THE OUTLOOK FOR
THE OUTLOOK FOR
ORRIN E. DUNLAP, JR., B.S.
Radio Editor, "The New York Times";
Author, "Dunlap's Radio Manual,"
" The Story of Radio," "Advertising
by Radio," "Radio in Advertising";
Member Institute of Radio
JOHN HAYS HAMMOND, JR.
President, Radio Engineering Company of New York, Inc.
WILLIAM S. PALEY
President, Columbia Broadcasting System
HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
NEW YORK AND LONDON
146 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
lished engineering and artistic precedents of basic impor
tance which have enabled the building up of mass communi
cation by radio telephony into a great industry. During
the last few years the technique of broadcasting has been
refined and the scope widened until, today, in 1930, it stands
as a highly developed and universally accepted form of ma
jor entertainment supplied to the people of the world.
"It is but natural to ask whether the amazing rate of
progress during the last ten years can be maintained, and
whether 1940 will see radio as far improved compared to the
present-day conditions as is the broadcasting of today when
compared to that of 1921," said Goldsmith. "To the public,
which is already well satisfied in the main with the excellent
performance of the better modern receivers and transmit
ting stations, it would offhand appear as if progress from
now on would be slower than in the past. Yet this theory is
extremely doubtful, and the scientists and engineers have
every reason to believe that not only electrical entertainment
in general, but also radio broadcasting in particular, will
improve in performance, convenience and scope, and at a
marked pace, as the years go on. New principles and meth
ods, as yet only in the minds of the inventors, or at best
in the laboratory, appear to beckon the radio art forward
to new accomplishments and triumphs.
IT Is 1940! "And so, vaulting over ten years, imagine
we are in 1940. Looking about at the field of electrical enter
tainment, what do we find?
"We enter the radio broadcasting studio of 1940. The
microphones are nowhere in evidence for the methods used
so successfully in 1930 for sound motion picture production,
with remote and concealed microphone, will have found
their place in broadcasting. Devices oddly like cameras will
point at the actors, picking up their images for television
transmission, perhaps in color. Motion picture cameras are
in evidence. The studio, with its special backgrounds and
VAULTING ACROSS TEN YEARS 147
furnishings, will look much more like the stage of a theater
or a motion picture studio than like the orderly room which
it resembled in 1930. Television pick-up men and camera
men, sound recordists and control room experts are busily
at work. Actors troop out of their dressing rooms in the
costume suited to their performance. Their words and their
appearance are carried instantaneously by wire line or radio
connection to a multitude of outlet stations.
"In the control room, provision is made in the case of
the more important broadcasts to record both the picture
and the sound of the performance, either on photographic
film or on some equivalent material. The cameras are taking
pictures of the television performance which is being broad
cast. Thus, the public can purchase sound motion picture
records of any particularly attractive or historically impor
tant broadcast whicli has been presented. School children
and their parents will have the advantage of seeing and
hearing historical events which have been recorded for them
at the same time as they were broadcast.
MAN'S NEW SERVANT. "Entering the living room of
1940 one might judge from the preceding description that
all the electrical entertaining devices to which reference
has been made would prevent the owner of the home from
entering the living room because of the congestion of the
pieces of furniture. Yet such is not the case. Instead of sev
eral cabinets each containing a single instrument, the elec
trical entertaining equipment is assembled in relatively few
cabinets and in some cases even in a single cabinet known
as the electrical entertainer. Essentially the electrical enter
tainer requires only two outlet portions, namely, a screen
for showing a picture and a loudspeaker for producing a
sound. Back of the screen is arranged either the television
projector or the sound motion picture projector, or both.
The educational and entertainment possibilities of such a
device are limitless.
THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
COPYRIGHT, 1932, BY ORRIN E. DUNLAP, JR.
PRINTED IN THE U. 8. A.
HELEN and ARTHUR
INTRODUCTION BY JOHN HAYS HAMMOND, JR. xi
FOREWORD BY WILLIAM S. PALEY xiii
Part I. Television The Great Kaleidoscope
I. THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD S
II. RADIO Is GIVEN EYES 18
III. AN ELECTRIC HEART THROBS IN SPACE 31
Part II. The March of Television Begins
IV. EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 47
V. LIFE Is INSTILLED IN THE IMAGES 65
Part III. A New Decade in Radio Vision
VI. SEEING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC 79
VII. TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 91
VIII. FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 106
IX. A CASTLE AND CITY OF DREAMS 127
X. VAULTING ACROSS TEN YEARS 145
Part IV. The Calendar Turns Again
XI. TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 159
XII. TINY WAVES THAT SEE 176
XIII. A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 192
Part V. A Glimpse Ahead
XIV. TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 221
XV. FACES AND SCENES ADRIFT 251
The possible effect of television on various fields of
human activity is discussed by
BRUCE BARTON, advertising and publications 260
REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD E. BYRD, exploration 260
DR. GEORGE B. CUTTEN, education 261
DR. LEE DE FOREST, home and the theater 262
BISHOP JAMES E. FREEMAN, religion 263
MAJOR-GENERAL JAMES G. HARBORD, war 263
COLONEL THEODORE ROOSEVELT, politics 264
S. L. ROTHAFEL (Roxr), the stage and screen 265
CALENDAR OF WIRELESS-RADIO-TELEVISION 266
TELEVISION STATIONS IN UNITED STATES AND CANADA 288
The purpose of this book is to reveal the romance of tele
vision and its commercial possibilities ; to record historically
the evolution of a new era in radio science ; and to explain its
magic. Today it is clenched in the hands of fate, ready to be
freed and unfettered for a flight through space to entertain
and to educate mankind.
Television is traced here step by step in chronological
order, with dates accurately listed, so that no important
advance in its development will be neglected or lost. It is
necessary to go back a bit into radio to pick up the scienti
fic threads from which the television pattern is woven.
The idea of seeing across wires and through space is not
new. Television has been envisioned for years. Its historic
record discloses the long route man travels to discover new
scientific theories and truths. It reveals how quick man is to
discard the old and grasp new ideas that carry him toward
his goal. On these pages are found descriptions, of various
electrical systems, devices, and ideas devoted to the search
for television, that man may eventually see to the ends of
The author has beerij privileged to discuss the science of
seeing by radio with Marconi, deForest, Alexanderson, Ives,
John Baird, and other contemporaries in television research.
Their outstanding characteristic is modesty, a quiet, unex-
cited nature. They speak softly. They are not publicity-
seekers. They do not boast. They all realize that television
is just beginning and that they are faced with numerous
problems, some of which another generation will be called
upon to solve. They refrain from whimsical prophecy.
When some fantastic use of television is suggested, they
smile and throw up their arms, more amazed than the lay
man. Their task is to make television practical.
The inventions here mentioned, the men whose ideas point
the way, stand as the beacon lights of television. What future
generations achieve will tower on the bedrock that the men
of yesterday and today leave behind. The images and scenes
that girdle the earth even one hundred years hence will have
in the power of their wings the hours of toil, the disappoint
ments, and the triumphs of the men who breathed life into
television from 1880 to 1933.
NEW YORK CITY.
0. E. D., JR.
In radio the gold rush is over. The incredible growth of
this infant of industries brought into its onrush all those
opportunists who are ready at a moment's notice to become
anything that will bring them money. Radio engineers de
veloped overnight, sales experts talked glibly of circuits,
and attics were transformed in a few days to manufactories
for radio equipment. The depression will, among the many
good things that it is contributing, probably put radio on a
basis of sounder economics.
It is my belief that this industry will cast off those who
gamble on its future and will retain those who revere it as a
splendid science and who are willing to serve it in a truly
scientific sense. Much engineering lies ahead of us; the
major problems of fading and static are as vital today as
twenty years ago. The limitations of the natural medium
through which our stations operate are becoming daily more
definitely understood. Efficiency in our engineering results
is our goal. While much of the poetry of radio is disappear
ing, none of its romance has been lost.
I often feel that it is dangerous to prophesy too definitely
on the technical future of a science. The obvious seldom hap
pens, and so often collateral developments take place around
an industry which are outgrowths of it, and which at times
grow into greater magnitude than the parent industry it
The great field of electronics is leading the vacuum tube
into a hundred uses which none of us could foresee a decade
ago. It is a far cry from the reception of radio signals to
the segregation of coffee beans, but the vacuum tube has in
its versatility become the key mechanism in both operations.
Undoubtedly, the functions we now see taking place in
the technique of radio apparatus will lead into vast fields
of human endeavor, and even the imagination of the in
ventor can only arrive at a vision of these new fields in a
slow, laborious manner. The coordination of human knowl
edge, the constant overlapping of problems in diversified
industries, and the closer engineering contacts now estab
lished between scientists and engineers in different fields
will produce new sciences in ever increasing numbers.
Inventing is getting to be easier. We have at hand so
many new facts to handle and to reassemble. It is possible
to move ahead more swiftly now, for many of the snags
have been removed by the technical experience of others.
There is also the growing freemasonry of sympathetic
help in one science toward another. Many of the theological
and social aims are achieved daily and unconsciously by those
who are cooperating in the cause of science and the fight
for the truth.
Today, television is opening its eyes!
JOHN HAYS HAMMOND, JR.
While the Morses, Fultons, and Watts were greeted with
incredulity, even open resentment, when the secrets they had
locked within their laboratories were bared to the public,
television is being born into a new and different world.
Today the public is demanding "When" even more vocifer
ously than it asks "How."
Predictions that visual broadcasting will serve as some
genii opening up new worlds of culture and contentment,
outstrip the achievements of today, even if they do not go
beyond the possibilities which are apparent to all of us who
have had some practical contact with this new application
of science and art.
We are asked insistently every day, when will visual trans
mission develop to a state of perfection with definite and
clear images flashing through the ether into the home? We
are quizzed as to when will the television receiving-set be
able to etch vividly the tense play of a football game on a
distant field? When will radio-without-sight become as obso
lete as motion-pictures-without-sound?
Mr. Dunlap's book is published as these questions become
more numerous and may do much to indicate the answer to
them. For my own part, I find prophecy impossible. I be
lieve, in view of the many good minds working on television's
problems and in view of the elaborate facilities made avail
able for modern-day research, that the perfection of tele
vision is as certain as tomorrow's sunrise. But to predict its
perfection is one thing and to prophesy its applications is
The possibilities are so varied and the implications so
many-sided that it is impossible to forecast even a small por-
tion of the uses of visual broadcasting. Enough to say, it
should bring a new era in educational entertainment, should
become the greatest force for education ever developed. Its
perfection should mean the development of new forms of
dramatic and musical presentation works planned to fit a
new medium and developed to take full advantage of its
But to name a date is to get ahead of the technicians and
scientists who are working day and night to resolve the
riddle of sight transmission. When they have finished their
lonely job of scientific pioneering, there will be many ready
to apply those principles to everyday life.
WILLIAM S. PALEY.
TELEVISION THE GREAT KALEIDOSCOPE
THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD
THE world is on the threshold of a great forward move
ment in mass communication transmission and reception
of sound and sight combined. Just as the incandescent lamp
guided man out of the dark ages and the motor-car extended
his highways, so radio came to introduce a kind of armchair
civilization. The snap of a switch brings music, drama, and
speech delivered wholesale to a multitude who tap the electri
cal flow on a slender copper wire. The science of broadcast
ing presents the world with new instruments for reaching a
populace of many millions. And so the machine age has
ushered in an era of electrical entertainment, the next act of
which is television ! It is a gigantic force looming to take its
place beside the press, the talking picture, and radio broad
casting as a powerful instrumentality for entertainment and
Television is a science and an art endowed with incalcu
lable possibilities and countless opportunities. It will enable
a large part of the earth's inhabitants to see and to hear
one another without leaving their homes. Sight on the wings
of radio is an easy, quick, and economical means of spread
ing knowledge and information. Eventually it will bring
nations face to face, and make the globe more than a mere
whispering-gallery. Radio vision is a new weapon against
hatred and fear, suspicion and hostility.
Revolutions in modes of communication have always made
the world more interesting. The word of mouth, the scratch
of a pen, the metallic clicks of the telegraph, the spoken
words of the telephone, the buzzing dots and dashes of wire
less, the music and voices of broadcasting, all worked vast
4 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
changes for individuals and institutions. And now trans
mission of sight by invisible waves in space is destined to
stretch man's horizon and to stimulate new interest among
a great variety of people and things.
The curtain is rising on a new era, a sort of educational
renaissance, far removed from the age of exploration and
adventure that beckoned man into new environment, tested
his courage and called for strenuous physical endeavor to
carve villages out of the wilderness. A new wizardry is evolv
ing in which the eye is restricted no more than the ear.
Television is the science of seeing by radio or wire.
Electrically it prolongs the optic nerve empowering the
human eye to scan a distant scene or person. Tele is Greek
for "at a distance." Video is the Latin verb meaning "I
see." Thus the Caesars might have said, televideo "I see
at a distance."
Television in reality is a second-sight, officially defined as
the electrical transmission of a succession of images and
their reception in such a way as to give a substantially con
tinuous and simultaneous reproduction of the object or
scene before the eyes of a remote observer.
The wonder-working eye that does the trick in this en
chanted science is the photoelectric cell. Photo is derived
from the Greek word phos, meaning light> while electric is
from the Greek electron and the Latin electrum meaning
amber. Thales of Miletus was first to notice that when amber
is rubbed it becomes capable of attracting light bodies such
as bits of paper or straw; that was the first electrical
phenomenon produced by man.
