[tig] [peter_swinson at compuserve.com: Another Baird Original.]

Rob Lingelbach rob
Wed Dec 24 03:28:44 GMT 2003

here is another in the series of Peter Swinson articles we
publish on the TIG website.  If you enjoy this series the
thanks go to Peter and the supporters of the TIG (to become
one see my message earlier today).

I will have the images of which he speaks at
tig.colorist.org as soon as i can, so as not to send 1400
mails with a heavy load of bits.  or if anyone wants to edit
the topic TkHistory2 on the tig twiki pages to include
peter's text below and the photos, feel free, any registered
user can do it.

the hires images are at

----- Forwarded message from Peter Swinson <peter_swinson at compuserve.com> -----

From: Peter Swinson <peter_swinson at compuserve.com>
Subject: Another Baird Original.
To: Rob <rob at calarts.edu>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2003 20:25:26 -0500


Place on the TIG as you see fit.

Tis Christmas, the time of extra BRRE, Bubble Rise Rate
Experiments. Having just returned from an extended session
of BRRE in a pub built in 948, yup that's 948 not 1948, we
have some really old places here, I thought I would try to
explain some strange technology.

Here in Jolly Old England it is now that we revert to the
past, the days of Dickens and the like. Now the past
conjours up Baird and others, so I thought now was the time
to try and explain another of Baird's novel ways of getting
images electronically. Before I start I should say that what
I am about to describe is based on few facts and much
guesswork, much like the creation of today's film scanners!

Baird truely believed in Flying Spot, as we saw from the
recent images I supplied, Flying Spot is not resticted to
CRTs or Lasers. In the early days a Carbon arc through a
Nipkow disc was equally acceptable.  

Baird had a novel thought. Why scan just the film, why not
scan the original scene, lunacy I here you say, but was it.
Take a carbon arc, Nipkow disk and project a flying spot
into a totally dark room. Place in that room several photon
detectors,photomultipliers or whateer you can find and then
add actors. As the flying spot scans the room it reflects
off the actors or whatever is in the room and is picked up
by the detectors. If the spot is held in tight focus over a
considerable range then a great depth of field can be
obtained. By now you, no doubt, all think that Swinson has
exceeded the maximum BRRE quota and is totally off is
rocker, however the attached images are 1937 photos of what
was known as the Baird "Spotlight" camera, that, I believe
used exactly this principle.

The fiirst image shows a Carbon Arc in front of it a Nipkow
Disc system, shining through a glass portal. The other image
shows the "spotlight" studio. The flying spot shone though
the window illuminating scanning the subject sitting on the
chair. You will note three devices with a mesh in front of
them, these I believe are the photomultipliers, they cannot
be microphones for a small mic can be seen adjacent to the
window. They are unlikley to be lamps as each has more than
one cable attached. 

Here I believe is yet another of Baird's visions of

Now yet again I must haul myself back into the 21st century
and check that film is still here !

A very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year to all

Peter Swinson

----- End forwarded message -----

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