NESTLED at the heart of this recreated 1950s living room is a wonderful Dynatron television.

Housed inside a handsome cabinet, it makes a stunning centrepiece and it is easy to imagine a family gathered around it – perhaps to watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 for which many people bought or rented their first television set.

The first public demonstration of television in the UK took place in 1926 by John Logie Baird in his London Laboratory.

By 1928 he had successfully transmitted television pictures across the Atlantic and demonstrated colour television.

The first British television broadcast was made by Baird Television’s electromechanical system over the BBC radio transmitter in September 1929 and a year later, Britain had its first television drama: Pirandello’s The Man with a Flower in his Mouth.

By 1939 they were providing a limited amount of programming five days a week, but British television stopped immediately at the advent of the Second World War.

It is estimated that there were 20,000 TV sets in Britain at this time. On June 7 1946 BBC television reopened and its popularity and availability rose rapidly.

Dynatron was founded by the Hacker brothers, Ron (b 1908) and Arthur (b 1910). They shared a strong interest in radio, and started a company producing high-quality radiograms and wireless receivers at the ages of just 19 and 17 respectively from a room above the family grocery shop on Maidenhead High Street. They went on to build a factory in the garden of the family house.

During the Second World War, Dynatron contributed to the war effort on a not for profit basis, and produced airborne guidance systems such as Gee for the RAF – expanding the work force from around 70 employees to 160.

The Dynatron range had always been aimed at the top of the market but austerity measures and component shortages after the war caused the company significant difficulties. In 1954, an offer from Ekco was accepted, and control was handed over in 1955.

See the recreated living room at the County Museum at Hartlebury Castle in the wonderful period exhibition Lavish Living.

For more information about exhibitions at the museums, visit the website, or for visitor information for Hartlebury Castle, see