This photoelectric "eye" is sensitive to light. It represents
the combined action of light and electricity. When properly
wired and subjected to illumination it transforms lights and
shadows into corresponding electrical impulses, which flow
through the air as electromagnetic waves or along the wires
THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD 5
The next touch of magic at the receiving station is to
convert the waves back into electricity and then into light
without losing the identity of the originally televised scene.
The photoelectric cell in its performance does for light what
the microphone does for sound. The microphone is radio's
ear ; the photoelectric cell is the eye.
Television has not arrived over any short highway of
science. There have been no short cuts. It has been a long,
tedious journey which began almost a hundred years ago.
The road has been strewn with obstacles. And, while some,
who lived in the mauve decade and beyond, dreamed of see
ing across wires or through space, they were none too sure
that it might be practical. The experimenters encountered
many barriers of discouragement. It was not until about
1920 that man was convinced that he had within grasp the
perfected instruments necessary for broadcasting voices,
music, and sundry sounds. He then began to realize that the
next logical step would be to combine sound and sight in
In the haste of this day one is likely to award all the
laurels to the research workers of the present age for de
veloping television. Before doing this, however, some trib
ute should be given the tireless workers who years ago had
the foresight to attempt transmission of pictures by wire
and later by wireless. The pioneers were handicapped. They
lacked the devices, which only time could bring forth, to
make their dreams come true. They erected signs along the
highway of scientific knowledge, pointing toward the goal
THOSE WHO SHARE THE HONORS. Television is not the
triumph of any one man, but of many. No one can be called
the inventor. Naturally, the first experiments in transmis
sion of pictures were by wire. Radio was too elusive. There
were no vacuum tubes for amplification, no sensitive electric
eye, in fact, no wireless, in the days when Alexander Bain,
6 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
of London, in 1842, arranged metal letters on a conducting
plate at a sending station and a chemically prepared paper
on a similar plate at the receiving end of the line. Narrow
conducting brushes, mounted side by side on an insulated
strip, were moved slowly over their respective plates. The
brushes at corresponding positions at the two stations were
connected by individual wires so that when contact was made
with the metal letters, current passed through the paper,
producing a discoloration in the form of the letters at the
sending terminal. Obviously this system required far too
F. C. Bakewell, of England, in 1847, using two metal
cylinders driven at the same speed, transmitted a graph
drawn with an insulating ink of shellac on one drum for
interrupting the current to a chemical paper on the other.
A single brush in contact with its rotating drum was given
a slow longitudinal motion, causing it to trace a spiral on
the drum, thereby transversing the entire area of the graph.
Only one wire was needed between the stations, with a ground
return. Man is indebted to him for two fundamental ideas,
namely, the use of rotating cylinders and the longitudinal
motion of the exploring element, both of which are still widely
used in photoradio and in transmission of pictures by wire.
A man named May, an operator in the Atlantic cable
station at Valencia, Ireland, observed by chance that light
shining through a window on some selenium resistance units
unbalanced, his bridge circuit. A few years later, in 1873,
Willoughby Smith, employing selenium as a resistance, was
annoyed by its instability. He investigated the source of the
variations and made the important discovery that its resis
tance decreased with the intensity of the light falling upon
it. After that selenium was used by many of the pioneer
experimenters in picture transmission.
It was Philip Reis, of Germany, who advanced the theory
that light falling upon selenium liberates electrons which
THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD 7
assist in conducting the current. An investigation by Elster
and Geitel, in 1889, disclosed that various elements possess
photoelectric properties that is, they emit electrons when
illuminated. Among these metals are thalium, strontium,
lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium and caesium.
Stoletow, in 1890, made the first photoelectric cell, using
zinc for the cathode, which necessitated ultra-violet light as
an exciting agent. Electrons were attracted to a platinum
plate which was made positive with respect to the zinc by a
high-voltage battery. The photoelectric cell was further de
veloped to its present state of sensitivity by the proper
handling of these electro-positive, chemically active metals
in a vacuum.
Despite the fact that he lacked the present-day devices
and ideas, N. S. Amstutz, an American, in 1890, is credited
with having sent the first successful picture with half-tone
over a twenty-five-mile wire line in eight minutes.
Professor Arthur Korn, in Germany, about 1902, wrapped
a photographic negative around a glass cylinder which was
rotated and at the same time moved along its axis so that
light from a point source traversed every portion of the
negative. The amount of light passing through it on a
selenium cell varied with the density of the negative, thereby
producing a variation in the line current transmitted to a
distant station. Korn sent a picture of President Fallieres
of France from Berlin to Paris by wire in twelve minutes in
A< serious objection to selenium was its slow response to
rapid variations of light intensities. History records, how
ever, that the results obtained by Amstutz, Witherspoon,
Korn, Ruhmer, Belin, Leishman, and others were of fair
quality. Little did these pioneers realize, when experiment
ing with picture transmission and electromagnetic waves,
that some of their observations and discoveries would eventu-
8 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
ally lead to a worldwide communication system and to an
international sound-sight theater of the air.
HERTZ PRODUCES THE WAVES. Heinrich Hertz, of
Karlsruhe, Germany, confirmed Clerk Maxwell's theory of
ether waves in 1886, by creating and detecting electro
magnetic waves. Incidentally, that is why radio waves are
sometimes called Hertzian waves. Hertz also discovered in
his experiments with wireless waves that ultra-violet light
falling on a spark gap permitted an electric discharge to
take place more readily than when the gap was in darkness.
An allied effect was uncovered the next year when Wil-
helm Hallswach, a German physicist, noticed a well-insulated
and negatively charged body lost its charge when illumi
nated with ultra-violet light. Today man can look back and
see in those observations highly important theoretical begin
nings in the evolution of television. But in 1888 those strange
electrical effects were too feeble to suggest anything of
A serious handicap encountered by early experimenters
was lack of electrical amplification. Invention of the two-
element valve by John Ambrose Fleming, in 1904, cast some
hope in this direction, although it was a detector rather than
an amplifier. Finally, in 1906, a remarkable advance was
made when Lee deForest, invented the three-element vacuum
tube, which he named the audion. It gave the weak currents
renewed strength. It was exactly the device which telephony
and radio had long been awaiting. The vacuum tube gives
electricity from the photoelectric cell real power; con
sequently, what once appeared to be trivial sparks and
minute electrical impulses, have surged into a powerful
radio force that gives wings to sound and sight. The audion
strengthened television's eyes.
PHOTORADIO LEADS THE WAY. It is natural that the
first step in the evolution of television should have been wire
less, under which name the medium developed. Then came
THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD 9
sound broadcasting as an advance from the dots and dashes.
Facsimile transmission was next to be followed by motion
pictures in the air, just as the stereopticon pointed the way
to the silent cinema and the talkies.
Captain Richard Ranger contributed to photoradio or
picturegrams. It was on May 7, 1925, his invention was used
to send war game pictures and maps 5,136 miles in 20
minutes from New York to Honolulu. A photographic film
revolved on a glass cylinder over which played a powerful
needle or pencil of light. The black detail of the picture
checked the light passage and the lighter areas let it get
through. This light of varying intensity fell upon a photo
electric cell which transformed the light into electrical im
pulses so controlled that the pattern of the original picture
was preserved at the distant receiving point. Briefly, the
picture was first traced in light. The light was converted into
electrical current. The current was amplified a few million
times and broadcast. At the receiver the radio signal was
intercepted and again converted into electrical current,
which operated a pencil of light that resketched the picture
on a paper wound around a cylinder revolving in step with
the one at the transmitter.
The Ranger apparatus was utilized on April 20, 1926,
to send a picturegram of a $1,000 check from London to
New York where it was cashed by the Bankers Trust Com
pany. It was signed by Major General James G. Harbord.
On June 11, 1927, pictures were radioed from London
and from Hawaii to the Massachusetts Institute of Tech
nology dinner in New York by means of an improved Ran
ger system. In this demonstration a stream of hot air driven
through a small bore muzzle moved to and fro across a
special paper treated with nickel. The incoming radio signals
operated the hot-air gun, the heat from which turned the
paper on the revolving cylinder from white to sepia wher
ever its pencil-like line traced. In this way it reconstructed
10 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
line by line pictures flashed by facsimile radio from sta
tions across the sea.
AMONG THE CONTEMPORARIES. Year after year many
scientists, assisted by a corps of research experts, have come
forward to add their magic touch and knowledge to the
progress of television. The advance has been slow and at
times discouraging. But they plodded on. At last their fame
began to grow rapidly, after broadcasting got under way
in 1920. The achievement in perfecting the sound broad
casts gave them a strong foundation and bridged several
gaps enabling them to concentrate on the development of
seeing by radio.
Prominent among the contemporaries who have devoted
their time and energies to television are : Dr. Ernst Frederik
Werner Alexanderson, Dr. Herbert E. Ives, John Logic
Baird, Vladimir Zworykin, John Hays Hammond, Jr., Dr.
August Karolus, Philo T. Farnsworth, Ulisses A. Sanabria,
R. D. Kell, development engineer, who assisted Alexander-
son and Zworykin, C. Francis Jenkins, and a host of workers
who have faithfully toiled with these men to rush the perfec
tion of instruments that enable their fellow men to see by
Hans Knudsen is credited with sending a photograph by
wireless in 1909. And in 1910, A. Ekstrom, a Swedish in
ventor, discovered he could scan an object directly by a
strong light beam. He placed the source of light on one side
of a scanning disk and the light-sensitive element or "eye"
on the other side.
BACK IN 1884. Paul Nipkow of Germany, a farsighted
youth, has the distinction of inventing the spirally per
forated scanning disk which was indispensable in early tele
vision. He introduced the device in 1884. His idea was to
dissect pictures using a light-sensitive cell, a lens and a scan
ning disk. This was the underlying principle of the first
THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD 11
The trick has always been to discover more scientific
methods of this form of radio surgery and to secure the
benefits of intense illumination. The scene or image must be
cut up into tiny fragments for broadcasting. At the receiv
ing end the pieces are plucked from space and woven into
a duplicate of the original picture. Each line must be painted
electrically in proper sequence else the identity is lost. Thou
sands and thousands of dots of light flit across the screen,
but the eye is not fast enough to see them all. It catches
sight of only the complete picture.
JENKINS BEGINS TO SEARCH. Nipkow ran into many
obstacles. The light-sensitive cells of that time were not fast
enough to reproduce images in motion. He lacked the neon
lamp, the cathode ray tube and the photoelectric cells which
helped others in later years.
C. Francis Jenkins, in 1890, began the search for new
appliances that Nipkow's disk needed for success. He began
by dropping pennies in a slot machine and watching the
strange, animated images. At the Atlanta Cotton Exposi
tion in 1895, he demonstrated motion pictures. Then the
idea occurred to him to send pictures by wireless.
He was a pioneer in attracting the American public's at
tention to television. As early as 1922 he predicted motion
pictures by radio in the home, and that "entire opera may
some day be shown in the home without hindrance of muddy
roads." In 1923, he placed a portrait of President Harding
in a camera-like aif air at the Naval Radio Station in Wash
ington and it was plucked from the air 130 miles away, atop
the Evening Bulletin Building in Philadelphia. Two years
later Jenkins predicted that miniature motion picture
screens would some day be attached to radio sets in every
household. He conducted experiments along this line and
announced that he expected "to stage a radio-vision show
with the talent performing at the broadcasting station and
the audience watching at the receiving station miles away."
12 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
He invited government officials to watch the blades of his
windmill-like machine casting images, blurred but neverthe
less distinguishable on a screen.
OTHERS TAKE UP THE WORK. Dr. Ernst F. W. Alexan-
derson, in "the House of Magic" at Schenectady, directed
intense research in radio vision, in sending and receiving
images and in wave propagation. His fame spread, when in
1930 he showed television pictures on a theater screen six
by seven feet.
Dr. Herbert E. Ives, electro-optical research director of
the Bell Telephone Laboratories, was the first to show a
radio camera that would televise outdoor scenes without the
glare of artificial lights. Later he demonstrated television in
color, and next two-way television in which the speakers at
the ends of a telephone line saw each other as they conversed.
John L. Baird thrilled London with radio vision. He de
veloped the instruments that enabled the officer of an ocean
liner to see a pretty girl on land 1,000 miles away. He sent a
face across the sea and later televised the English Derby.
It was John Hays Hammond, Jr., who in 1930 revealed
he had patented an electrical system equipped with a tele
vision eye to aid aircraft in landing at airports, no matter
how thick the fog or how inky black the night.
Vladimir Zworykin won recognition by developing a tele
vision receiver which utilized the cathode ray tube, and thus
dispensed with the scanning disk and other movable parts.
He simplified the apparatus and made it more commercially
practical for home use. He scanned the object electrically
instead of mechanically.
Philo Farnsworth did likewise in his California laboratory
and then came east to Philadelphia to develop his receiving
machine. He said the system he employed required only a
narrow pathway in the radio spectrum.
Dr. August Karolus perfected an electro-chemical light
valve which facilitated more powerful illumination of the
THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD 13
object to be televised. It controlled the flow of light with
great rapidity. Up to this time all mechanical shutters had
failed to operate at sufficient speed. The Karolus valve
helped to push television ahead.
