Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5


Postwar Broadcasting

Paramount Video Recording Rack

This unit was made by Potter Instrument Co. for Paramount Pictures in New York. It uses a standard 525 line video input and displays it on a 10 inch CRT. A 35 mm film camera then photographs the images. The schematic diagrams are dated early 1950. The manual has the name Sidney Cramer written on it. In the box of literature that was donated to us were some other documents with Cramer's name on them, including a manual for a home made kinescope recorder, made by Cramer. These documents were donated to the museum by Frank and Alison Tiernan.

We have confirmed that these units were from Detroit. The documentation for the Cramer kinescope recorder describes how it works. Live video is displayed on the CRT as a negative image. The recorder synchronizes the 30 Hz frame rate of the video to the 24 fps rate of film, and a 35 mm film camera records the video. The documentation also includes drawings of equipment used for film development, and says that the purpose of the recorder is to create 35 mm film for theater use. At that time (late 40s - early 50s) good quality video projectors did not exist, so film was the only way to produce good image on a large screen.

Paramount owned a large theater in Detroit at that time. Perhaps TV shows were shown in that theater. If anyone has information on this, please contact us.

Letter explaining setup for film recording