Click for larger image Baird Television Presents
1926
Click for larger image Television arrived in Britain in 1926 with Logie-Baird successfully demonstrating a method of transmitting pictures. Experimental BBC broadcasts followed within a few years, using Baird's 30 line system. Baird continued to develop the system. A high definition BBC Television Service finally launched in November 1936, broadcasting on the Baird 240 line system. However, this was soon to be superceded by the Marconi-EMI 405 line system; the BBC switched to the superior 405 line technology in February the following year.

From 1926 pictures of John Logie Baird


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image

Click for larger image First Television Pictures
1920s
Click for larger image This clip is from "Set Top Boxing Day" a theme night shown on BBC Choice in 1998

Click for larger image B.B.C. Television Baird and Marconi Tests
1926?
Click for larger image BBC Baird and Marconi tests [left and right].

Click for larger image B.B.C. Television Tuning Signal
1937
Click for larger image 1937 also saw the introduction of the first BBC tuning signal. This was used to assist viewers in adjusting the numerous controls on their TV sets to obtain the optimum signal. There were no idents or clocks; in-vision continuity was very much the order of the day back then and for many years to follow. Television services were suspended from 1939 until 1946 due to the War.
 
This image is one of the earliest and most basic BBC tuning signals - from c. 1937.



Click for larger image BBC Television Demonstration Film
1936
Click for larger image The BBC Television Service began on 2nd November 1936. In 1925 John Logie Baird (pictured above) demonstrated the potential of a low powered scanning system, with the reluctant help of the BBC (whom he had an uneasy relationship) Baird pioneered television in Britain. In August 1932 the BBC began an experimental service using Baird's system, meanwhile his competitor EMI had joined forces with the Marconi Company and were making progress replacing mechanical scanning by electronic scanning using a cathode ray tube. Finally in 1937 Baird's system was dropped in favour of EMI-Marconi's electronic system.
 
This clip is from "Set Top Boxing Day" a theme night shown on BBC Choice in 1998


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image

Click for larger image BBC Television Demonstration Film
unknown date
Click for larger image

Click for larger image B.B.C. Television Tuning Signal
c1937
Click for larger image another early tuning signal - possibly from around 1937/1938 [left]; a pre-war tuning signal [right].

Click for larger image BBC Television Service
1930s
Click for larger image The day would start with this BBC Television Service testcard followed by the BBC's coat of arms as the identification symbol of the service

Click for larger image BBC Television Service
1950s
Click for larger image another early-1950s tuning signal. Although not obvious from this still, there's a frequency grating in the centre of the circle.

Click for larger image BBC Television Test Transmission
1946
Click for larger image the TV service returned in June 1946 with this tuning signal [left]. A 1950s tuning signal [right].


Click for larger image BBC TV Symbol
1953
Click for larger image In 1953 the first BBC symbol was created for its television service. Nicknamed the 'Bat Wings' for obvious reasons, it was the corporation's first onscreen logo to replace the coat of arms. Designed by Abram Games FSIA, who was best known for his designing the emblem for The Festival of Britain and various war time posters.
 
The official definition of the symbol from the BBC: "The abstract pattern consists of two intersecting eyes which scan the globe from north to south and east to west, symbolising vision and the power of vision. Flashes of lightening on either side represent electrical forces and the whole form takes the shape of wings which suggest the creative possibilities of television broadcasting."
 
The first BBC Television symbol, known as the 'Bat's Wings'. The ident was accompanied by soothing harp music; the flashes of lightning coincided with the notes on the harp.


Click for larger image BBC TV Clock
1953
Click for larger image The clock to accompany Abram Games' Batwings ident. Note the inexplicably large second hand!

Click for larger image BBC Television Start-Up
1956
Click for larger image Annoucer Sylvia Peters features in this clip from August 1956. It was never broadcast but recorded for BBC bosses to pass comment on the presentation style, following the launch of Associated Redifussion who were using a more contemporary form of presentation.

Click for larger image BBC Television Announcer
1956
Click for larger image

Click for larger image Bat Wing Tuning Signal
1956
Click for larger image the 'Bat's Wing' identifier appears on this tuning signal, introduced on August 19 1955 [right] However, on June 16 1956, it was replaced by the 'Angel's Wings' tuning signal [left].

The BBC English regions had their own versions of the 'Bat's Wings' design


Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image

Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image Click for larger image

Click for larger image BBC Television Clock
c1958
Click for larger image BBC TV clock [late-1950s]. This clock was used to introduce a news bulletin c. 1958. Does anyone know how long this design was in use and whether or not it replaced the Bat's Wings clock?


Click for larger image BBC TV
1962
Click for larger image In its last few years as the sole BBC channel, BBC1's main station ident was a static caption featuring a map of Britain. One year before BBC2's launch, BBCtv adopted the globe emblem which would be the cornerstone of BBC identity for the next 39 years. The symbol shows the then seven BBC regions

Click for larger image BBC TV Ident & Z Cars Promo
1960s
Click for larger image

Click for larger image BBC TV In-Vision Continuity
c1960
Click for larger image In-vision continuity was the norm on BBCtv until the arrival of BBC1. The announcer here is Noelle Middleton

Click for larger image BBC TV Clock
c1960
Click for larger image The early 1960s saw a change of design for the BBC TV clock although the overly large second hand was still present.


Click for larger image BBC TV ident
1963
Click for larger image BBC TV ident [1963 - 1964]. Here we see the first globe ident to be used on BBC TV. It was introduced on September 30 1963.

Click for larger image BBC1 Clock
1963
Click for larger image BBC TV clock [1963 - 1964].

Click for larger image A BBC Experimental Colour Transmission
1960s
Click for larger image

Official Website
www.bbc.co.uk/bbcone