Hollis Baird (no relation to John L. Baird of Scotland)
conducted television experiments with mechanical scanning
at Boston. He developed a scanner in the form of a horizon
tal metal plate called a "spider," which supported a nar
row strip of thin steel perforated with square holes.
Ulisses A. Sanabria, in April, 1931, showed television on
a two-foot screen in his Chicago laboratory. The close-ups
were described as "marvelous." Sanabria used what he called
a "lens disk," a solid aluminum wheel with forty-five lenses
sunk into it. A zipping daub of light caused by the disk re
volving at a high speed flooded the screen with light. He
tinted some of the faces by employing a neon-mercury gas
in a special lamp designed by Warren B. Taylor. Later
Sanabria demonstrated images on a ten-foot screen at the
1931 Radio-Electrical World's Fair in New York.
Thousands went to the exhibition to see the images. The
man in the street began to ask "What is this thing called
KENNELLY'S DEFINITION. And for those who want to
know, Arthur E. Kennelly, professor of electrical engineer
ing at Harvard University, defined television and explained
the process in the Annals of the American Academy of Polit
ical and Social Science as "the instantaneous transmission
to a distance, of the image of an object, so that the persons
at the receiver can see the reproduced image and thus in a
certain sense see the object itself.
"There is a crude resemblance between the principle of
television and that of telephotography," said Kennelly. "In
both there is a rotating pair of similar elements running in
close synchronism, so that corresponding points in the sent
and received pictures are simultaneously projected. Whereas,
14 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
however, the photographic films in telephotography may
take several minutes to execute from beginning to end, in
the case of television, the two pictures must be completely
covered in about one sixteenth of a second, in order that the
eye may see the whole surface as a single picture.
"In one form of the apparatus, a bright beam of light is
caused to travel in a definitely repeated manner, over the
object to be televiewed, with the aid of a series of holes in
a rapidly revolving disk. The light, reflected from successive
areas of the object, is directed to a photoelectric cell, in
such a manner that bright spots on the object simulate
strong currents in the cell, and dark spots feeble currents.
These currents, greatly amplified, are delivered to the air
at the sending mast.
"A minute fraction of the emitted wave energy is picked
up at the receiving mast and delivered, after reamplification,
to control the instantaneous intensity of a beam of light from
a local source, directed through holes in the receiving disk,
to corresponding parts of the received picture. The bright
and dark spots of the sending picture will then reappear
as corresponding bright and dark parts of the received
picture. In this way, several thousand successive points in
the sending picture will, one by one, be reproduced in the
received picture, all run over sixteen times per second.
Changes in the form and brightness of the object will simul
taneously appear in the reproduced image at the receiving
MARCONI'S CONQUEST. Few fathers have been able to
predict the destiny of their child with the accuracy that
Guglielmo Marconi has been able to foresee the steps that
his wireless would take from year to year. He has always
looked ahead to the day when wireless vision would be a
Early in 1931 he was asked how soon he thought television
would be practical.
THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD 15
"Television is the highest grade in the art of communica
tion and it is rapidly benefiting from the improvements made
in the lower grades of the art-telephonic and rapid picture
transmission," said the inventor. "I think that when the lat
ter are further perfected we may be close to practical tele
The history of wireless leads on to television. Although
Marconi in the nineties did not attempt to send pictures, he
pioneered in television when sending dots and dashes across
his father's estate at Bologna, Italy. The men who chopped
the pathway through the forests for the first transcon
tinental railroad did just as much for the advance in trans
portation as those who laid the track. Marconi by discover
ing how to utilize wireless waves for communication cut the
pathway through the sky over which the television images
of the twentieth century could travel from city to city and
from nation to nation.
"What that means for mankind no one can even guess,"
said Sir George R. Parkin, a professor at Upper Canada
College, after he saw Marconi send the first west-east wire
less message from Glace Bay in 1902. "The path to com
plete success may still be long and difficult. Between George
Stephenson's Tuffing Billy' and the great mogul engine
which swings the limited express across the American con
tinent, there lies three quarters of a century of endeavor,
experiment and invention. But in the great original idea lay
the essential thing which has revolutionized the world and
the conditions of transportation. I came away from Glace
Bay with the feeling that Mr. Marconi's modest confidence
in his work will in the end be justified by results. Meanwhile,
patience may still be necessary. Weeks, months, even years
may be required to bring the system to complete efficiency."
THE INVENTOR RECOLLECTS. Twenty-five years after
this triumph at Glace Bay, Marconi called the spanning of
16 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
long distances by radio child's play compared with the un
certain task in 1902.
"A quarter century ago the instruments we had at our
disposal were very crude compared with those we have to
day," said the inventor. "We had no vacuum tubes, no
sensitive superheterodynes, no amplifiers, no directional
transmitters and receivers, and no way of making continuous
waves. All we had for transmitting was the means of making
crude damped spark waves, which did not permit the ac
curate tuning we have today.
"As to the application of wireless in the future I am al
ways averse from entering into the realm of prophecy, but
perhaps I might suggest that, apart from the ordinary
transmission and reception of wireless messages there is a
possibility that the transmission of power over moderate
distances may be developed, and that television will become
an actuality. I must leave to your imagination the uses
which can be made of these new powers. They will probably
be as wonderful as anything of which we have had experience
"Looking back at our old difficulties, the ease and perfec
tion recently achieved by radio, especially in regard to
broadcasting, appears little short of miraculous. It shows us
what can be done by the combination of a great number of
workers all intent on securing improved results. And how
many, who began as amateurs, have contributed in one form
or another to the progress and success?
"We are yet, however, in my opinion a very long way
from being able to utilize electric waves to anything like
their full extent, but we are learning gradually how to use
the wireless waves and how to utilize space, and thereby
humanity has attained a new force, a new weapon which
knows no frontiers, a new method for which space is no
obstacle, a force destined to promote peace by enabling us
THE LONG ROAD INVENTORS TROD 17
better to fulfill what has always been essentially a human
need that of communication with one another."
Thus television has been launched. Its commercial and
aesthetic possibilities are seen as tremendous. Research ex
perts are at work refining the instruments, clarifying the
images, enlarging the pictures on the screen and preparing
for the inevitable welcome at the firesides of all nations
but much work remains to be done.
RADIO IS GIVEN EYES
WHEN man discovered that he could send dots and dashes
through space without the use of interconnecting wires he
called it wireless. The next logical step was to extend the
range of the voice by radio, and that was called radio teleph
ony. Then the ether, or whatever that mysterious medium
is that occupies all space, was caused to vibrate with music
and entertainment. This new magic that entertains millions
of listeners simultaneously in their homes was called broad
casting. The next move was to broadcast sight. That is called
television. And so the sound broadcasts reach the brain
through the ears while radio vision is for the eyes "those
marvelous little mechanisms, which stand as twin entrances
to the brain."
Light enables the eyes to see. Man cannot see behind him
or around corners unless he uses mirrors or lenses to bend
or reflect the light. The motorist sees what is on the high
way behind him by means of a little mirror above the wind
shield. The sailor in the submarine glimpses above the sur
face of the sea through the spyglass of the periscope. The
soldier scrutinizes the landscape with powerful binoculars.
The astronomer with his wondrous telescope peers far out
into the heavens to scan other worlds. The scientist sees the
bacillus by use of the microscope. And now by television the
range of the optics is given greater scope. Man can literally
look through mountains, through thick walls and across the
sea. Television removes barriers, which throughout the ages
have restricted the range of the human eye.
Distance will not limit television in its ultimate form.
Radio, the wings upon which the scenes travel, has skill to
RADIO IS GIVEN EYES 19
girdle the globe at the speed of light. It empowers man to
talk around the world in the twinkling of an eye. It will
enable him to see around the earth. Television ignores mist,
smoke, clouds and darkness. It looks through the blackness
of the night.
Just as radio brings the chirp of a canary, the buzz of a
bee, the whisper of a child or the moan of a violin across the
horizon to vibrate the eardrum, so does television prolong
the optic nerve so that it may distinguish scenes and people
in action far across the countryside.
BARRIERS ARE CONQUERED. When three stars hang on a
door in the Bell Telephone Laboratories they mean "posi
tively no admittance." And those about the place know some
thing important is going on inside. The stars glitter from
time to time on the door of the television laboratory. That
means a new theory has been found and the research experts
are testing its practicability. And when theories are lacking
a game of checkers may be in order. Checkers rest the mind
and then new ideas are likely to crop out.
It was April, 1927, when the research engineers left their
three-starred room of mystery to demonstrate what they
could do with television between New York and Washington,
D. C. They proved beyond a doubt that it is physically prac
tical to make an extensible optic nerve although it is physio
logically an impossibility.
On November 26, 1927, in an address before the Associa
tion of Science Teachers of the Middle States, John Mills,
of the Bell Laboratories, proclaimed for the engineers that
no longer did the eye of man require a free, clear, straight
path to view a distant object, scene or person. Television
is at a stage where it places the eye in a satisfactory posi
tion to view distant objects, because radio transmits observa
tions through intervening barriers, which the eye without
television cannot penetrate.
Those who listened to Mills at this meeting in Atlantic
20 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
City were told at the beginning that to understand television
one must realize that the first lesson involves an elementary
exposition of physics and chemistry as well as electricity and
radio. In as non-technical a way as possible he revealed the
wizardry of the research experts who had succeeded in pro
longing the sensitive optic nerve that runs from the eye to
the brain. And this is how it is done.
"An electric eye is placed before the object, which must
be sufficiently illuminated in order to be observed in an
electrical manner," said Mills. "To the location of the distant
spectator there stretches an electrical circuit through which
the electric eye transmits its observations. Figuratively
speaking, this circuit acts as an extension to the optic nerve.
Unlike an actual nerve channel it cannot terminate directly
in the brain of the observer. Therefore, it terminates in cer
tain electrical equipment the viewing apparatus, which re
produces as a picture the scene viewed by the distant
electric eye. The observer does not see the scene itself. What
he sees is an image of the scene, its optical counterpart.
Flashes of light, originated in the viewing apparatus by the
action of the distant electric eye, create for his eyes a visible
presentation of the scene. The effect is much the same as if
he viewed a small and very bright screen-presentation of a
motion picture or cinema reproduction of the distant scene.
AKIN TO TELEPHONY. "In certain respects the appara
tus and methods of television are like those of telephony.
One is an aid to seeing, and the other to hearing. One re
produces remote scenes for an observer, and the other distant
sounds for the listener. In telephony an 'electric ear' is
placed near the source of the sound. This is the familiar
transmitter, an electro-mechanical device which is sensitive
to sound waves. By it the mechanical action of the sound
waves is converted into an electrical effect. When sound
waves impinge upon its diaphragm electrical currents arise ;
the motions of the electrons, the minute particles of elec-
RADIO IS GIVEN EYES 21
tricity which constitute these currents, correspond and are
similar to the motions of the molecules of air which con
stitute the sound waves. The telephone transmitter, in other
words, is a sound-sensitive device which can give rise to an
electrical current, corresponding in its variations to sound
waves and thus embodying any speech significance they
"At the other end of the telephone circuit is the tele
phone receiver, an 'electric mouth' which can utter sounds
such as those of human speech. It is an electro-mechanical
device, by the action of which electrical currents are con
verted into mechanical effects. When the current embodies
the variations of a sound wave the diaphragm of the re
ceiver vibrates and the adjacent molecules of air are forced
into a corresponding wave motion. The telephone receiver is
a sound-active device."
A CHANNEL Is ESSENTIAL. There must be an interven
ing channel for passage of the electrical energy; and this
path may be wire, radio or a combination of both. Radio
transmitting instruments, on the other hand, comprise an
electrical means for converting the energy of electrons, mov
ing as a current in a wire, into electromagnetic waves that
travel through space. It is the duty of the receiving set to
reconvert the invisible wave motion into electrical current.
Thus, in television, similarly, the channel between the
terminal apparatus may be entirely wire or part of it radio.
So far as the passage of electrical energy is concerned, tele
phone and television systems are essentially the same. The
terminal apparatus differ, of course, but are analogous.
Television requires a light-sensitive mechanism which acts
as an eye, instead of a sound-sensitive device (microphone)
which functions as the mouthpiece. And the distant observer
needs a light-active device which originates light, instead of
a sound-active mechanism (loudspeaker). The light-sensi
tive, electric eye converts the energy of light rays into elec-
22 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
trical energy moving in wires ; the light-active neon lamps
reconvert these electrical currents into light.
NEW ELEMENT No. 87 MAY HELP. The research ex
perts are greatly interested in the discovery of element No.
87, which was found in the mineral samarskite by Professor
Jacob Papish and Eugene Wainer of Cornell University,
in October, 1931. It is said that "it will be similar to
caesium." And caesium is used in television's eyes to make
them sensitive to light fluctuations. This new element shows
promise of greatly improving the sensitivity of the photo
electric cell, in fact, it has been estimated that a cell de
signed with No. 87 as the light-sensitive element could be
placed on one side of a door an inch thick and it would be
influenced by light on the other side. This being true, such
a bulb would be an extremely sensitive electrical eye.
