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Labarum
2011-04-04, 14:13
The British Rediffusion Radio Programme and later TV cable distribution system I knew about, but I did not know that such systems are older than radio itself. Many towns used telephone systems to route music, entertainment and news into homes from the 1880s!

This Radio 3 broadcast tells the tale

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sbc1r/Sunday_Feature_The_Pleasure_Telephone/

My grandmother had one of these

http://www.rediffusion.info/BroadcastRelayService/speaker.jpg

http://www.rediffusion.info/BroadcastRelayService/

but in a beautiful brown Bakelite. Notice the channel selector and volume control on the wall. They offered an attractive subscription alternative to an expensive "Wireless Set".

As a teenager I liberated the speaker and used it for a few years.

The earlier London Telephone based system is described here

http://www.britishtelephones.com/electrophone.htm

http://www.britishtelephones.com/electrophone/electrophone%20receivers%20with%20stand.jpg

but the programme makes clear that the Budapest network was the best, offering a broad range of "Radio" programme output by wire.

The Radio 3 Programme is worth a listen.

sachadog
2011-04-05, 01:21
Hi Labarum,
Unfortunately, I can remember these, from my childhood. I also live in Southampton. I was brought up on an estate that was constructed after the war. All the houses were wired for Rediffusion, which gave a poor choice of radio, via the dial in your picture. Times were hard then; no I am not going melancholy; but everywhere had been devastated, as we were a port town (not yet a City)and a major Luftwaffe target.
Looking back, I can remember, my parents having to rent the Rediffusion and also the television.
I don't know if the wiring is still in place on the houses, for the service, which no longer exists. I suspect it was better than nothing, which for many was the choice of the day!