While we were writing, Mr. Sawford started to set up a tripod at the front of the class, near the side of his desk, onto which he attached a large camera-looking sort of device - I for one hadn't seen anything like it before; he went away for a short while and came back with a television on a portable stand. He then proceeded to link wires between the TV and the camera device. Then, he left the room again.
I had seen a cine camera before, but this device was much larger, and I remember looking at it, thinking, 'I'm sure that thing is filming us, but it can't be! Besides, who could afford it?' Don't forget, this was only a few years after the moon landing.
About 10 minutes later, Mr. Sawford came back into the room, went to the device that was attached to the TV, switched a few buttons and then called us all to the front of the class.
We were all standing around the blank TV screen with Mr. Sawford, wondering what was going to happen next. Mr. Sawford pressed some switches and the TV screen came to life, and there instantly on the screen was the whole class as we were ten minutes ago, sitting at our desks. How could this be? Celluloid film has to be developed, doesn't it? What kind of magic was this? The whole class was astonished. This was an amazing science lesson. It seems funny now to think that we were so confounded by technology that now seems dated and primitive.
I assume video tape would have been super-expensive back then, and because of that, think it likely that Mr. Sawford would have taped over that film - but maybe he didn't; so, it's possible that that tape recording of our class, back in 1973, might be lying safely in a drawer somewhere; also, what other interesting things did he video back then?
Here's a thought. In 1973, our B&W home analogue TV with its ghostly shadows and constantly rolling 625 lines per frame was, at that time, so advanced and something to be proud of; imagine if during our lesson in 1973, Mr. Sawford had shown us a modern high-quality YouTube video on an i-phone with retina display quality! Well, that's similar to how our class felt on that day back in 1973.
The videotape recorder was invented in 1951. By 1971, Sony began marketing the first at-home VCRs. JVC released the first VHS machines in late 1976. Were you there... do you remember?
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