Discovery of element No. 87 fulfills a prophecy made by
Mendeleeff sixty years ago. It has been provisionally known
as "ekacaesium." Mendeleeff's remarkable table was pub
lished in 1870. At the top is hydrogen, the lightest of all
elements, and at the bottom stands the heavy uranium as
No. 92. Element No. 85 is still missing. Mendeleeff called it
"ekaiodine." Chemists know in what group it lurks, but its
isolation is a matter of skill and patience. Radium is element
ALL MATTER Is ELECTRICAL. In the behavior of the
light-sensitive devices lies the great mystery of the matter
of which the physical universe is composed. Scientific re
search has gone deeply into this during the past thirty
years. The engineers in explaining the photoelectric cell
find it necessary to touch a little on the constitution of
All matter, it seems, is really electrical. All the eighty-
eight, or so, different elements which the chemist knows,
whether iron or iodine, calcium or carbon, exist in the form
of atoms, small particles, invisible even to the most powerful
RADIO IS GIVEN EYES 23
microscope. These atoms in combination with each other
form the molecules of all the myriad different materials
which occur naturally in our world or have been produced
by the ingenious chemist. Behind all this apparent com
plexity is an amazing simplicity. All the different atoms are
alike in the substances of their composition. It is in the
amount and arrangement of these substances that the atoms
of different elements are unlike. Atoms are composed of
two kinds of particles, known as electrons and protons.
NATURE OF RADIO EYES. The photoelectric cell is a
highly evacuated glass bulb coated on part of the inside with
a light-sensitive material, which if properly prepared and
exposed to light becomes electrically sensitive to illumina
tion although it may be as feeble as a candle's glow. There
are two wires leading into the cell. One connects to the light-
sensitive substance on the wall of the bulb and the other to
a ring of photoelectrically inactive metal such as nickel or
platinum. Then, when light falls on the active surface elec
trons are emitted at a rate proportional to the quantity of
light absorbed by the coating. These negative particles of
electricity, free to move in the evacuated space, are attracted
to a metal ring, the second electrode in the center of the bulb.
A battery keeps this electrode positive. During the passage
the electrons collide with molecules of argon, and since their
velocity-voltage is higher than the ionizing potential of the
argon, ionization occurs. Thus the electrons stream through
the wires and into a measuring instrument which indicates
a current. This flow of electricity is produced by action of
the light ; the energy of light, its ability to do work, is con
verted into electrical energy, into a motion of electrons,
which in turn can do work.
No current can flow through the cell except as electrons
are released from its photoelectric terminal by action of the
light. As fast, however, as electrons are emitted they are
drawn across to the collecting ring and through wires to the
24 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
battery, while others leaving the negative terminal of the
battery hasten to replace them. The process continues as
long as the cell is exposed to light ; and the electrons sweep
around the circuit like a widely scattered field of riders in
a six-day bicycle race, according to the Mills' description.
At any instant the number of electrons passing any point
of the circuit is just the number at the same instant emit
ted from the photoelectric surface. The more intense the
light the greater this emission. In fact, the current is al
ways directly proportional to the light, and if that varies
in intensity exactly corresponding variations occur in the
current. That is why the photoelectric cell is employed as
RECREATING THE SCENE. "In a radio-vision system
there must be complementary to the light-sensitive trans
mitter or electric eye, a light-active receiver, just as in
telephony a receiver is complementary to the transmitter,"
Mills said. "This must give forth light in response to an
electric current ; and the intensity of the emitted light must
be directly proportional to the current. Then, whatever light
the electric eye sees may be recreated, and all the variations
in the original illumination faithfully reproduced.
"For television it is necessary that the light-active device
shall perform instantaneously in accord with its controlling
current. An ordinary electric lamp-bulb would not serve be
cause an appreciable time must elapse after the current is
turned on before the filament heats enough to glow. And
when the current ceases, the light itself does not stop at once
but fades out gradually. An instance in nature, where light
instantaneously accompanies the current which causes it, is
found in the lightning flash. The same phenomenon, on a
smaller scale and much controlled, is utilized in the design
of the light-active element for a television system."
MINIATURE LIGHTNING FLASHES. The layman and en
gineer are aware that enormous voltages are required in
THE ALEXANDERSONS AT HOME
The inventor shows the folks what the rest of the world will be doing
in years to come.
ELECTRIC EYES AT THE RIXGSIDE
Boxing bouts the clang of the gong, clamor of the crowd, and plenty of
action on the screen are popular events on the air.
RADIO IS GIVEN EYES 25
the atmosphere to accelerate electrons and the casual ions to
create such violence as a lightning flash. Naturally, if the
separation between the positive and negative bodies is
smaller than the separation between the thunder cloud and
the earth, less voltage is necessary to produce a spark dis
charge. The truth of this principle is found in the motor
car's spark plugs. Furthermore, if the atmosphere is so rare
fied that the electrons and ions can move at destructive
speeds, a discharge can occur. It will be accompanied by
light for the same reason as lightning.
The electrons moving at such rapidity disturb the par
ticles of air or gas through which they speed, thereby caus
ing ionization or breaking up of the molecules. The effect
produces a flash of light. In the case of lightning water
vapor heated to the explosive point forces the air out from
the path of the spark discharge and when the air rushes
back into the vacuum pocket there is a terrific roar. This
does not occur in a neon tube because no water vapor is
present. The neon gas is ionized only to the extent that it
produces a luminous effect without noise.
Forunately for radio a rarefied atmosphere can be
brought about in a sealed glass bulb and two electrodes pro
vide the opportunity for the spark discharge or miniature
lightning flash to occur. A bulb of this type as developed
in the Bell Laboratories contains a rarefied atmosphere of
neon a chemically inert gas. A voltage is applied to the
electrodes and a glow discharge results. It continues as long
as the voltage is applied. That is why the neon tube is often
called a glow discharge lamp. The brilliancy, after suf
ficient voltage is applied to make it glow, depends directly
upon increase in the voltage. The lamp is kept "alive" by the
local source of voltage and when additional impulses trans
mitted by the distant electric eye reach it, the brilliancy cor
responds to the addition in voltage. The glow is seen on the
plate of the neon lamp.
26 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
At any instant, only that part of the plate which is ex
posed by the moving aperture of the scanning disk can flash
light to the eye. Despite the fact that the luminosity at any
moment is uniform throughout the lamp, if from instant to
instant it varies in the same way as does the light and shade
of the successive squares of the picture of a televised person,
then the spectator looking at the neon lamp through the hole
in the scanning disk sees a picture.
EXPOSURE Is INSTANTANEOUS. Mills asked his audience
to imagine that the neon bulb is actuated by a single photo
electric cell placed as an eye before a distant scene. Suppose
this cell is shielded so that it receives light from only one
detail of the scene at a time. In that case the neon tube cor
responds in brilliancy to one detail or tiny square of the
scene. Then if the cell is successively exposed to the light
from all the small areas of the scene, sweeping it from left
to right, row upon row, in the same order and at the same
speed as the aperture of the scanning disk whirls in front
of the neon tube, the observer looking at the lamp sees the
scene in entirety.
Obviously, similar mechanical arrangements are essential
at the sending and receiving stations. The photoelectric cell
at the sending end should be shielded so that it is exposed
to only one spot of the scene at a time. A shield at the re
ceiving terminal exposes to the eye only one spot at a time
on the neon lamp's plate.
In television a photoelectric cell is exposed to each detail
of a scene for only about one fifty-thousandth of a second;
therefore, intense illumination is needed. This necessity is
well illustrated by photography. The so-called instantaneous
exposure needs bright illumination, strong sunlight or a
flashlight. The scene must be flooded with light. Less il
lumination is needed for a time exposure. In television,
however, too strong a light is inconvenient for the actors
even though the photoelectric cells require it. The solution
RADIO IS GIVEN EYES 27
of this difficulty is based on the physiological phenomenon
that it is not so much the instantaneous intensity of light
that bothers as it is the average intensity to which a person
is exposed. The quick flash of intense light produces little
inconvenience, because of the sluggishness of that physiolog
ical process of sight exemplified in the persistence of vision.
QUICK RELAY TO THE BRAIN. Once the television system
has done its work and the image appears on the screen it is
relayed to the brain by the eyes which comprise a lens sys
tem, a sensitive retina and an optic nerve. An image of the
object being viewed is formed on the retina by the lens. All
the light that enters the eye from any point is brought to a
focus at a point upon the retina. Just as in the camera, where
a lens forms an image on the film or plate, the intensity of
the light, which] the lens concentrates upon each tiny por
tion of the retina, depends upon the intensity of the illumina
tion of the corresponding portion of the object or scene.
The retina, however, is not the smooth surface that it
appears to be. Neither is the photographic plate or film,
which consists of fine grains of a light-sensitive chemical.
ACTION OF THE RETINA. "The retina consists of a sur
prising number, many millions, of fine rods and cones, of
which the forward ends form the surface for the image,"
said Mills, "and the rear ends make the connections with
an equally amazing number of nerve fibers. And these in a
bundle, known as the optic nerve, pass from the eyeball to
"Through the almost innumerable channels of the cable-
like optic nerve the brain receives simultaneously, but
separately, all the reports of the illuminations to which each
of the sensitive elements of the retina is exposed. Each
transmits a stimulus proportional to the light falling upon
it and varying therewith. Each is a light-sensitive element
which sends out along its associated transmission line a cur
rent which produces in the brain a corresponding effect. Be-
28 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
cause of the many channels and the complexity of the brain
it is possible for all the light-sensitive elements to transmit
simultaneously and for the brain to perceive as a result a
scene or picture."
The miraculous faculty of the human eye is shown in what
man would have to do to pattern a system of television after
the eye. It would consist of a myriad of small but wonder
fully sensitive photoelectric cells upon which a huge lens
would form an image of the scene. And each cell through a
separate circuit would transmit to a small but efficient neon
tube. Thousands of cells and tubes would be required, even
if they could be made sensitive enough to operate and small
enough to fit closely together in simulation of the finely com
pact cones and fibers of the retina. Moreover, a huge cable
with thousands of wires would be required for connection be
tween cells and tubes.
How THE EYE Is FOOLED. "Insensitive and crude as are
the photoelectric cell and neon tube in comparison to the
corresponding elements of the retina and brain, their com
bination has one superiority," said Mills. "Their action is
essentially instantaneous while the physiological elements
have a tardy action. Flash a light for an instant before a
photoelectric cell and its current makes an instantaneous
surge. Repeat the flash twenty times a second and the same
number of times the current from the cell will rise sharply to
a peak and as abruptly fall to zero. On the other hand, re
peat the experiment for a physiological eye and its brain
will perceive only a continuous light. The effect of the first
flash persists and, provided the next follows soon enough, no
discontinuity can be perceived.
"It is this phenomenon, known as persistence of vision,
that underlies man's ability to receive an illusion from mo
tion pictures. Separate pictures are flashed on the screen at
the rate of fifteen or more a second. Between times the
screen is dark. But what man perceives is a screen continu-
RADIO IS GIVEN EYES 29
ously illuminated by a picture, the scenes of which change in
an apparently natural manner like those seen directly. The
two dissimilar phenomena, namely, persistence of vision for
the physiological elements and instantaneous operation for
the physical elements of cell and tube, are utilized in tele
SCANNING Is AN OLD ART. The term "scanning" is not
unfamiliar. The human eye affords a perfect example of
scanning. Hollis Baird once explained television scanning in
a way that makes it easy to understand in relation to the
He said that without thinking analytically about it, when
a person looks at a picture or a scene he sees it all at once,
but the fact is that only a tiny spot is seen. What happens is
that the flexible, efficient eyes rapidly travel across and up
and down a scene, registering the various points so rapidly
that a complete picture is observed. It is easy to test this.
Hold your hand out straight in front of you and look
at the thumb nail. Now without shifting the eyes in the
slightest note what else can be seen clearly, not just sug
gested, but vividly. You will find that the area comprising
the end of the thumb is about all that is sharp. Now open
the hand and decide that you want to see all of it. As you do,
notice carefully what the eyes are doing. They are swinging
back and forth in various cross directions until they have
covered every bit of the hand. You have a definite picture
of what the hand looks like, yet it was obtained piecemeal.
Taking something more concrete, more nearly like what
a television camera must pick up, consider a motion picture.
As the action goes on you seem to see what is happening
on the whole screen but if you pick out a single spot on the
screen and look at it without moving the eyes, as you did
when looking at the thumb nail, you will discover that you
are actually seeing but a small part of the picture clearly,
the rest being in sort of out-of -focus relation to the main
30 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
spot of vision. The human eye, however, moves so quickly
that it takes the whole picture in a series of rapid glances
and the memory retains these pictures, each piece in its
proper place. The effect is a complete picture.
In television the same thing takes place. The television
camera rapidly scans the scene which in turn is reproduced
in the same order by the television receivers. This scanning
is more rapid than the human eye, because the scanning
spot cannot pick up as much detail as the eye will register
correctly at one instant and so must travel faster to get in
all the points.
The eye needs no definite routine to follow in scanning a
scene. It may move across the top, then down to the bot
tom and across there, then up at an angle from the lower left
to the upper right corner. In television, however, as in any
thing mechanical or electrical, an accurate pattern must be
followed to be repeated in rapid succession so that the same
pattern may be followed and reproduced at the receiving
end. While television is a far cry from any human parallel,
it actually follows the eye more accurately in its action than
does a camera which takes in the complete picture at once.
