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Saturday 10-6

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Early Color Television

Smith, Kline and French Medical Color in Australia

Smith, Kline and French began experimental color medical progamming in the U.K. in 1958. The equipment was shipped to Melbourne in 1960 for a 3 month loan. A Marconi BD848 3 IO tube colour camera was used at St. Vincents hospitalfor closed circuit televising medical surgery. In the early 70s it was used in a mobile van at Monash University.

Here it the story from Troy Walters:

Starting from the beginning, the SKL OB truck arrived in Australia around I guess September 1960, there's an article from The Canberra Times dated 5th August 1960 detailing the OB truck being hoisted onto the SS Dunedin Star at Royal Victoria Docks to be shipped to Australia for a 3 month demonstration tour in Australia.

Next I found an excellent 3 page article on the SKF colour TV unit downunder in the October 1960 edition of Radio, TV & Hobbies magazine detailing it's use for medical demonstrations on a projected colour television display.

Whilst the colour TV OB unit was intended for a 3 month demonstration, it somehow ended up making permanent residence in Australia as it was used for medical lecture purposes in hospitals throughout the 60s. Below is a pic of the camera in use at St Vincent hospital 1965 and an article from the Western Herald 14th March 1969 detailing of it's use at the Amoco Centre for post mortems and parasite problems in sheep.


Then in 1971 according to the attached article in The Monash Reporter (5th April 1971) the colour TV OB unit was given to Monash University in Melbourne Victoria and was renamed to "Monash University Mobile Television Unit No.2". The colour TV unit was kept at Monash Uni up until November 1976 when it was finally donated to the Victorian Museum Of Applied Science (now Museum Victoria) according to the attached article from The Monash Reporter (4th November 1976)

Well I've now came across an interesting film on SKL colour televising medical operations from 1959. I noticed the OB van looked very familiar and cross referencing it to the Monash University OB van photos, they are totally identical but repainted with the Monash University logo!!!

After that it is unclear of whether the camera still resides at the museum in storage or not but I intend to try and find out, I really hope it does still survive and I can one day get to see it in person!

Here below are the pics of it being used at Monash University:

 

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