A Brief History of Television

Television has become such a major part of our daily lives, so much in fact that it is hard for many of us to imagine life without it. TV is capable of providing entertainment for people of all ages. It is also a great resource for news, weather, information and advertising purposes. But the traditional television set was not always the multifunctional tool that we have grown so accustomed to. Lets take a look back at how TV sets have changed over the years and how it all began.

The Beginning of the Television Era

A variety of experiments performed by people in the fields of radio and electricity led to the invention of the technology that is still used today in modern TV sets. The first ever module of a television was developed by a student in Germany by the name of Paul Gottlieb in the late 1800’s. He was the first person successful in sending images through wires by using a rotating metal disk. This form of technology was referred to as the “Electric Telescope” and it featured 18 lines of resolution, which is far from the 4,000 lines we are able to view today on the most advanced TV models.

The first ever television system was invented by an American named Charles Jenkins. He used the same disk system that had been used by other inventors in the past to create the Radiovisor Model 100. This system was sold as a complete kit and was the first mechanical television to hit the shelves.

The First Electronic Television

The very first electronic television was invited by Philo Taylor Farnsworth. This working model of an electric TV was based on earlier inventions as well, including those created by A.A. Campbell Swinton and Russian scientist Boris Rosling who used a cathode ray tube to create a new type of television system. Philo’s experiments did away with all the mechanical aspects of the older models and eventually created the basic television system that is basis of all modern TVs.

Early TV Facts

  • The first mechanical TV station in the United States was W3XK. The station held its first broadcast on July 2, 1928.
  • The first American TV station to still be in operation today was WRGB in New York.
  • The first commercially produced TVs were created from John Baird’s design and were first shown to the public in 1928.
  • The very first electronic television sets were made in 1938.
  • In 1948 we were introduced to the first ever remote control. The device was known as the “Tele Zoom” and could only turn the TV set on and off. The first remote that could be used to change channels was the Flashmatic designed by Zenith in 1955.

As TV viewers, we have come a long way from the basic mechanical sets that we started out with. But one thing remains the same, people are still intrigued and amazed by all the new technology that TV and electronics companies can provide and we will continue to be impressed in the years to come.


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