The wonder of the human eye and ear stands out in bold
relief when compared with man's radio-television system,
which is bulky, cumbersome and relatively crude despite its
magic performance. One has only to compare the delicacy,
refinement and size of the mechanism of the eye and ear to
realize that the most miraculous part of the entire tele
vision system extends from the eyeball and the eardrum to
the brain. If man could pattern television after the eye and
ear, radio instruments would be compact, tiny devices, no
larger than an earphone, no heavier than a pair of glasses.
AN ELECTRIC HEART THROBS IN SPACE
Glass bulbs pumped free of air, with their miracles in
tensified because of the mysterious vacuum within their thin
walls, are the heart of the television system. They flood the
wireless circuits with the life-blood electricity that starts
electromagnetic waves on their way to fling faces and scenes
across mountains, over seas and through the very walls of
the home, whether it be a hut in the mountains of Tennessee
or an apartment on Manhattan Island. The electron tube
does the trick. Man is constantly learnmg more about it.
Some day there may be in general use for reception a*
"cold," filamentless device that functions by chemical ac
tion or by a gas under pressure in a narrow barrel-like tube
that looks more like a fount am pen than an electric lamp.
A small battery might supply the current instead of the elec
tric lighting mains. And there may be mercury vapor tubes.
IT'S ALL IN THE VACUUM. Television images have in
their veins and arteries specks of electricity valved by the
central organ of the system the vacuum tube. Through it
a new realm has been discovered in the kingdom of science.
It is called electronics. It seems to have no frontiers and so
it fascinates all the more. It is all-powerful, invisible and
quick in the performance of its wonders.
Electronics is a scientific force that grips the earth and
plays a vital role in the everyday life of man. Electrons turn
the wheels of industry and rush waves out into the empti
ness of space far beyond the orbit of the moon, seeking new
worlds to conquer. The domain of the electron extends as
32 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
far as radio's pathway runs, and no one knows where it ends.
It encircles the globe from pole to pole and girdles the sphere
at every latitude. Radio echoes that flash back from stellar
space reveal that this science is unfathomed. There is no
yardstick to measure the electron's possibilities. They seem
to be endless.
Radio performs its magic as an invisible force until it
pops up on the television screen. Messages of joy and sad
ness, images portraying comedy and tragedy speed above
the housetops unheard and unseen until man beckons, and
with the proper instruments at his command, bids them
welcome. The miracle of changing the invisible waves into
sounds to be heard and scenes to behold, is all done inside a
glass bulb, devoid even of air !
The sophisticated inhabitants of this modern world are
asking the engineer, "Wherefore and whither are we going?"
and the answer has a touch of mystery, "It's the vacuum
it's all in the vacuum."
A MYSTERIOUS SOMETHING. In the vacuum! But can
there be anything whatever in a vacuum defined as empty
space, devoid even of air? Emphatically, yes! It was Dr.
Willis R. Whitney, director of the research laboratory of
the General Electric Company, who uttered the paradoxical
statement, "The vacuum there's something in it!"
It is this bulb with "something in it" that helps science to
harness the power of nature and make seeing by radio
stranger than fiction. The unobtrusive tubes, each enclosing
one of these areas of "nothing-something," made it possible
to reproduce the front page of a San Francisco newspaper
at Schenectady, 2,500 miles across the continent, three hours
after it dropped from the press. A new automatic recorder
developed by Charles J. Young accomplished this, and was
a step toward fulfillment of a desire expressed by his father,
Owen D. Young, who once remarked that he hoped to see
the front page of the London Times flashed with a zip into
AN ELECTRIC HEART THROBS IN SPACE 33
New York. The words are printed on a roll of paper, which
automatically moves through the machine at the rate of
about one-half inch a minute.
Vacuum tubes glowing softly in snow-covered huts at
Little America in Antarctica kept Byrd and his companions
in constant communication with New York, while they were
down there in 1929. Electromagnetic vibrations stirred up
in the south polar regions raced across the world, over
oceans, jungles and continents, to find slender targets of
wire hidden amid skyscrapers in the Times Square district.
They never missed their mark ! It was the vacuum tube that
enabled members of the expedition, when they reached New
Zealand on the way home, to talk with friends in New York,
while all-America eavesdropped on their conversation.
This is what the Rochester Times Union said about it:
The experiment was of unprecedented size. It linked two
voices in conversation over a distance of more than 10,000
miles. The arrangements for this tremendous hook-up
were described as seemingly simple as a local telephone
call. . . . The experiment, while not wholly successful be
cause of static in New Zealand, is yet astounding in its
scope. When the mind considers the wide advance the test
represents over all previous records of the kind, it is
plunged into a realm of fanciful speculations. Why, it
seems within the bounds of reason that some day we may
have a machine which will shoot its strength out into the
vast field of ether and bring back the thundering voice of
Csesar, the doleful singing of Dante, the ring of spears and
swords before the gates of Troy and even the dying
groans of the giant that Jack killed!
AN ALL-PERVADING FORCE. Electronics is closely allied
with radio and television. The vacuum tube would stop beat
ing and the vastness of space would cease to pulsate with
human thoughts and emotions, if there were no electrons.
This Aladdin lamp would be no more potent than an empty
milk bottle or a burned out incandescent bulb, if some
34 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
strange force suddenly destroyed electrons. They are all-
powerful, all-pervading, yet so small that they defy the
most sensitive microscope to single out one of them and
watch its action. So tiny are these electric specks that if
a drop of water which contains millions of them, because
of the hydrogen and oxygen within it were magnified to
the size of the earth, each electron magnified in proportion
would be about as large as a grain of sand. The electron is
approximately 1,700 times smaller than the atom.
When the big tubes in a television or broadcast trans
mitter are cooled off and at rest, the electrons, too, are
"slumbering" in the filament. But as soon as the current is
turned on the filament glows and the electrons leap from
their reveries to perform useful work for mankind. Scien
tists point out, however, that electrons merely rest, that is,
comparatively speaking. They never sleep. They are always
moving back and forth at high speeds in the materials they
occupy. But in the radio tube they leap with great velocity
when the filament is fed with current to heat it. They rush
away at the rate of approximately 50,000 miles in a second.
They instill life into the radio circuit and into the arteries
of television. Power surges into the aerial wires. Space is
made to vibrate with music, voices and images that are criss
crossed through the air. One little radio bulb has been known
to hurl a message around the globe, shaking the great ex
panse of the earthly envelope as easily as a bowl of jelly can
be set in motion by the tap of a finger.
But what is this invisible medium that shakes or vibrates
when the electronic tube oscillates to send forth a message
or image? Some call it the ether, an unseen, odorless, taste
less substance, believed to occupy all space. Others doubt
that such a medium as the ether exists. Nevertheless, scien
tists agree that there is some marvelous force that lurks in
the universe to complete the alliance of the electron tube
with radio and television.
AN ELECTRIC HEART THROBS IN SPACE 35
EINSTEIN'S IDEA. Dr. Albert Einstein has discarded the
theory of the ether. He derides the radio's ethereal medium
as fiction, calling it merely a makeshift fabricated to explain
something for which scientists have not had the correct ex
planation. In an address at Nottingham University, he said
that he believes radio's medium is an electromagnetic phe
nomenon. So did Charles Proteus Steinmetz.
"It now appears that space will have to be regarded as a
primary thing, with matter only derived from it, so to speak,
as a secondary result," said Einstein. "We have always re
garded matter as a primary thing and space as a secondary
result. Space now is turning around and eating up matter.
Space is now having its revenge."
Teachers and technicians try to convey the idea of radio's
medium by comparing it to a pond of water. When the
electron tube gets into action in the broadcasting circuit an
electric current surges out into the aerial wire to cause in
visible waves to vibrate in much the same way that a stone
cast into the pond starts a series of ripples or waves. That
simple analogy helps the layman to comprehend how radio
programs and television faces reach him.
AMONG THE PIONEERS. Electromagnetic waves have
existed in some form or other since man first roamed the
earth. Light waves are called electromagnetic. Different
colors of light are waves of different lengths. Scientists, or
men of a magic turn of mind, back in 600 B.C. observed
that by rubbing a piece of amber and some wool together,
little particles of straw jumped to the amber. The tiny
straws leaped up in much the same way that iron filings
or a needle are attracted to a magnet. Centuries passed
before queer-looking machines were devised that would pro
duce electric shocks Then the Ley den jar was invented in
which to store electricity. Benjamin Franklin sent up a kite
during a lightning storm and showed that electricity gen-
36 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
erated by man-made machines was of the same nature as
It was Michael Faraday who suggested that possibly
waves of light might be an electromagnetic phenomenon. He
conducted hundreds of experiments over a period of years
in an effort to discover a relationship between electricity and
light. He found that polarized light could be affected by
a magnetic field.
James Clerk Maxwell, in 1865, took Faraday's mathe
matical calculations and proved them to be correct. He de
clared to a doubting world that electromagnetic waves could
be produced and made to travel through space at the speed
of starlight. Maxwell did this mathematically. Hertz con
firmed the theory by creating and detecting the waves.
THE BURIAL OF A THEORY. The New York Times ', on
October 5, 1931, in an editorial gives a good account of
Maxwell's contribution to science and the reasons for his
theory of the ether:
In honoring Clerk Maxwell on the hundredth anniver
sary of his birth, British science both digs a grave and
erects a monument. The grave receives the remains of his
theory of a luminiferous ether; the monument is to his
mathematical genius, which ranks with that of Einstein.
It was a necessary creation this ether of Maxwell's.
Like Faraday and others before him, Maxwell could not
believe in "action at a distance." To see a star the e}^e
must touch it in a sense. To attract a needle a magnet
must be "connected" with it. Maxwell invented an ether
that satisfied the conditions. It was a vastly different ether
from any that had been postulated before. Not only did
it transmit light, electricity, magnetism, but revealed them
as different manifestations of the same primal, radiant
energy. Just as Newton's laws of gravitation unified the
heavens, so this new ether unified matter and energy. It
explained everything but gravitation. Lord Kelvin could
write of it in 1899:
"The ether is the only substance we are confident of in
AN ELECTRIC HEART THROBS IN SPACE 37
dynamics. One thing we are sure of, and that is the reality
and substantiality of the luminiferous ether."
Yet even then the ether had been molded to fit new dis
coveries. More tenuous than any gas, it filled the spaces
between atoms and stars. It was as viscous as wax. It was
a jelly capable of transmitting vibrations. It was sub
jected to strains that would snap steel like matchwood.
It was so dense that a quantity no bigger than a pinhead
would sink through iron as a stone sinks in water. It was
full of twists, pulls and pushes. It formed vortices that
we recognized as matter. In a word, it was the supreme
paradox of Victorian science and yet a triumph of the
That ether is gone. Its properties have been acquired
by space not Euclidian emptiness, but an emptiness
strangely endowed. Gravitation falls neatly into line as a
geometrical attribute of space and is satisfactorily ac
counted for. The universe is no longer a machine, but a
problem in higher geometry. Maxwell's fate is much like
Newton's. A slight modification of the laws of gravitation
has given us a new universe, which is really simpler than
the old, though it may still be incomprehensible to most
of us. The mere transference of the ether's properties to
non-Euclidian space has carried the unification of ener
gies further than Maxwell thought possible. Reality ac
quires a new meaning in which he would have rejoiced.
Were he alive he would probably concede that his ether was
no more real than the "average man" of the statisticians
or the equator of the geographers that it was a neces
sary and convenient fiction without which the science of his
day was helpless.
WHY THE ETHER? Looking back to the days of Mar
coni's early triumphs, Einstein points out that at that time
the only real things were bodies, space and time. Those were
the constructive elements from the physical point of view.
Had not Faraday introduced the idea of an electric or mag
netic field, such as surrounds an ordinary magnet? Scien
tists, therefore, were called upon to introduce a new body
called the ether to represent a physical state. This, theoreti-
38 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
cally, allowed the electromagnetic phenomena to occur in
"Looking back," said Einstein, "now we must ask why
ether as such was introduced? Why was it not called 'state
of ether' or 'state of space' ? The reason was that they had
not realized the connection or lack of connection between
geometry and space. Therefore, they felt constrained to add
to space a variable brother, as it were, which could be a car
rier for all electromagnetic phenomena."
THE STEINMETZ DECLARATION. It was not so long after
broadcasting started in America and everyone was discuss
ing the wonders of the ether, that the electrical wizard
Steinmetz upset popular belief by his famous sentence,
"There are no ether waves." He emphasized the fact that
radio and light waves are merely properties of an alter
nating electromagnetic field of force which extends through
out space. Scientists, he contended, need no idea of the ether.
They can think better in the terms of electromagnetic waves.
And it was for this reason that the distinguished Steinmetz
heralded the Einstein theory of relativity as "the greatest
contribution to science of the last fifteen years."
Steinmetz, like Einstein, declared that the conception of
the ether is one of those hypotheses created in an attempt
to explain some scientific difficulty. He asserted that the
more study is applied to the ether theory the more unreason
able and untenable it becomes. He contended that it was
merely conservatism or lack of courage which kept science
from abandoning the ethereal hypothesis. Steinmetz further
pointed out that belief in the ether is in contradiction to
the Einstein theory of relativity, because this theory holds
that there is no absolute position or motion, but that all posi
tions and motions are relative and equivalent. Thus, if sci
ence agrees that the theory of relativity is correct the ether
theory must be cast aside.
