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Deutsches Technikmuseum - February

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:

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The donation contains six locations:

Exhibit of the Month February 2016

Photo: Side view of the central component: below the picture screen, above the funnel-shaped body of the picture tube.

Last chance to see: a picture tube © SDTB / Photo: C. Kirchner

Last TV picture tube made in Berlin, 2006

Ten years ago, on 22 February 2006, the last television picture tube made in Berlin rolled off the assembly line. It marked the end for an important industrial site in our city: the prominent Peter Behrens Building in Oberschöneweide. For Berlin it also marked the end of the era of tube production.

For over 70 years television viewers had literally looked into the tube. Since the introduction of public television in 1935 the cathode ray tube was the central component of most TV receivers.

Its technical construction determined the size and shape of TV sets: The bigger the picture screen, the longer and more voluminous the picture tube. This fact alone made the television the central piece of furniture of many living rooms.

Photo: On a snowy street corner a tube TV is standing on the ground – it has obviously been discarded.

Out of living room onto the street: TV with cathode ray tube, 2015. Photo: Eva Kudraß

Too bulky for the future

In the end it was just that bulkiness that was responsible for the tube’s sudden demise. When compacter flat screen TVs became available around 2000, tube TVs fell out of favour.

The expensive production of tubes was particularly hard hit by the massive loss in sales. Among the factories having to close was the tradition-rich "Werk für Fernsehelektronik" (WF) in Oberschöneweide with 800 employees. The South Korean Samsung Group had only taken over this former state-owned company (VEB) ten years earlier.

Now its modern assembly line was ready for the scrapyard – and for the museum:
A selection of products and machines went to the Deutsches Technikmuseum, including the picture tube shown here – one of the last of its kind.

The history of the factory is kept alive at the site by the "Industriesalon Schöneweide", an industrial museum.