Audiovisual technology

  • Television with magnifying glass

    Record number: 600

    Date: 1936

    Geographical specifications: France

    Form of acquisition: unknown

    Dimensions: 37.5 x 45 x 5 cm

    Dimensions: 22 x 27 x 4.5 cm

    Dimensions: 14 x 11.5 cm

    Radio viewer (TV) with magnifying glass. A large magnifying glass with adjustable support is fitted in front of the screen to magnify the image, as the screen is very small. With two side speakers, and a wooden box, of considerable depth. These early televisions, with their long, narrow tube, were built using the technology, typology and the aesthetics of the radio era, in this case somewhat recalling the Art Deco style.

  • Victoria pianola roll

    Record number: 12828

    Geographical specifications: La Garriga (Catalonia)

    Date: 1905 - 1929

    Form of acquisition: donation

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 33 x 6 cm

    Weight: 0.42 kg

    Roll for mechanical music playing by means of a pianola, with the central polychromatic black wooden cylinder and the roll of punched paper. There is a metal collar at one end to attach the paper to the pianola mechanism. Marked with the number 5196, and the title The Amazement of Damascus. Couplets by ALI-MON. Luna H. Housed in a purple case with a label indicating the name of the vendor, Casa Comas in Sabadell. 

    The “La Solfa” factory, which manufactured Victoria rolls, was founded in 1905 in La Garriga by Joan Baptista Blancafort (1865-1948), the father of the composer Manel Blancafort and the representative in Barcelona of the Columbia Graphophone Company S.A.E. It was the first to produce pianola rolls in Spain, and exported them to Europe, the Americas and Oceania. Between 1919 and 1930 it built up a catalogue of more than four thousand works.

  • Magic Lantern, A. Laverne & Co

    Record number: 4958
    Date: second half of 19th century
    Geographical specifications: France
    Form of acquisition: purchase
    Dimensions: 68 x 27 x 59 cm

    A two-storey magic lantern, of considerable quality, the lens protected with a copper cover.This lantern has a double lens with springs to open and close simultaneously.

    Magic lanterns, or projectors, were the first optical device to project images painted in transparent colours on small glass slides.

    Laverne & Co. was a leading French producer of projection lanterns (or "magic lanterns"), the first optical device capable of projecting coloured images painted on glass, specialising in lanterns for public or Poliorama projections.

  • Menestrel phonograph

    Record number: 7998
    Date: 1905
    Form of acquisition: purchase
    Dimensions: 29 x 31 x 29 cm
    Weight: 6.46 kg

    Cylinder phonograph bolted to a square, iron base painted dark green, with golden relief decorations on all four sides. The lid, in the form of a chapel, is also made from metal of the same colour, golden decorations. The handle is gilded metal. Silver-plated metal trumpet.

  • AGA Agaphone tape player

    Record number: 12977
    Date: 1950s
    Provenance: Sweden
    Form of acquisition: unknown
    Dimensions: 28 x 30.5 x 25.5 cm
    Weight: 11.6 kg

    Tape player with tabletop microphone. It has a wooden box covered in brown leather, with a purple velvet inside. On the front of the device is a small bowl which probably lit up to indicate recording mode. The front also houses the tape controls (play, rewind and record). The electric plug is at the rear.

    AGA is one of the Swedish companies known for its technological innovation. It dates back to 1904, and began with the technological innovations of the Swedish Nobel prizewinner Gustaf Dalen. These inventions include in particular his flashing light, from 1905, and the Dalen sun valve and mixer from 1987. AGA subsequently marketed a wide range of products, such as cookers and audio recording equipment.