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Television - JVC Videosphere

JVC Videosphere

  • Object:

    Television

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (designed)
    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    1970 (designed)
    1974 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    JVC Ltd (manufacturer)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Adam Carey

  • Museum number:

    W.661:1 to 4-2001

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Place of Origin

Japan (designed)
Japan (made)

Date

1970 (designed)
1974 (made)

Artist/maker

JVC Ltd (manufacturer)

Object history note

This Videosphere television set was acquired by Pamela Powers' partner as a result of a points award scheme instigated by Alfa Romeo in the early 1970s. As an employee of Alfa Romeo he earned points for each sale he made and was able to convert the points into gifts which were selected from a catalogue. The JVC Videosphere was chosen for Pamela Powers, son, Adam Carey, in around 1970 or 1971. Adam, who was about 11 years old then, used the television in his bedroom at home in Chelsea.

Historical significance: The form of the JVC Videosphere alludes to a spaceman's helmet. In the late 60s space travel had captured the public imagination and was influential on popular and high design. Dated to 1970 the Videosphere can be seen as a direct result of the popularity of the first moon landing which took place in 1969.

The Videosphere is known to have been produced in both orange and white versions. Such bright primary colours were typical of pop design, as was the choice of hard wearing, durable ABS plastic.

Historical context note

The Videosphere was aimed at a youthful market and was amongst the first television sets to be specifically styled as a second set for the home, notably the teenager's bedroom.

Descriptive line

'Videosphere' television set, made by JVC, Japan, 1970. Includes white ABS plastic television, two base units (one with alarm clock) and spare ring aerial.

Labels and date

20th Century Gallery label, room 72:
JVC VIDEOSPHERE AND ALARM CLOCK
Designed about 1970
Made by JVC, Japan, 1974
ABS plastic, acrylic, glass, metal
W.661-2001
This television, shaped like a space-helmet, reflected the significance of the first moon landing which took place in 1969. It was aimed at the youth market and this model was made for the UK, although it was also available in Europe and elsewhere. The choice of hardwearing durable ABS plastic and primary colours (it came in orange as well as white) were typical of 'pop' design of the period. [01/08/2002]

Production Note

The design has generally been dated to 1970. According to JVC UK the serial number of this example indicates that it was not made until 1974, and the model was apparently only available until 1976. Records at Die Neue Sammlung Museum, Munich, who also have an example of the Videosphere, suggest that the TV was designed in 1970 and produced between 1971-74.

Reason For Production: Retail

Categories

Product design; Plastic; Entertainment & Leisure; Clocks & Watches; Household objects

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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