AN ELECTRIC HEART THROBS IN SPACE 89
A MAGNETIC RESERVOIR. The space surrounding a
magnet is a magnetic field. To produce a field of force
requires energy, and the energy stored in space is called
the field. This is supposed to be an accumulation of the
forces of all the electrons in existence. In radio or television
the transmitter with its electron tubes disturbs the energy
which is stored in the great reservoir of space which listeners
tap to hear music and to see pictures. The globe is also sur
rounded by a gravitational field. When a ball is thrown sky
ward it falls back because it does not have sufficient force
behind it to overcome the power of gravity which acts
If a coil of insulated wire is wound around a piece of soft
iron and a direct current is sent through the coil it becomes
an electromagnet. The space around the coil is the magnetic
field. When the current is increased the magnetic field in
creases. When the current is decreased the breadth of the
field is reduced. If the current is reversed the field is reversed.
When an alternating current is sent through the coil the
magnetic field alternates. The field becomes a periodic phe
nomenon or a wave, described by Steinmetz as "an alternat
ing magnetic field- wave."
"The space surrounding a wire," said Steinmetz, "that
carries an electric current is an electromagnetic field, that
is, a combination of a magnetic field and an electrostatic
field. If the current and voltage alternate, the electromag
netic field alternates ; that is, it is a periodic field or an elec
So today, the modern broadcast listener or television spec
tator who wants to forget the ether can visualize the aerial
wire at the transmitter setting up electromagnetic waves in
a field of electric force, which now, the theorists contend,
fills all space and, therefore, every receiving antenna is
within the field. The broadcast or television transmitter jars
the hypothetical medium, causing it to vibrate. The greater
40 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
the power of the transmitter the greater will be the vibration
and the farther it will carry. The receiving set is designed
to detect the vibrations, and accordingly intelligence and
images are broadcast from one part of the world to another.
Such is the power of electronics and of an "empty" glass
A SCIENTIFIC BURGOMASTER. The pages of history re
veal that Otto von Guericke, burgomaster of Magdeburg,
was a pioneer in electrical science. His accomplishments in
cluded the invention of an air-pump with which he obtained
a partial vacuum not a high vacuum, such as is common
today, but still one in which the air content was thin.
One day in 1654 he called by appointment on Emperor
Ferdinand III, accompanied by two teams of eight horses
each, with their drivers and various queer paraphernalia.
He showed the Emperor two copper bowls which, when
placed together, formed a hollow sphere. Between them von
Guericke inserted a ring of leather soaked in wax and oil,
making an air-tight joint, but there was no mechanical con
nection whatever. With his air-pump he drew off a great
deal of the air from the sphere through a hole which was
closed by a tap.
The teams of horses were then brought up, one being
hitched to each of the copper bowls or hemispheres. At the
signal to go the sixteen horses pulled and strained, but their
utmost exertions could not drag the hemispheres apart. The
Emperor, amazed, found it impossible to believe that the
bowls were locked together merely by the difference in air
pressure between the atmospheric density outside and the
partial vacuum within. This was the vacuum doing tricks.
EDISON ON THE SCENE. The vacuum at work univer
sally did not come until two centuries later, and Thomas
Alva Edison was the scientific "magician" of this later per
formance. By that time men knew more about electricity;
and there is a close working relation between electricity and
AN ELECTRIC HEART THROBS IN SPACE 41
the vacuum. Edison placed a carbon filament within a vac
uum, and then connected the filament to an electric circuit.
The resistance of the filament to the passage of the electric
current made it glow with incandescent light, while the
vacuum prevented it from burning up and lo! the incan
descent electric lamp was born, essentially a vacuum device.
Edison, as fate would have it, did more than construct a
practical electric lamp depending on a vacuum. He was the
first to observe a peculiar electric current originating with
the hot filament inside the vacuum. Today it is known as
"the Edison effect." He placed a metallic plate inside the
lamp near the filament. Then he noticed, when the current
was turned on, the filament became hot and the needle of a
galvanometer or current indicator was deflected, despite the
fact that there was no connection between the filament and
the plate to complete the circuit. The electron stream was
completing it. The commercial possibilities of electric lamps
seemed more practical to the Wizard of Menlo Park, and
he turned his attention to that field of research, leaving "the
Edison effect" as a clue for others.
The present electrical age, so-called, is unfolding in
astounding fashion, remarked an engineer at "the House of
Magic." It has come to stay and may in time reveal succes
sive distinctive epochs, like the geological eras in the age of
the earth. The world has already passed through the mag
netic-electrical epoch. Now it is entering upon the vacuum-
electrical. Possibly this will be followed by the atomic-
electrical, and that in turn by the cosmic-electrical, in which
tremendous undiscovered forces in outer space will become
servants of man. In that epoch a literal tour of the solar
system may be achieved, and the world will gaily dispatch
its interplanetary Lindbergh a goodwill ambassador to the
stars! Fantastic? Ah, but truth is stranger than fiction
and stranger than ever as the years pass.
THE MARCH OF TELEVISION BEGINS
(Editorial in The New York Times, December 17, 1926)
For he looketh to the ends of the earth,
And seeth under the whole heaven.
This was one of the poetical statements used by Zophar by
way of comforting Job in his many tribulations, in order to
illustrate the omniscience and omnipotence of the Almighty.
Job at last yielded, saying:
I know that thou canst do all things
And that no purpose can be restrained.
Once the scientist said in the mood of Job, "With God all
things are possible," but these are things "too wonderful for
me, which I knew not." Now he is unwilling to say that there
is anything impossible with man. Speech at great distances
was for ages never thought of as a possibility, and, even after
communication by wire was achieved, not dreamed of as
feasible without the assistance of wire. Sight at great distances
has at last been made possible by telephotography, the carry
ing of images across thousands of miles.
Now comes in prophecy of actual achievement the almost
instantaneous flight of images in motion across seas and con
tinents, just as Lucretius, nearly two thousand years ago, ex
plained their movement in his theory of the visibility of objects
near and far: the air being filled, as he conceived, with mil
lions of images, ever passing and crossing one another in every
direction, some swifter, some slower, in infinite complexity,
yet in no confusion, "very unsubstantial," yet "keeping their
forms as they speed on their way to the senses." He went
even further in describing these as being traversed by images
of the mind, and these in turn by the majestic images of the
gods. But the amazing thing is that images do now actually
cross one another in every direction and in "infinite com
plexity" and yet keep their forms intact and become visible to
the eyes thousands of miles away.
Television is an accomplished fact by means of radio pho
tography, but it remains so to quicken the process of transmis
sion as to make moving objects visible in life size on a screen
at a distance. What is required, in the language of a related
46 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
art, is a brush of light that will more swiftly bring these
images into view. As Dr. E. F. W. Alexanderson of the
General Electric Company explained to the American In
stitute of Electrical Engineers, it will be necessary to increase
the operating speed from 40,000 to 300,000 picture units per
second in order to get pleasing results. The "brushes of light"
have been multiplied. Even so the "painting" cannot be done
rapidly enough. And there seems to be a question whether
mechanical power can be sufficiently swift to recover these
images. But that in some way, if not in the mechanical ac
celeration of these brushes, the thing will be done cannot
be doubted. What needs to be done being known, the way will
be found. For that confidence, we have the support not only
of past achievement but of the eager and never-satisfied effort
of the human mind.
Science's search will continue till it can say as Job did at
the end of the greatest interview in all literature between man
and the Voice of the Whirlwind:
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear:
But now mine eye seeth thee.
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM
Let us go into the darkened television studio of Alex-
anderson in the Mohawk Valley, or into Zworykirfs scientific
sanctum, where the big radio eyes look down on the visitors.
Step into the mystic laboratory of Ives, where in a dark
ened booth he invites his guests to glimpse through a peek
hole to behold a bouquet of flowers in color, and the Stars
and Stripes waving in all its glory with the red, white and
blue as natural as if floating from a mast m the noonday sun.
Go with Jenkins and see his images dance on a screen.
Listen to the fascinating story of John Baird, who sent the
sound of a face across the Atlantic from a mysterious room
in London, to be picked up in a dark cellar on the outskirts
of New York.
Television is in the news!
Is PRIVACY MENACED? When Marconi and other scien
tists first predicted that radio vision was in the process of
evolution the layman feared that a simple all-seeing device
with piercing eyesight was destined to strike a deadly blow
New Yorkers visualized neighbors and even the residents
of California looking through the walls of the apartments
on Manhattan Island. They reasoned that if a spectograph
could observe the action of electrons gyrating in metals at
a speed of 90,000 miles a second it might be an easy task
to build an electric eye capable of peering not only into the
home but into the mind of man !
All these illusions are cast aside and fears put to rest
48 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
when it is explained that television requires an electric eye
or radio camera in the home before the family cheer or
troubles can be aired.
There is no better way to follow the spectacular march
of television than to listen to the historic utterances of those
who have nurtured the images from hazy, spiritual-looking
things to clear-cut faces that live with a personality of their
own. They are no longer flimsy, fading images but life-like
characters with plenty of strength to climb up the ladder of
science to aerial pinnacles from which they leap unencum
bered to the homes of all the land. Each announcement of
progress by the inventors, each lecture and demonstration
of a step forward, when knit together as a running story
discloses the romantic tale of television in its battle against
the elements as scientists delve into the secrets of nature,
chemistry and electricity. This inquisitiveness on the part
of man enables him to learn how to build delicate instru
ments so that moving pictures are unfettered for a flight
through space without surrendering their identity.
To sit down with these men in their laboratories, or to be
with them in their leisure moments of recreation when they
talk television, because they cannot dodge its magic spell,
is to hear a running history of how a new scientific art
evolves. They have had weird experiences.
They have seen radio "ghosts." They have watched their
images travel to the antipodes and back in the fraction of
a watch tick. They have seen faces pass through a skyscraper
and come out the other side mangled and tangled beyond
recognition, with an ear missing or with a side of the face
gone, absorbed by the lattice steel structures that reach aloft
like giant metallic fingers to pluck energy from the fleeting
They have seen nature freckle a face by bombarding it
with static in much the same way that a boy ruins the coun
tenance of a snow man by throwing pebbles at it. They have
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 49
watched their images being spoiled by nature in causing the
waves to wax and wane as the invisible impulses encountered
mountains, hills and valleys.
Then, too, the faces are often blurred, distorted and wavy
like a picture printed from a film the emulsion of which was
moved in streaks before it dried. And they have tenderly
released the images from aerial masts never to see them
again not even a trace because some cruel force in nature
led them astray.
The drama of television unfolds in a most magnetic way
as the inventors spin the historic yarn by their announce
ments of success, by their public lectures that reveal startling
discoveries. Their weird observations disclose how nature has
hidden and protected certain scientific facts throughout the
ages, held in bondage until man was ready to seek and to
harness them for a useful purpose. And it will be noted that
in tackling scientific problems and in striving to overcome
strange obstacles, man usually approaches from a complex
angle. He conceives complicated devices.
In the end, however, a simple instrument generally solves
the baffling problem and man smiles to see how really simple
is the answer. Television today is less complicated than the
experts thought it could be back in 1920.
Now let us follow the march of television step by step, in
chronological order, and in as non-technical language as
possible, because there is no better way to observe and to
learn how the miracle is performed.
MARCONI EXPECTS A VISIBLE-'PHONE MAY 22, 1915
King Victor Emmanuel of Italy requests Guglielmo Mar
coni to return to his native land because of Italy's entrance
into the World War. And so he sails on the steamship St.
Paul of the American Line bound from New York to Liver
pool, whence he will go across France to Rome.
Prior to sailing the inventor announces that engineers are
50 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
working on a wireless device by which a person can look
through a solid wall. It is said to resemble a camera, which,
when placed against a wall or floor, makes the wood, stone,
bricks, concrete or metal transparent in this respect re
sembling the X-ray. He says the instrument is not perfected,
nevertheless, persons can be seen in the next room if they
are close enough to the wall, but the image is blurred if they
are a little distance away.
"And the visible-telephone where persons talking can
see each other is coming successfully," said Marconi, "al
though I am not working on it."
The public is wondering what the wizardry of wireless
will do next.
UP FROM THE GRAVEYARD OF IDEAS JUNE 3, 1925
In the evolution of sending pictures by wire and radio,
a step that leads to television, there has been built quite a
graveyard of ideas. Eighty years passed from the inception
of transmitting pictures and facsimile dispatches by wire
before commercial application was practical. This long-pull
development was due to the fact that it is inherently more
difficult to send a photograph than to transmit a telegraph
message or the voice.
Captain Ranger, in a lecture before the Institute of
Radio Engineers, called attention to the fact that Samuel
F. B. Morse's contribution to communication was not alone,
as most seem to think, the development of a telegraphic in
strument, but largely the development of the telegraph code.
Any number of telegraph devices had been constructed be
fore Morse, but they did not have the economic practicability
of an all-round system which would get words across to a
distant point in a short period of time.
"How successful Morse was may be realized, when, today,
it is an established fact that the Morse code, representing
letters by dots and dashes, is still the most economical way
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 51
of sending a given number of words from one point to an
other, in the shortest time, with the least power, over the
greatest distance, and through maximum interference," said
Ranger. "Of course, other means of sending words have been
produced, typically, the telephone ; but it requires a higher
quality of wire service and perfection in apparatus to ac
complish the high speeds attained when words are trans
mitted by voice.
