Saturday Test Pattern!


As a youngster I’d get up early in anticipation of Saturday morning cartoons. 

I had no sense of time back then and sometimes would wake before the networks would begin their broadcast. In those situations I’d stare with anticipation at the ‘test pattern’ on the TV until the cartoons began.

Central Vermont freight at East Northfield, Massachusetts on October 8, 1991. Kodachrome color slide exposed with a Nikon F3T and 200mm telephoto lens.

If you are seeing this post it’s because I’ve been too preoccupied with travel and the making of photographs to prepare a fresh post. If time permits, I’ll plan on posting again later in the day.

Tracking the Light aims to Posts Every Day, even when Brian is on the road.

PS: At least my ‘test pattern’ is an original photo with a train in it!

PPS: Do the network still feature test patterns? I haven’t watched early morning television in a very long time!

4 thoughts on “Saturday Test Pattern!”

  1. Looks like a caboose on the end of that train. Thought they had gone by 1985 except for long back-up movements with restricted sightings etc.

    DAN SMITH

    1. While most freight operations discontinued the use of cabooses in the mid 1980s, with cabooses becoming uncommon on road freights by about 1986, a few lines continued to use them regularly into the 1990s. Even today, there are a few applications for cabooses, although they tend to be used more as ‘shoving platforms’ for reverse moves, rather than manned offices.

  2. I’d be happy to look at this “Test Pattern” for quite a while. It’s a curious juxtaposition of features, but full of history and interest.

    Michael Walsh

  3. I think most OTA stations are on 24/7. I haven’t seen a test pattern since forever. I’m usually long asleep when one might show up, though.

Comments are closed.