One of the oldest businesses in television, Vinten, celebrates its centenary in 2010, 100 years after it sold its first piece of kit – for _28.
It was on 1 January 1910 that mechanical engineer William Vinten took over a workshop in Soho’s Wardour Street, followed days later by its first order, for 25 Kinemacolor Machines – high speed film printers for the Edison colour system – at _28 each.
By the early 1950s the new vocabulary of television was developing, with cameras needed to move freely around the studio floor. While others tried to adapt film camera supports, Vinten realised that a new sort of system was called for.
In 1956 the first hydro-pneumatic pedestal was delivered. “The type 419 pedestal was a remarkable achievement, and the principles within it are still in use in today’s Quattro pedestals,” explained Roger Wilson, managing director.
“That encapsulates much of what is good about Vinten,” he added. “We achieved something no other manufacturer could, through bold innovation in design and very high quality, high precision engineering and manufacture. Those Vinten values are as true today as they have been for the last 100 years.
“Most importantly, they will remain at the cornerstone of Vinten into the future,” he stated. “We will, of course, be celebrating with all our staff and our customers during the course of the year, but our main focus will be on continuing to apply our innovation in new products for 2010 and beyond.”