This page covers 1953 through 1984.
For 1985 through the present go to page 2.
Tektronix equipment has been used in movies and shows. This is the earliest film we know of which features a Tektronix oscilloscope. This film, 1953 The Magnetic Monster, features a 511 oscilloscope which is only shown briefly. This film was the first in Ivan Tors' "Office of Scientific Investigation" (OSI) trilogy.
The Magnetic Monster was followed in Ivan Tors' Office of Scientific Investigation (OSI) trilogy by Riders to the Stars (1954) and Gog (1954). Gog features a 1952 Type 511A oscilloscope (based on the top louvers). A viewing of Riders to the Stars showed a couple of scenes with non-Tektronix oscilloscopes.
This scene with a Type 545 oscilloscope and a C plug-in is from the 1959 movie The Angry Red Planet.
This scene also features a Type 545 oscilloscope with a C or CA plug-in is from the 1964 Time Travelers. It is nice to know Tektronix scopes are still being used in 2071.
A Tektronix P600X (P6006, P6007, P6008, or P6009) probe is used to check out the AE-35 unit in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This scene appears at 59:26 in the movie.
The museum has a P6006 Probe on display.
This partial shot of a Type 536 oscilloscope appears in the 1969 film Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun apparently as some type of EKG monitor.
A Type 422 scope in the console appears in this scene from the same movie.
A 536 (bottom left), two 422s (top) and a 545B (bottom right) appear in this scene. We think the 545B plug-in is a D.
The 1970 movie Colossus: The Forbin Project featured two Tektronix products during the opening credits. The 230 Digital Unit appears first which is a digital readout system for the 568 Sampling Oscilloscope.
A later screen shot shows the 568 Sampling Oscilloscope with a S-311 and 3T4 plug-in above the 230 Digital Unit. The 568 and 230 were introduced in 1967 so are period correct for the movie.
The 1971 film THX-1138 has several scenes with Tektronix instruments. This scene shows a 555 dual beam oscilloscope with two 1A1 vertical plug-ins and a 21A and 22A horizontal plug-ins on the left. On the right is a 556 dual beam oscilloscope with a 1A1 vertical plug-in on the left, and a 1A4 vertical plug-in on the right.
This scene shows a 1969 or later RM529 waveform monitor.
This scene shows a 453 portable oscilloscope.
The 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever features both Tektronix oscilloscopes and a Telequipment oscilloscope. At about 90 minutes into the film they are seen in Blofeld's secret Laser Laboratories. This photo shows a Tektronix RM561A oscilloscope with a 3A72 and 3B3 time base to the left of a couple of Fairchild 766 series oscilloscopes.
This photo shows a closeup of the Telequipment S51A oscilloscope display.
The 1972 film Silent Running features a Tektronix 491 spectrum analyzer. He uses this 491 to communicate with the home base.
The 1973 film Live And Let Die features a Tektronix 453 oscilloscope. At about 40 minutes in the movie a secret panel is discovered on a fishing boat which houses equipment including the oscilloscope.
This scene clearly shows the 453 oscilloscope with five BNC cables attached: channel 1 input, channel 2 input, A triggering ext input, B triggering ext input, and cal out.
The 1974 British horror movie The Beast Must Die features a Telequipment S51B in two scenes.
The 1976 British series Children of the Stones features a Telequipment oscilloscope. Telequipment was a low cost oscilloscope manufacture located in Hoddesdon, UK, and their equipment was primarily aimed at the television and repair service industry. Tektronix purchased them in 1967 for a low cost entry and phased the brand out by the late 1970s. This D65 or D66 oscilloscope was introduced in the early 1970s and appears towards the end of episode 7.
The 1977 film Star Wars features a Grass Valley Group Model 1600 Switcher as the firing control on the Death Star.
This scene when the Death Star destroys Alderaan shows the Model 1600 Switcher in action.
In 1978 a number of Tektronix products including oscilloscopes, TM500 instruments, and 4051 computer graphic systems were used on the bridge of the television series Battlestar Galactica.
There are more photographs of Battlestar Galactica on the Starring The Computer web site. This image shows the 4051s along with numerous TM500 instruments.
This June 2, 1978 TekWeek featured more information the show. Click on the image to view the PDF.
This June 16, 1978 TekWeek featured a letter to the editor regarding the 4081.
Here is a sketch of the set layout.
The 1978 Season 7 Episode 4 of the TV Series Columbo How To Dial A Murder featured a scene with these two Tektronix RM503 oscilloscopes.
The 1979 British television series Tales Of The Unexpected had a Tektronix oscilloscope appear in season 1 episode 3, William and Mary.
This quick closeup shot confirms it is a Type 535A oscilloscope. You can even almost read the serial number.
The 1979 film Escape From Alcatraz, featuring Clint Eastwood, shows a Tektronix T922 oscilloscope as part of a walk through detector. This film is about the 1962 escape which precedes the introduction of the T922 by some 14 years. Apparently that Time Travelers move had some validity.
The logo on the T922 has been replaced with one that looks like "Vectrex".
The 1981 movie The Last Chase features a pair of Tektronix 400 series portable oscilloscopes. Only one is visible in this scene. The other is just barely visible at the left edge.
The 1983 movie Brainstorm shows several Tektronix products at about 98 minutes. We think the mainframe might be a 7603. The two plug-ins in the Type 200 Scope-Mobile are a 1S1 (left) and a Type Q (right) which of course don't go with the mainframe.
The 1983 movie Wargames features two different Tektronix and one Sony/Tek oscilloscopes. This scene at just over 31 minutes shows what looks like a 466 storage oscilloscope.
This scene at just over 1:40 shows two T922 oscilloscopes.
This scene at just over 1:52 shows a Sony/Tek 335 oscilloscope.
A Tektronix 4051 appears in the 1984 movie Seksmisja as featured on the Starring The Computer web site.
The 1984 movie Ghostbusters features a 1959 Cadillac Ambulance as their ECTO-1 vehicle. Although we believe the interior was never shown in detail in the movie, it contains a Tektronix RM561A oscilloscope with a 3A74 and 3B3 plug-ins. Information and photos of this ambulance is on Ghostbusters Cool Car - (external website).
This scene from the 1984 Repo Man movie shows a Type 520 Vectorscope and a 1480R Waveform Monitor.
This scene shows a Type 526 Vectorscope.
For 1985 through the present go to page 2.
If you know of any other shows or movies featuring Tektronix products let us know!