The beginning - (2023)

Keracolor Design Introduced in 1966, Eero Aarnio’s futuristic Ball Chair made regular appearances on the ITCtelevision series The Prisoner, filmed in 1966-67. With the arrival three years later of the similarsphere-shaped Keracolor televisions, designed in England by Arthur Bracegirdle, the Keracolor’s spherical design might have been inspired by Number Two’s Ball Chair onThe Prisoner, and perhaps also the mysterious spherical bubble nicknamed “Rover”, whichemitted a high-pitched whine and an occasional frightening roar as it patrolled the surreal prisonenvironment of The Village, intercepting any would-be escapees. It is sometimes misreported that the Keracolor designs were inspired by an astronaut’s helmet“after watching the first moon landing” and similarly – that they were designed to resemble thespherical Sputnik satellite launched in 1957. Both theories have been vehemently denied byArthur Bracegirdle himself.

The beginning - (1)

​The Keracolor is an example of pure space age design, a movement that made considerable useof spheres. Its design is consistent with the work of modernist designers of the ‘50s and ‘60s(such as Eero Aarnio, and Charles and Ray Eames) who eschewed traditional forms, substitutingfuturistic uses of basic streamlined shapes and testing the limits of new materials. The swivel tulipbase used on some of the Keracolors resembles the Tulip chair of Finnish-American industrialdesigner Eero Saarinen. Tulip bases also appear on more conventional television stands of thisperiod, sometimes with a tilt adjustment. The Keracolor’s design was envisaged in 1968, whichdefines it as a product of sixties modernism, although the sets didn’t go on sale until late 1970.Readers familiar with The Prisoner will recall how the opening sequence incorporated claps ofthunder, timed for dramatic effect. Resonating with this is the name – Keracolor. It was derivedfrom the Greek word keraunos – meaning “thunderbolt”. The Keracolor brand was described asbeing “synonymous in the television industry with the very latest and most modern and up-to-datedesign concept in the world”.The “U” in KERACOLOR was left out for aesthetic reasons – inorder for the brand name to look symmetrical when displayed adjacent to other controls on theside of the set.

The beginning - (2)

Electronic, Arthur Bracegirdle was both a designer and businessman, but he lacked the technical knowledgeto install the Electrical components required to put his new design into production, therefore in the spring of 1970 he placed a job advertisement in TheManchester Evening News for a qualified colour television engineer, the advert was answered bya young and talented television engineer by the name of Howard Taylor.

The beginning - (3)

The pair arranged to meet one evening in a pub in Wilmslow, Cheshire, over a beer the pair decided theycould work together on the new project which at time Howard hadn’t even seen, therefore the pair arranged a second meeting at Arthur’s home in Cheshire a couple ofdays later. When Howard arrived at Arthur’s home the pair entered Arthur’s garage under great secrecy, this wasthe first time Howard would see the ground breaking spherical design & he was taken back by the beauty of the design. The combination of Arthur’sbusiness attributes and Howard’s technical ability proved to be a winning combination in the success of Keracolor.It was decided that Arthur would approach Decca Televisions with a view to using their 10 serieschassis in the first cabinets, along with the Mullard colour picture tubes that Decca were using atthat time. Decca Managing Director Mr Spencer was very pleased & excited about the project as their own design team had beenworking on a sphere-shaped cabinet which following the success of Keracolor never made it into production, the original plan was to use the Decca 10 series chassis, but Aurther was offer Decca new 30 series chassis instead which was being manufactured in Decca new Northern factor in Bradford, this later became know as the “Decca Bradford Chassis” this new design had advantages as it had removable panels. Howard then set about installing all of the newcomponents, this was not a straightforward task as special brackets had to be fabricated, aspecial wooden shelf made for the chassis to sit on, they also designed a swivel mechanism so that theentire set could be easily rotated there was also a wooden wedge fitted so that TV viewing angles could be adjusted.The Decca chassis available at this time used valves, which generated a great deal ofheat in the fibre glass case, the heat build-up in the cabinets was managed in part by convection, this aloud a large volume of air in the cabinet to circulated and dissipate the heat from the valves evenly. This allowed for fewer unsightlyair vents in the back of the set. Once the various design problems had been worked out, the pairbuilt the prototype Keracolor.

The beginning - (4)

Cabinets, The first production run of Keracolor cabinets was made using fibreglass (GRP). There were floor-standing models,ceiling models, hanging versions, and even a conventional square table model. Cabinets could beordered in any colour or even with a teak wood grain effect. Beautiful white and sophisticatedblack were the most recommended colours (to match any décor).The 26” model with a built-inDecca 8-track cartridge player fitted (with twin speakers for full stereo) was considered the top ofthe line.It took twelve months to build a wooden sphere from which a fibreglass mould could be taken.The first cabinet was produced by a company called Waterside Plastics Ltd. located inTodmorden, West Yorkshire, Northeast of Manchester.Interestingly, the following year,Waterside built one of the space-age “Futuro” fibreglass leisure houses. The utopianprefabricated “Futuro” dwellings were originally designed in 1968 by a Finnish architect – MattiSuuronen. The pair assembled the first 100 Keracolors whilst still working in Arthur’s garage, before theymoved production to a factory on Middlewich Road, Northwich Cheshire in 1970. At this point theywere still using Waterside Plastics to produce the cabinets until there was some kind of fallingout. They then moved production of the cabinets to another company that made a small number ofcabinets, but due to the poor workmanship from this second company (not using enough resin inthe making of the cabinets) Arthur decided that the only way to maintain quality was to make thecabinets themselves.

