Thomas Elliott conducts experimental television broadcasting in Brisbane

Born at Maryborough in 1881, Valentine McDowell qualified as a Medical Practitioner at the University of Sydney in 1905.  Later specialising in radiology, McDowell was reputedly the first doctor in Queensland to use radium in the treatment of his patients during the 1920s. In association with Thomas Elliott, an x-ray and sound engineer, McDowell also pioneered the broadcasting of regular radio programs from Brisbane station 4CM in 1921. The pair claimed to have provided the first live radio broadcast from the stage of Her Majesty’s Theatre, and in 1926 they transferred 4CM to the Old Observatory in Wickham Terrace and began conducting experiments with low-tension television broadcasting. In 1934 State and Federal government officials were astonished at the clarity of their television images, and in October 1935 they managed to transmit different forms of illustrated material. Thomas Elliott continued to experiment with television until 1949, though it was not until a decade later that this medium finally became widely available to Queensland consumers.


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