Visitors to the National Radio Show at Earls Court in 1961 got a peek at the future of TV. Far from the enormous boxes that might sit on your living room floor, this TV was sleek and stylish — a preview of the TV modernist ideal that was slow to actually arrive.
If the TV looks like it would be right at home with the Jetsons, that’s probably because it likely inspired animators of the show. The Jetsons TV show would premiere in September of the following year, and the creators borrowed ideas from nearly every cutting edge designer and architect of the time.
The TV above was designed by John Denison-Hunt, for British electronics manufacturer Pye. This 1961 TV prototype was supposed to represent the TV of 1971, but the early 1970s was actually the beginning of the end for that particular TV brand, as Sony and Hitachi entered the British market with lower cost sets.
Below, you can watch home movies taken at the 1961 National Radio Show and if you look closely you can even see some of the TV technology that was on display.
Picture: Claire Collins examining the “television of 1971”, designed by John Denison-Hunt, at the 1961 Earls Court Radio Show via Getty Images