The beginning - (5)

The first Keracolor was supplied to Harrods of London in late 1970, priced at £375, with anotherfour sets delivered the following week. The exclusive exposure of the Keracolor in Harrods was a very shrewdmarketing move by Arthur – it catapulted the new design into the public eye. Once people heard aboutthe ground breaking design in Harrods they asked their local dealers were they could but the Keracolors Televisions. Ordersstarted to arrive, many of the dealers were a little skeptical about these new sphere TVs until they discovered they werefitted with the Decca Bradford (30 series) chassis which had a good had a reputation for reliability, and serviceinformation and spare parts were readerly available. In some of the very later Keracolors, the Decca 80and 100 series chassis were used, and special order sets were also produced with Decca first remote control TV, the remote that came with the sets were RC1 a very basic Sonic clicker device.

The beginning - (6)

The sales brochures at the time read “KERACOLOR offer a picture with crystal clear clarity, controls as easy asany, sound from the centre, in fact a safety-first set of British design and British manufacture — inall a colour receiver for the connoisseur”.

Subscribe to our newsletter

The beginning - (7)Please wait...

Want to be notified about Keracolor progress? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.

'); jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_name_Nknewsletter_space").css( { marginBottom : "20px" } ); // emailAdd=false; } } else{ isvalidName=true; } if(jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_agree").length >0){ if(jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_agree").is(':checked')){ var element=jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_agree").next().next(); jQuery(element).html(''); isagree=true; } else{ var element=jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_agree").next().next(); jQuery(element).html('

Please read and agree to our terms & conditions.

'); jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_email_Nknewsletter_space").css( { marginBottom : "0px" } ); isagree=false; } } else{ isagree=true; } if(emailAdd!=""){ var element=jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_youremail").next().next(); if(emailAdd.toLowerCase()=='Email'.toLowerCase()){ jQuery(element).html('

This field is required.

'); isvalidEmail=false; jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_email_Nknewsletter_space").css( { marginBottom : "0px" } ); }else{ var JsRegExPatern = /^\w+([-+.']\w+)*@\w+([-.]\w+)*\.\w+([-.]\w+)*$/ if(JsRegExPatern.test(emailAdd)){ isvalidEmail=true; jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_email_Nknewsletter_space").css( { marginBottom : "20px" } ); jQuery(element).html(''); }else{ var element=jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_youremail").next().next(); jQuery(element).html('

Please enter valid email address.

'); jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_email_Nknewsletter_space").css( { marginBottom : "0px" } ); isvalidEmail=false; } } }else{ var element=jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_yourname").next().next(); jQuery(element).html('

This field is required.

'); jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_email_Nknewsletter_space").css( { marginBottom : "0px" } ); isvalidEmail=false; } if(isvalidName==true && isvalidEmail==true && isagree==true){ jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_name_Nknewsletter_space").css( { marginBottom : "20px" } ); jQuery("filed_64103d7a2ec0f_email_Nknewsletter_space").css( { marginBottom : "20px" } ); jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_AjaxLoader").show(); jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_mysuccess_msg').html(''); jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_mysuccess_msg').hide(); jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_myerror_msg').html(''); jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_myerror_msg').hide(); var nonce ='dd79f610ce'; var url = ''; var email=jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_youremail").val(); var name=""; if(jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_yourname").length >0){ name =jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_yourname").val(); } var str="action=store_email&email="+email+'&name='+name+'&is_agreed='+isagree+'&sec_string='+nonce; jQuery.ajax({ type: "POST", url: '', data:str, async:true, success: function(msg){ if(msg!=''){ var result=msg.split("|"); if(result[0]=='success'){ jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_AjaxLoader").hide(); jQuery('.filed_64103d7a2ec0f_mysuccess_msg').html(result[1]); jQuery('.filed_64103d7a2ec0f_mysuccess_msg').show(); setTimeout(function(){ jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_mysuccess_msg').hide(); jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_mysuccess_msg').html(''); jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_youremail").val('Email'); jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_yourname").val('Name'); },2000); } else{ jQuery("#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_AjaxLoader").hide(); jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_myerror_msg').html(result[1]); jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_myerror_msg').show(); setTimeout(function(){ jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_myerror_msg').hide(); jQuery('#filed_64103d7a2ec0f_myerror_msg').html(''); },2000); } } }}); }}

The beginning - (8)

social media © 1969-2019. All Rights Reserved.
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edmund Hettinger DC

Last Updated: 03/17/2023

Views: 6637

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edmund Hettinger DC

Birthday: 1994-08-17

Address: 2033 Gerhold Pine, Port Jocelyn, VA 12101-5654

Phone: +8524399971620

Job: Central Manufacturing Supervisor

Hobby: Jogging, Metalworking, Tai chi, Shopping, Puzzles, Rock climbing, Crocheting

Introduction: My name is Edmund Hettinger DC, I am a adventurous, colorful, gifted, determined, precious, open, colorful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.