Aspects of the Global Village:
The Television Era in Canada, 1950-2000
This exhibition presents a selection from Moses Znaimer’s collection of vintage television sets conserved by the Cinémathèque québécoise, and gives an overview of more than fifty years of television by showing how the sets evolved from the 1930s to 1999. From the start, television imagined and produced its audience as a participant by including it in its discourses. This exhibition paints an aesthetic, historical and technological portrait of the television era in Canada through selected views of the global village.


Chariots of Chrome:
Classic American Cars of Cuba

On November 25, 2004 the MZTV Museum will present the book launch of Chariots of Chrome: The Classic American Cars of Cuba, followed by a month long Exhibit featuring photographs, 50s style 3D images and a digital presentation playing on the museum’s historic TV sets. Simon Bell and George Fischer will talk about their work and sign copies of their latest book.

The exhibit consists of selected photographs by Simon Bell and George Fischer of the classic cars in Cuba, enlarged and printed on archival matte paper. In addition there are six eye popping 3D images taken in Cuba by Simon Bell with his custom made stereoscopic camera that are truly amazing to behold. And to round out the exhibit, the vintage television sets on display in the museum will be switched on to simultaneously run a DVD presentation based on images from the book.


Keyed Up, Switched On, Logged In

The story of the birth of modern communication through the union of two of the most powerful inventions in history.

Prior to the invention of the typewriter, correspondence was by pen and paper. The typewriter brought about legibility and an unheard of speed in personal and business correspondence during the latter part of the 19thcentury.

Television boomed after the Second World War and became one of the most culturally influential inventions of all time. Marketed as an appliance that would enhance family life, the societal effects of television in all its current forms is still one of the most hotly debated topics.

The 1970s marriage of the typewriter and the television, first with the

TV Typewriter, then with the Apple personal computer, gave rise to a new generation of information and communication technology whose profound effect on society continues to grow.

TV Collector Moses Znaimer has partnered with Typewriter Collector Martin Howard in creating this exhibit


Watching TV: Historic Televisions and Memorabilia from the MZTV Museum of Television

This exhibit celebrates Moses’ partnership with the Cinémathèque québécoise (CQ), a major cultural institution devoted to the moving image, located in his hometown of Montréal, to which Moses has donated his collection.

Since childhood – at 13, he bought his family’s first TV set with his Bar Mitzvah gift money – Moses has been intellectually dedicated to the medium of TV and captivated by the beauty of the receivers themselves. This exhibit is his tribute to the most fundamental technology of the 20th century, charting its history from the dawn of image transmission to the arrival of the transistor and the contemporary era.


Do Not Adjust Your Set!

An Exhibition of TV Sets From the Moses Znaimer Collection

From the post World War II era to the emergence of personal computers in the early 80s, one technological wonder was at the core of domestic bliss: the television set. We have given it a number of names – from TV to “the tube” or simply “the box” – testifying to our long time relationship. For most of us, our awareness to the world and reality as well as our imagination has developed in front of the television set. TV has been and continues to be much more than a mere screen. It brings us entertainment, information and education.

“Do Not Adjust Your Set!” presents an extensive selection of television sets from the Cinémathèque québécoise’s Moses Znaimer collection. Rather than presenting the technical and design evolution of the television set in a chronological order, we have chosen to go back in time, starting from space age models and working our way to initial experimentations in mechanical television receivers. How does a colour tube work, exactly? What happened at the 1939 World’s Fair? And did you know that television in Canada started in 1931? Discover one of the great iconic objects of the 20th century through some of its most outstanding specimens.

This exhibit is on display at the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montréal.



Philo T Farnsworth demonstrated the world’s first all-electronic system of television in 1927. Like Baird, he had difficulty obtaining financing for his experiments. By 1930, Farnsworth’s shareholders insisted that he show his television system to RCA (Radio Corporation of America).

Initially, RCA believed that it could do without Farnsworth’s many television camera patents, but they became crucial to making RCA’s television camera work properly. Patent litigation between Farnsworth and RCA became intense. Finally, a licensing agreement was reached, and television as we know it began.

Following his career in research on television, Farnsworth became involved in radar and atomic energy research.

ALLEN B. DUMONT (1901-1965) USA


Like many of the early figures in television, Du Mont was involved both in manufacture and broadcasting. A brilliant inventor, Du Mont began his career by developing improved cathode-ray tubes. He subsequently founded a television network and set up a television-manufacturing company.

In the 1930s, Allen B. Du Mont Laboratories competed strongly with RCA (Radio Corporation of America) in the areas of research and development. In 1938, DuMont offered a set with a 14-inch screen, while RCA was only able to release a 12-inch set.

Many of the favourite TV shows of the late 1940s and early 1950s appeared on Du Mont’s network, which nonetheless folded in 1955.



As early as 1915, Sarnoff recognized the potential of organized broadcasting to stimulate the sale of radio receivers. He founded NBC, the broadcasting division of RCA, in 1926. He later carried this insight into the realm of television.

As president of RCA (Radio Corporation of America) during the 1930s and 1940s, Sarnoff was instrumental in financing the development of electronic television. When RCA was ready to promote the sale of television sets, NBC was ready with programming to create demand. A brilliant marketer, Sarnoff was determined that RCA would be the company to bring television to the American public, and he made it happen.



Zworykin developed some of the most important technologies for the electronic television camera and picture tube. While still a student in Russia, he began to study the cathode-ray tube.

Zworykin emigrated to the USA in 1919, and began research on his “Iconoscope” (an early camera tube), which he patented in 1923. In 1929, he demonstrated his all-electronic television receiver using a “Kinescope” (picture tube). By this time, Zworykin was working for RCA, where he directed all the research that led up to the first real introduction of television to the general public, at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.



One of the great inventors of the 20th century, John Logie Baird obtained the first recognizable television image on October 1, 1925, well over a year before the American telephone giant AT&T was able to produce a similar transmission.

Baird’s company organized the first television broadcasting system in the UK, which began operations in 1929.

Baird continued his work at the cutting edge of television technology for the rest of his life. He demonstrated the first colour television in 1928, stereoscopic 3-D television, and the world’s first all-electronic colour TV system (patented in 1940)


MZTV Museum of Television (at The ZoomerPlex) 64 Jefferson Avenue Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6K 1Y4

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