Volume 14, No. 1

Mercurial Matters

Memo: Book Reviews

New SHOT International Scholar

Campaign for SHOT

Information Technology Research Opportunities at NSF

In Search of the First Personal Computer

What Mercurians are Reading and Writing

Communication as Philosophy

That's As High As It Will Ever Get: Getting Into Orbit

I Want My MZTV!

Index to Articles 1988—2001

Contact Us

mercurians back button


I Want My MZTV!

Located in the CHUMCity complex in the heart of Toronto (in a new location), the MZTV Museum of Television houses a collection of historical TVs from the 1920s through the 1970s, as well as related books, magazines, videos, CDs, photographs, personal papers, and ephemera. The exhibition “Watching TV: Historic Televisions and Memorabilia from the MZTV Museum,” presented by the Cinémathèque quèbècoise, just opened in November at the MZTV.

It is based on the personal collection of Moses Znaimer, the chairman and executive producer of the MZTV Museum. Znaimer was President and Executive Producer of Toronto’s innovation independent television station, Citytv, and the Museum originated in his personal collection of televisions.

Even though the MZTV Museum of Television has just opened its doors, it has been in “virtual” existence on the Internet since 1995. The Museum’s exhibits are posted in the Virtually Gallery, which currently features three separate exhibits.

The first, posted in 1995, features a collection of beautiful vintage Philco Predictas, a classic TV set that first appeared in 1958. They featured a picture tube mounted on top of, and separated from, the chassis. Viewers could even turn the picture tube on a swiveling base!

Posted in 1996, the second exhibit highlights mechanical TVs from the 1920s, such as that invented by Baird and Jenkins. The third exhibited, posted in 1998, celebrates the formal debut of television in the United States at the New York City World’s Fair on Sunday, April 30, 1939, as part of the RCA Pavilion. It’s worth the visit just to see President Roosevelt deliver the first televised presidential speech.

The website also includes information about (but not yet a “virtual” version of) the exhibit “Watching TV” and about the MZTV Museum, including its location, how to join, the museum’s mission, and staff biographies—of both staff members! The MZTV Oral History Project is a do-it-yourself page that requests visitors to type in their earliest memory of watching TV, which will be included in the Museum’s archive along with the videotaped contributions of Museum visitors.

Finally, the website includes a fun tour of TV history through an eclectic set of on-line QuickTime movies. These span the gamut from Moses Znaimer’s memories of watching TV, TV at the 1939 World’s Fair, the Baird Televisor, and a collection of TV clips as diverse as the JFK assassination, the Moon walk (Buzz, not Michael), Bat Masterson, Harrison Ford (his earliest memory of TV), and the Waltons (en español).

The MZTV Museum of Television is open by appointment (416/599-7339) to scholars and interested members of the public. Or, visit the Museum of Television at <>— where no appointment is necessary!

cowboy on tv