my wife that the loco was in BR livery and was not at all Victorian only to be accused of being a nerd and told just to enjoy the programme!!!

I get called that too; usually keep it to myself now. ;)

ColinTheAmpMan1 23rd Apr 2019 8:27 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
I saw the film "Red Joan" yesterday. It relates to a woman who gave British secrets on the making of the atomic bomb to the Russians, but was eventually found out when she was in her eighties.

There were a couple of scenes that struck me as being a little inaccurate. One was set in a physics lab at Cambridge University, where the woman in question was studying. She was using an enormous soldering iron to do some work on a Wheatstone bridge and was wearing welding goggles for some reason.

In another scene, she walks into an office where an important chap (subsequently to become her husband, I think) is sitting at a desk with a blackboard behind him. On the blackboard is a feasible-looking diagram of a triode valve circuit. What surprised me was that a cathode bypass capacitor was labelled in nF. This was before WW2 started and I recall capacitors only being labelled with pF or uF up to the sixties and possibly later.

Colin.

mole42uk 23rd Apr 2019 10:59 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
Strangely, I noticed both those! Did you also see that the Solon iron had a badly frayed mains cable?

ColinTheAmpMan1 23rd Apr 2019 11:16 am

Re: Technology related anachronisms on TV and in films etc.
 
No, I didn't. But I couldn't help feeling that it would have been odd for an undergraduate to be doing any repairs on a Wheatstone bridge - what are technicians for? And what repairs might necessitate a huge soldering-iron (with a frayed cable)?

I'm pretty sure that those with more acute vision (and the ability to stop-frame) will be able to identify some of the chunks of electrical gear piled up at Cambridge and Montreal Universities and other establishments that "Joan Smith" (the secrets-distributor) worked at.

It was interesting that she suggested centrifuging gaseous compounds of uranium to separate the isotopes. I also noticed some mention of heavy water from one of the boffins in Canada. Wasn't that Heisenberg's abortive route to an atom bomb?

I did look out for incongruous and anachronistic TV antennae and the like, with no success. Surprisingly, there were no oscilloscopes in evidence, though they are usually "go-to" props for any science laboratory.

Colin.


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