Does anyone know a museum in which it is possible to see old TV equipment e.g. 405 line black and white TVs? Ideally, some of them would be operating.

I am in the UK so museums in the UK would be most interesting but other answers are welcome.

As an example of the type of place that I am hoping for, here is a museum of telephones. It is possible to call between them and see the exchange operating. Avoncroft Museum

I am not expecting to be able to visit at the moment due to Covid. I am hoping that one day things return to normal and such visits become possible again.


2 Answers 2


A subject dear to me, as I started dismantling and repairing radios, B&W TVs, etc from the age of 12 in 1964. The most famous UK vintage TV museum is the British Vintage Wireless & Television Museum in Dulwich, London, (in Rosendale Road, where, incidentally, I went to school from ages 5 to 11). Regarding visits:

The Museum has recently moved into Tier 2 [Covid restrictions].

The Museum is therefore closed until further notice.

We will not hold any events at the Museum until at least 2021

Please check this website regularly for any change in this situation.

BVW Museum

Video of the museum

Here's something to whet your appetite

I can remember the smell these TVs gave off and I bet this place is full of it!

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There is also this one but the website looks a bit old:

South West England Vintage Television Museum

Web site

if you want to read lots of forum discussions about restoring old UK and other radios, TVs, audio equipment, phones, computers, etc, this is a splendid forum:

UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum

  • That seems to be pretty much exectly what I wanted. I also used to muck around with old TVs. I was about the same age but it was the early 70s for me. I don't accept immediately but it would take something special to beat this. Covid is not an issue, there is no urgency and I can wait.
    – badjohn
    Dec 20, 2020 at 12:01
  • @badjohn - If you haven't been to the Vintage Radio Forum, I strongly suggest it. It awoke a lot of memories for me. I used to repair colour TVs in the 70s and 80s and there are people discussing good old GEC 2040s and Decca Bradfords (my favourites) and all sorts! Dec 20, 2020 at 12:03
  • I will. I never played with colour sets, mostly cast off sets which were old even at the time. It was a school electronics club but that really meant that the physics teacher allowed a few of us to play unsupervised in the lab at lunch time. Health and safety - what's that? 240VAC never killed anyone. (Last sentence is a joke, don't take it seriously.)
    – badjohn
    Dec 20, 2020 at 12:08
  • We're probably getting a bit off-topic, but the first (pre-war) B&W TVs derived the EHT for the picture tube direct from the mains via an oil-filled transformer, 2,000 volts at a hefty current capability, which definitely would kill anyone. Dec 20, 2020 at 12:25
  • 1
    At last, I managed to visit this museum. A little hard to find. I went to the address and it appeared to be an ordinary residential house. On closer inspection, I saw three door bells (it had been split into flats) and a tiny sign saying to use the passageway at the side to access the museum. However, once I found it, it was marvellous. A huge collection of radios and TVs, many of them working. The staff were very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They outnumbered the visitors (just me) by 4 to 1. If this subject interests you then you must visit.
    – badjohn
    Mar 26, 2022 at 12:24

I think this question is good for a list of 'maybe' museums in a community wiki answer.

  • Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, (Netherlands Insitude for Sound and Vision) here is a link to their own website in Dutch, the Wikipedia page in Dutch, and in English.

    I remember from them being on TV that there might be some old televisions playing videos of old content, but could not see anything about it on any of the websites. The Dutch sites are worth checking out with an online translating service as the English language version is short. Most of what the museum concentrates on is Dutch language media content, from paper to digital formats, with a lot about TV.

  • Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (Norsk Teknisk Museum) in Oslo, Norway. Links to English Wikipedia page and their own website.

    They have a large room near the entrance (start of the museum trail) which covers the history of television, including old televisions from various eras.

  • Berlin, Germany

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