The invention of television and its early stages
| Television is the third invention after electricity and radio to have a life-shaping magnetic influence on the masses. The word television loosely means to see far. While public and commercial television stations address masses, cable stations try to attract audiences with specific tastes. Through closed-circuit television, security and surveillance problems are handled, and schools, businesses, hospitals augment their programs. |
Since many scientists were involved in the way the television technology has evolved, we cannot call any one person its inventor. Television was first thought to be possible as early as the 1800’s when it was understood that radio communication signals could be sent through the air.
In 1831 Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry were the first scientists to experiment with electromagnetism, therefore establishing a start for electrical communication. They were followed by Samuel Morse in 1844 with his invention of the telegraph and then by Abbe Giovanni Caselli, an Italian who first sent images over a distance using a pantelegraph. In 1873 two the Englishmen, May and Smith, used selenium and light with the idea to transform images into electrical signals. After George Carey’s system of selenium cells in 1880, Paul Nipkow patented the first mechanical television scanner in Germany. Marconi’s morse code by wireless also played a role in the development of television.
In 1906 Lee DeForest developed a vacuum tube to amplify signals, and using the German Carl Ferdinand Braun’s cathode-ray tube invented in 1897 with the Nipkow disk, Boris Rosing of Russia invented a system as the world’s first television in 1907. In 1908 A.A.Campbell-Swinton of Scotland came up with proposals of all electronic television.
In 1922 Philo T. Farnsworth, a sixteen year-old US citizen, developed an electrical scanning system. At about the same time in 1923, Iconoscope--an electronic camera tube--was patented by Vladimir Zworykin, who also produced the Kinescope, a picture display tube. John Logie Baird was the first to get an actual television picture, but Zworykin took the first patent for color television, being the one person who had made the most contribution during the first developmental stages of television.
In 1927, the pictures of Herbert Hoover, US Secretary of commerce, were sent over two hundred miles from Washington to New York, and in 1928 W2XBS became RCA’s first television station in New York City. That is when the first television star, Felix the Cat, was created. The first television drama, “The Queen’s Messenger,” also came to the screen in 1928. Still during this year, John Logie Baird sent London’s images to New York via shortwave. The first television commercial was in the air in 1930 by Charles Jenkins. Also in 1930, BBC started its regular programming. In 1931 VE9EC Canada’s first tv station and in the USA, RCA from the Empire State Building began transmissions on an experimental basis.
In 1935 France began its television transmissions from the Eiffel Tower and Germany established a three day-a-week transmission service. CBC in Canada was formed in 1936. Right that year, Allen B. Du Mont manufactured the first TV set for sale to the North American public.
An interesting highlight in television transmission happened during World War II. As soon as the war started in 1939, September 1, BBC television stopped broadcasting in the middle of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon, and in 1945, resumed the cartoon’s showing, starting where it left off in 1939.
By the time the first color television transmission started in 1951, there were over one hundred television stations in the USA. In 1979 there were three hundred million television sets flickering on and off, and by the year 2000, it was estimated to exist about one and a quarter billion television sets in operation worldwide