A new web site conceived by journalist and broadcaster Barry Fox has been launched to bring together more than 100 years of technology industry photography in one place. The aptly-named Tekkiepix features a multitude of historic photos spanning more than a century of technical milestones and product launches – and the fascinating stories behind them.
2021 heralds the fiftieth anniversary of home video recording and the introduction of the consumer video cassette recorder – and this is just one of the industry breakthroughs documented by this unique site. For example, type ‘U-matic’ in the search field to discover when the first video recorder went on sale and to reveal who manufactured it.
No subscriptions or fees are required to use the site, which is a completely free, non-profit treasure trove of pictures and articles covering the history of home gadgetry before the days of Apple, Google, YouTube, Spotify and Netflix. Tekkiepix also includes a comprehensive timeline of consumer technology landmarks starting from 1877.
Founder Barry Fox commented, “Tekkiepix has taken a great deal of time, investment and hard work to prepare and publish. The Covid lockdowns have provided the opportunity for me to sort, digitise and meticulously index many piles of press and publicity photos that I had been storing in my garage and attic.”
So far, many hundreds of rare pictures have been processed and posted along with the intriguing stories behind each image. As a keen photographer, many of these pictures were captured by Barry personally at numerous product launch events, while others were issued by technology manufacturers over the years. Barry carefully archived the collection rather than disposing of the images. He added, “Tekkiepix is giving these publicity pictures the chance of a second life.”
There is much more material to be added, with boxes of negatives and transparencies still to be scanned, and Barry hopes that through donations from enthusiasts, or perhaps sponsorship by an interested organisation, he can expand Tekkiepix much further: “I have added a Donate button to encourage contributions. Through this support, I’ll be able to build the site and turn it into an even more valuable and educational resource for younger generations to appreciate in the future.”
Many of the companies that originally distributed the pictures to the media for PR purposes have long since closed or been sold. Barry believes this may be the only lasting record of these historically important photographs.
Over the past six months, Barry (who was a regular writer for New Scientist on consumer electronics and patents for around forty years, initially under the pen name Adrian Hope) has been generously assisted by former technology magazine editor Richard Dean in professionally re-vamping and expanding the original ‘DIY’ site design, with support from photographer and website designer John Kentish.
Note on copyright:
PR photographs that were originally sent out to the press with encouragement to publish freely and as widely as possible were archived by Barry. Copyright remains with the original photographer or the manufacturer, where applicable, and often untraceable. Images shot by Barry should be attributed to © Barry Fox, Tekkiepix.com