Early 1940s RCA 1846 4.5" Iconoscope TV camera tube
Now THIS has to be one of my greatest acquisitions to date. Yes I have won off Ebay for $120 my very first Iconoscope TV camera tube and am probably the only person in Australia to be in possession of such a tube!!! This is a RCA 1846 4.5" Iconoscope tube made sometime between 1941 and probably 1945 which is the smaller version of the 1850 Iconoscopes that are 6.5" in diameter.
The 1846s were introduced in 1941 and were specifically made for military airborne cameras which are housed in remote bomb gliders which are guided via TV screen and remote control to their target exploding on impact which the camera gets destroyed in the process, details of this bomber camera can be seen on this page. After the war there was surplus stock of these cameras so they were flogged on the market to lower budget/amateur TV stations and to consumers in the early 50s at an affordable price.
Anyways this tube is in excellent shape, it is very clean on the inside, there's no signs of whiteness anywhere so I believe it's still under vacuum and would likely work when fitted to a working bomber camera or made into a camera. I am of course planning on building a working solid state Iconoscope camera using this tube once I have successfully built a solid state Image Orthicon camera as I want to see original 1940s Iconoscope pictures first hand!!! Anyhow here below are several pictures of this tube from all angles:
I just came to the realization that this 1846 tube is the same tube that the Japanese engineer Yoshio Ozaki used for his solid state Iconoscope TV camera he built from the ground up, I have written an article on this man's genius work on this page. The pictures this tube make are brilliant and comparable with modern B&W images in good lighting. Anyhow below is a 15 minute mini documentary video on Yoshio's solid state Iconoscope camera showing him in action building it and getting it to work and towards the end you'll see from the direct video output how wonderful the images are from this early 1940s tube!!! :D