"As soon as we understood the economic angle of the prob
lem of sending photographs, we began to look for a picture
shorthand. The whole problem was largely one of realizing
what confronted us and what our real aim was. Then the
answers began to come easily.
THE PICTURE Is CUT UP. "Practically every system to
date has been, and still is, on the basis of dividing the pic
ture into small unit areas and to transmit their values one
after the other. When we stop to think that the usual news
paper half-tone has at least sixty-five dots in a row for an
inch, or more than 4,000 dots to a square inch, the magni
tude of the job becomes apparent. The usual method of pic
ture transmission has found its serious drawback in the num
ber of pulses that have to be put through ; and the precision
with which they must be sent ; and the time that it takes to
Search for a shorthand method was started. The first
effort in this direction consisted of variable dot-spacing.
Obviously, if dots are placed on a piece of white paper and
spaced widely, they give an impression of white. If they are
placed close, black is approached. That is what was done
in the first shorthand attempt, making each dot of generally
the same size; although it worked out that the individual
dots widely spaced were a little lighter than those grouped
together. These dots by their grouping constituted the
shades of the picture.
52 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
A TRANSOCEANIC TEST. The first public transatlantic
demonstration of the transmission and reception of pictures
by radio, utilizing the Ranger method, took place in No
vember, 1924. The photoradiogram transmitter was located
in London. The signals from this apparatus were put on
the 220-mile land line to Carnarvon, Wales, at which point
they actuated the control relays of the high power radio
transmitter there. The signals from Carnarvon were picked
up at Riverhead, Long Island, amplified, and sent by wire
to the New York office of the Radio Corporation of America
as audio frequency dots and dashes. The tone signals were
again amplified at New York, then rectified and applied to
the photoradiogram received.
JENKINS CALLS IT SIMPLE SEPTEMBER 13, 1925
So definite is the progress being made in television that
not so many years from now practically every household will
have an attachment to its radio set, whereby the family will
be able to see in the home events taking place at a distance.
This will include the World Series baseball games, Presi
dential inaugurations and the Mardi Gras at New Orleans,
according to C. Francis Jenkins.
This Washingtonian says that it does not seem strange
to him that we shall presently plug into the loudspeaker
jack of the radio receiving set a small box-like device which
will project on a small white screen an action picture of
some event taking place downtown or in some more distant
city, a ceremonial, a national sports event, a spectacular
scene in the news. He doesn't consider it mysterious, or even
difficult. It only seems that way because it seems impossible,
and it takes time to work out the details. It is the develop
ment, the refinement of each separate element, that is occu
pying his attention.
"Let's see whether or not I am warranted in assuming that
it is a simple problem, whether there is really any mystery
JOHN LOGIE BAIRD
The Scotsman who sent
an image across the Atlan
tic in 1928 and later tele
vised the English Derby.
DR. HERBERT E. Ivies
Electro -optical Re
search expert, the first man
to fly the Stars and Stripes
in color on a television
The c a t h o d e-ray
tube with the flat end
covered with a fluores
cent screen upon which
images appear at the
receiver, after being
C. FRANCIS JENKINS
who began to study tele
vision in the '90s. He
radioed a picture of Presi
dent Harding from the
national capital to Phila
delphia in 1923.
PIIILO T. FARNSWORTH
The Californian who
used the cathode-ray tube
to serve as the heart of his
novel television receiver.
He is an advocate of elec
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 53
in the thing after all," said Jenkins. "Let's analyze the
problem ; take it to pieces and examine it in detail.
"These are the essentials. We want a picture of a remote
scene. We want it repeated fast enough to produce the mo
tion and we want it carried into our homes from the distant
baseball park, let's say. That's the problem, and that is all
there is to it, namely, a picture of a distant activity.
"If a man puts his head under the black cloth of an old-
fashioned camera pointed at the baseball game he sees in
miniature on the ground glass an exact reproduction of the
game as played. It is carried by light from the baseball
diamond to the ground glass screen. That is exactly what
we want, only we want it in our homes. So light working
alone won't do, because light goes only in straight lines, and
obstructions cut it off; we must, therefore, have some sort
of a carrier which can go around obstructions and through
the walls of our houses. A copper wire will do, but a wire
carries only to one place. So let's take radio! That carries
A BOYHOOD TRICK RECALLED. "Now we come to the
consideration of the picture," continued Jenkins. "A pic
ture is nothing but some black and white mixed up in a defi
nite order. Pick up a modern photographic portrait, which,
by the way, is the almost perfect example we have of the
delicate blending of light and dark and half-tones. Examine
it analytically and you will see what I mean. But how are we
going to make radio, which has carried these lights and
shadows from the ball park to our home, reproduce the ball
game as the picture?
"That's easy!" exclaimed the inventor. "Don't you re
member when we were little tykes mother entertained us by
putting a penny under a piece of paper, and, by drawing
straight lines across the paper, she made a picture of the
Indian appear. Well, that's the very way we do it.
"So, in our homes we take a desk square of white blotting
54 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
paper and we move across it in successive lines an image of
a small light source. If this little light spot moves across the
screen swiftly the eyes see it as a line, like the circle of fire
of our youth when we swung a lighted stick. Now, when these
successive lines, one under another, are made so swiftly that
the whole screen surface is covered in one-sixteenth of a
second we have motion picture speed, and the entire screen
"If, then, the incoming radio current is put through our
lamp, the strong signals will make the spot of light on the
screen very bright. The weaker signals make it more dusky
and when there are no signals the lamp goes out and the
screen is no longer uniformly illuminated, but the light is
dabbed over the screen. And because a picture is only a col
lection of these little dabs of light put around in different
places on the screen, it will readily be seen that these radio
light variations, when they follow a predetermined order,
make up our picture of the ball game, just as the humps on
the penny made up a picture of the Indian, although the
pencil moved over the paper in straight lines.
"So that's the way we make radio pictures and radio
movies in your home. The incoming radio signals turn the
light up and down as it moves swiftly over the screen, and
you 'see' the distant scene. Easy, isn't it? You can go out in
the woodshed and build yourself one now. Of course, if you
have only a fine laboratory and no woodshed where you can
get off by yourself and think clearly you are out of luck. So,
if you have a woodshed, go to it and good luck to you. If
your woodshed is on a farm the probability of clear thinking
is greatly enhanced."
GALLOPING AFTER THE IMAGES APRIL 25, 1926
More than a dozen inventors teamed with a corps of ex
pert assistants, many of them specialists in radio, electricity,
chemistry and optics, have entered the race which will award
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 55
the winners fame and possibly fortune in television. Alex-
anderson, a Norwegian by birth, but now an American citi
zen, represents the United States along with Zworykin,
Jenkins, Ives, Farnsworth, Sanabria and Hollis Baird. Dr.
Alexandre Dauvellier, Belin and Holweck carry the colors
of France, while Denoys von Milhaly is in the contest for
Austria. Baron Manfred von Ardenne, Karolus and the
house of Zeiss Ikon are doing their bit for Germany. John
Baird is in the race for the Union Jack.
Von Ardenne is developing the cathode ray method, and
Dauvellier is an expert in cathode ray television. Incident
ally, Boris Rosing of Russia is said to have originally pro
posed the use of cathode ray tubes in a television system
which he patented, but that was so many years ago that the
patents have expired, indicating that cathode ray television
is no new art.
"My televisor is nothing like photoradio or telephotog
raphy," said John Baird. "The transmission of photo
graphs or still pictures onto a plate is no longer a novelty.
What the televisor does is to transmit to the human eye
living and motion pictures at the instant of their occurrence.
The problem has not only been that of converting light into
electricity at the transmitter and reconverting radio waves
into light at the receiver. The solution of that problem is
nothing new. The big task has been synchronizing of the
converting and reconverting processes and of speeding them
up so as to give the eye the impression that it is seeing a
whole picture instead of a succession of parts. Once these
puzzles have been satisfactorily solved, we can broadcast
motion pictures to any distance that wires or wireless cover.
We can focus the lens of the transmitter just as a kodak is
focused, so that the day will come when we can send not only
the close-up of a face but a distant view of a battle in prog
ress. It is all a matter of speed and proper synchronization
of the instruments."
56 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
INTRODUCING "STOKIE BILL." Baird interrupts his de
scription to give a demonstration. He stands in a flood of
light. A mop of curly, corn-colored hair tumbles over a wide
brow and down the back of his neck over the collar to his
rough tweed jacket. He closes a switch and a disk revolves at
a whistling speed.
"Stokie Bill" lies on the window sill at his elbow. "Stokie
Bill" is the head of a ventriloquist's dummy, and its garish
likeness has been telegraphed ever since inventors began to
develop telephotography. "Stokie" is a sort of mascot among
inventors who work on the problem of picture transmission
and broadcasting of images. Felix the Cat is assigned a
similar role in the United States. These dummies perform
on turntables and move about in front of the televisor's eyes
for many hours under the glaring lights without the tiring
effects that a human head experiences.
"There is only one thing that makes the problem of tele
vision an extremely difficult one," said Baird. "That is the
speed of signaling which is necessary if we are to see an
event at the moment at which it occurs. The transmitting
and receiving mechanisms must not only be so sensitive in
response to extremely dim light, but they must act instanta
neously. Aside from the speed and synchronization, the prob
lem is relatively simple.
"The general theory is to project a picture onto a light-
sensitive cell in a piecemeal fashion. Each of the small areas
into which the picture is divided causes the light-sensitive
cell to send out an electrical current which is proportional
to the amount of light in its 'area.' Thus the dim parts of
the picture send out a weak current and the bright spots are
represented by a stronger current. Then at the receiving
station these currents control a source of light which is pro
jected onto a screen in exact synchronism with the projec
tion of the picture at the transmitter. The process is per-
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 57
formed so rapidly that, due to the eyes' retention of the
images, the whole picture appears simultaneously.
"The light-sensitive cell is nothing novel among inventors.
I use only one cell at the transmitting end and I break up
the picture into 'areas' by means of lenses in the whirling
disk. The lenses in the disk focus the 'areas' of the picture,
one by one, onto the light cell, and when the disk has been
whirled once every 'area' of the picture or face has been
focused consecutively onto the cell.
SECONDS ARE PRECIOUS. "It is simple enough merely to
transmit the 'areas,' but you must remember that we have
to send them ultimately to the human eye. For instance, let
us say that we take as much as half a second to broadcast a
picture of a face. By the time the light-sensitive cell is
transmitting the light values of the chin the eyes which are
watching the screen at the receiving end will have lost the
light values of the hair, and the result will be that, although
our transmitting method in itself may be perfect, the eyes
at the receiver will retain no image at all.
"We must be able to broadcast all the 'areas' of the face
within a tenth of a second if the eyes at the receiving sta
tion are to retain the image of the face as a whole. To do
this has been one of television's baffling problems. Once we
have succeeded in overcoming that obstacle, we can transmit
moving pictures as easily as the cinema does. Having given
the eyes at the receiving end one complete picture in a tenth
of a second, we can give it another complete picture in the
next tenth of a second by merely keeping the disk whirling
at the right speed at the transmitter. That is the ordinary
cinema principle. It consists of an extremely rapid succes
sion of still pictures.
"Practical television, therefore, boils down to the rapid
transmission of light dots and a synchronizing mechanism.
Suppose we want to broadcast the picture of an object in
motion, say, two inches square. We must transmit at least
58 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
ten complete pictures of it every second, and by the most
conservative estimate this requires the transmission of about
25,000 light dots a second," explained Baird. "That is what
my mechanism does. For the light at the receiving end I
use a glow lamp, and for my synchronizing mechanism I
move the spot of light across the screen by means of a
slot and a rotating spiral."
THE INVENTOR'S WILL-O'-THE-WISP DECEMBER 15, 1926
Television is called an inventor's will-o'-the-wisp. A light-
brush is needed that will empower a beam of light to brush
or paint about 300,000 image units per second on a screen.
Such speed is inconceivable with electro-mechanical appa
ratus. The moving parts would fly asunder. Even if mirrors
could be rocked or rotated thousands of times a second,
there would not be sufficient light to illuminate a large screen
effectively with life-size images.
The inventors are aware that the television screen to win
public approval for practical home use must be larger than
a handkerchief. They explain that the same holds true in
television as in painting the side of a house the larger the
surface to be covered with a given amount of paint the thin
ner must be the coat; the larger the television screen to be
painted by a light beam of given intensity, the dimmer will
be the illumination.
How ALEXANDERSON REASONS. Alexanderson, in a lec
ture at a meeting of the St. Louis section of the American
Institute of Electrical Engineers, announces that he has
solved the problem. With the ingenuity and simplicity of a
great inventor, he reasons: "If one beam of light cannot
brush a light-picture fast enough I will use several beams
and divide the work among them. And several beams will
give me several times as much light as one beam, so that I
can brush images which will be both large and brilliant."
To do this he has a new television projector. It utilizes a
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 59
revolving drum carrying twenty-four mirrors which throw
a cluster of light beams on the screen. As the drum revolves
once a single spot of light passes over the screen twenty-
four times, line by line. Seven spots give him a total of
roughly 170 light strokes in one revolution of the drum.
When the machine is idle, but the lights turned on, the seven
bright spots appear as a cluster on the screen. As the drum
whirls the spots move quickly. They gyrate and blend as
they trace seven lines of light simultaneously, then another
seven, and another seven until the entire screen is flooded in
light. Thus seven crude pictures are simultaneously light-
brushed on the screen with such rapidity that the eye has no
time to follow the interlacing process and, therefore, oblig
ingly combines them into a single good image.
"Our work has already proved that the expectation of
television is not unreasonable," Alexanderson declared at
this St. Louis meeting, "and it may be accomplished with
means that are within our possession at the present time.
How long it will take us to attain practical television I do
not venture to say. It is easy enough to design a television
system with something like 40,000 picture units per second
but the images so obtained are too crude. They have no prac
tical value. Our work in radio photography has shown us
that an operating speed of 300,000 picture units per second
is necessary to give pleasing results. This speeding up of the
process is unfortunately one of those cases where the difficul
ties increase by the square of the speed."
Half-tone effects are produced by dividing the picture
into five or more separate shades, such as white, light gray,
medium gray, dark gray and black. The transmitting and
receiving machines analyze and reassemble these shades au
tomatically. The engineers have found various methods for
translating light intensities into radio signals. One method
is to use five wave lengths, one for each shade. However, in
this Alexanderson process a single wave length is utilized.
60 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
MACHINE SELECTS THE SHADES. The transmitting ma
chine is made in such a way that it automatically at every
moment selects the shade that comes nearest to one of five
shades, and sends out a telegraphic signal which selects the
corresponding shade in the receiving machine. This sounds
more complicated than it really is, because the telegraphic
code by which the different shades are selected depends upon
the synchronization of the two machines, which is necessary
under all circumstances. Thus, black in the picture is pro
duced by exposure of the sensitive paper to the recording
light spot during four successive revolutions, whereas light
gray is produced by a single exposure during one of the
four revolutions and no exposure for the three succeeding
revolutions. The overlapping exposure is progressive and
the whole works as a continuous process.
The television projector consists of a source of light, a
lens and a drum carrying a number of mirrors. When the
drum is stationary a spot of light is focused on the screen.
The spot of light is the brush that paints the picture.
When the drum revolves the spot of light passes across the
screen. Then as a new mirror, which is set at a slightly dif
ferent angle, comes into line the light spot passes over the
screen again on a track adjacent to the first, and so on until
the entire screen is covered with illumination. If a light-
picture of fair quality is to be painted, at least 10,000
strokes of the brush are necessary. This may mean that the
spot of light should pass over the screen in 100 parallel
paths, and that it should be capable of making 100 separate
impressions of light and darkness in each path. If this
process of painting the picture over and over again sixteen
times in a second is now repeated, it means that 160,000
independent strokes of the brush of light in one second are
required. To work at such a speed seems at first inconceiv
able; moreover, a good picture requires really a scanning
process with more than 100 lines. This brings the speed re-
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 61
quirements up to something like 300,000 picture units a
Besides having the theoretical possibility of employing
waves capable of high speed signaling, there must be a light
of such brilliancy that it will illuminate the screen effec
tively, although it stays in one spot only one three-hun
dredth of a second. This has been one of the serious diffi
culties because even if the most brilliant arc light is
employed, and no matter how the optical system is designed,
it does not give sufficient brilliancy to illuminate a large
screen with a single spot of light. Therefore, Alexanderson
has built a new television projector in order to study the
problem and to demonstrate the practicability of a new
system which promises to give a solution to the difficulty.
The result of this study is, briefly, that, if he employs
seven spots of light instead of one, he gets forty-nine times
as much useful illumination. Offhand, it is not so easy to see
why there is a gain in light by the square of the number of
light spots used, but this can be explained by reference to
the model. The drum has twenty-four mirrors, and in one
revolution of the drum one light spot passes over the screen
twenty-four times, and when seven sources of light and seven
light spots are used there is a total of 170 light spot pas
sages across the screen during one revolution of the drum.
Tests have been made with this television projector to
demonstrate the method of scanning the screen with the
seven light beams working in parallel simultaneously. The
seven spots of light may be seen on the screen as a cluster.
When the drum is revolved these light spots trace seven lines
on the screen simultaneously, and then pass over another
adjacent track of seven lines until the whole screen is covered.
A complete television system requires an independent con
trol of the seven light spots. For this purpose seven photo
electric cells are located in a cluster at the transmitting
machine and they control a multiplex radio system with
62 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
seven channels. Seven television carrier waves may thus be
spaced 100 kilocycles apart, and a complete television wave
band should be 700 kilocycles wide. Such a radio channel
might occupy the waves between 20 and 21 meters. If such
use of this wave band will enable Americans to see across the
ocean, Alexanderson believes all will agree that this space in
the ether is assigned for a good and worthy purpose.
PREDICTING THE FUTURE. "No one can accurately pre
dict just what the future of radio television will be," said
Alexanderson. "The inventors who gave us the moving pic
tures certainly never foresaw the time when film plays would
be produced at fabulous cost and 10,000,000 people a day
would pay from ten cents to two dollars each for the privi
lege of seeing Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin on
"With the telephone it was the same. Many thought that
the telegraph would be completely displaced, but the tele
graph is as necessary as ever and the telephone now occupies
a field of its own. Edison realized that the phonograph
could preserve the voices of great singers and the interpreta
tions of noted violinists and pianists for future generations,
but in the early 'eighties no one dreamed that records by
Metropolitan opera stars or ragtime and jazz by dance or
chestras would be sold by the million.
"For these reasons I hesitate to become too televisionary.
The apparatus which we hope eventually to build will be
just as serviceable in transmitting motion pictures to the
home by radio as in exhibiting news events directly. It seems
certain that just as we have succeeded in combining sound
records with motion pictures so that we can hear the words
that photographed lips form, so television will be combined
with broadcast music. Radio reception, as we know it today,
is blind; television is deaf. Combine the two and we appeal
to two senses at once, just as we do in any theater.
"Radio has already enriched the lives of thousands of
EXPERTS ANALYZE THE PROBLEM 63
lonely farmers with music that was once heard only in the
large cities. Ultimately it will be possible to receive in the
village moving-picture theater a performance of Hamlet by
John Barrymore or of the latest musical comedy that has
captured Broadway's fancy. The curtain will go up and
down just as it does on the stage in New York; the stage
will be disclosed with all its scenery, but in black and white.
Actors will be seen and heard in Wyoming as distinctly as
in the theater itself.
"That the more important events will be picked up by
wire, sent to the broadcasting station, and then radiated to
television receivers within a radius of two hundred miles or
more is a foregone conclusion," said Alexanderson. "Politi
cal conventions, state functions, the welcome of a queen to
these shores, championship tennis matches and baseball and
football games all these will undoubtedly be flashed into
millions of homes.
LOOKING ACROSS THE OCEAN. "Seeing across the Atlan
tic Ocean will be no more difficult than hearing in New York
a concert played in London. A vision will be sent across the
water on several powerful waves and reradiated here on
other waves used by our local stations. The practice is com
mon enough now in long-distance transmission and reception
of music and speech. If television is practical within a hun
dred miles of an American broadcasting station it is also
practical in a transatlantic sense.
"The fundamental principles of radio communication and
wire communication are the same," explained the inventor.
"Visions can be sent over wires to specific destinations as well
as through empty space. When television becomes practical
we shall see the man we have called up on the telephone if it
pays to see him. How important it is to gaze on him as we
talk to him must depend on circumstances. It might be im
portant to exhibit a murderer caught in San Francisco to
64 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
the police in New York for identification without waiting for
New York to send photographs or fingerprints.
"No one believed in 1870 that it would be important to
talk between Chicago and New York. Who knows but seeing
between New York and Chicago may become as common as
telephoning is now? It is a curious fact that we must provide
facilities for communication before we can determine how
useful they are. Thus it was with the telegraph and the tele
phone, and thus it will be with television."
LIFE IS INSTILLED IN THE IMAGES
The dawn of 1927 casting a light on the achievements of
the years just passed reveals to the research workers that
they are nearer the goal of successful television than ever
before. The remarkable advance of radio broadcasting has
given them new electric tools to work with in the television
And so the race of man to become master over the elusive
images that ride through the sky on mvisible ribbons of
communication becomes more intense and moves at a faster
PHOTOGRAPHS COME TO LIFE APRIL 7, 1927
Like a photograph come to life, Herbert Hoover, Secre
tary of Commerce, makes a speech in Washington and an
audience in New York watches him in action on a screen
as they hear him speak. His picture comes to the metropolis
by wire at the rate of eighteen images a second so that they
appear on the screen as a motion picture. As each syllable
is heard the motion of Hoover's lips and the changes in his
facial expression flash on the screen.
This is a triumph for television. When the images are
about three inches square the likeness is excellent. When the
screen is enlarged to two by three feet, the results are not
so clear. But, nevertheless, the New Yorkers are thrilled to
see the image come to life, as it begins to talk, smile, nod its
head and look this way and that. Hoover looks down as he
reads his speech, and holds the telephone receiver up so that
it covers most of the lower part of his face.
66 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
So quick is the transmission that the engineers estimate
that the New York hearers and spectators are something
like a thousandth part of a second later than the persons at
his side in hearing him and in viewing the changes in his
countenance. This is all done by wire but the second act
in the performance features radio-television between the
Whippany, N. J., studio of the American Telephone and
Telegraph Company and the New York screen.
The first face to appear on the screen from Whippany
is that of E. L. Nelson, an engineer who gives a technical
description of what is taking place. He screens well as he
A COMEDIAN APPEARS. Next is a vaudeville act by tele
vision from Whippany. It is an historic performance.
A. Dolan first appears. He is a comedian. He does a mono
logue in brogue. The audience sees him as an Irishman with
side whiskers and a broken pipe. Then he disappears. But in
a minute he is back on the screen, this time blackfaced with
a new line of jokes in negro dialect. It is the first vaudeville
act on the air as a talking picture and in its possibilities an
observer compares it with the Fred Ott sneeze of more than
thirty years ago, the first piece of comedy recorded in the
A short humorous dialect talk by Mrs. H. A. Frederick
of Mountain Lakes, N. J., is the next number on the pro
gram from the Whippany studio. Before and between the
acts an announcer makes a motion picture appearance. He
is seen and heard.
Some one recalls that Alexander Graham Bell, the inven
tor of the telephone, predicted at a meeting in the Times
Building, more than twenty years ago, that the day would
come when the man at the telephone would be able to see the
distant person to whom he was speaking. And now that
dream has come true. In the Washington part of this tele
vision demonstration a telephone girl is visible. She appears
LIFE IS INSTILLED IN THE IMAGES 67
on the screen and asks to whom the caller wishes to talk.
She is a pretty girl with fluffy hair, and it is observed that
she is as calm and efficient as if she had been at a television-
telephone switchboard all her life.
THE FRUITION OF STUDY. Walter S. Gifford, president
of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, opens
the demonstration with this introduction:
"Today we are to witness another milestone in the con
quest of nature by science. We shall see the fruition of years
of study on the problem of seeing at a distance as though
face to face. The principles underlying television, which
are related to the principles involved in electrical transmis
sion of speech, have been known for a long time, but today
we shall demonstrate its successful achievement. The elabo
rateness of the equipment required by the very nature of
the undertaking precludes any present possibility of tele
vision being available in homes and offices generally. What
its practical use may be I shall leave to your imagination.
I am confident, however, that in many ways, and in due
time, it will be found to add substantially to human comfort
The audience realizes that it is to witness an important
step in the history of communication. It is recalled to them
how on March 10, 1876, Bell stood in a room in a boarding
house at 5 Exeter Place, Boston, and spoke into a telephone
transmitter, that connected with an adjoining room, to
Thomas A. Watson, who had been working with him:
"Mr. Watson, come here. I want you."
Watson came rushing into the room, shouting, "I heard
you. I heard what you said."
But even that remarkable invention was neglected until
discovered in an inconspicuous corner at the Philadelphia
Centennial by Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, and became
the sensation of the exhibition. Bell was ridiculed when he
68 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
predicted that some day it would be possible for men to talk
from Boston to New York as easily as from room to room.
And now, in 1927, an audience in New York is seeing
Washingtonians by television!
General J. J. Carty steps before the televisor's eyes in
Washington and gives the signal for the show to begin. He
holds a telephone transmitter in his hand while the light of
an arc lamp flickers on his face. Small dots of light are mov
ing across his face, one after another, but at such high
speed that they bathe his countenance in uniform illumina
tion that has a bluish tinge. These lights are dissecting his
face into small squares. And each tiny part travels over the
wire to New York with inconceivable rapidity; in fact, at
the rate of 45,000 a second. The receiver reassembles the
squares as a mosaic. It takes about 2,500 of the tiny squares
or "units", as they are called to build up each com
plete picture. Gifford is at the New York end of the wire
to greet Carty.
"How do you do, General? You are looking well," Gifford
Carty smiles and inquires after the health of the speaker
at the New York end.
"We are all ready and waiting here," reports Carty. "Mr.
Hoover is here. They are having a little power trouble."
Hoover is called to take a seat so that the light beams can
play across his face and send it over the wire to Manhattan
Island. In a few seconds the New Yorkers hear his voice
and he is seen on the illuminated transparent screen which
has a corrugated appearance. This is because the squares
which comprise the picture are arranged in fifty rows, one
on top of the other.
The room is darkened. At first, in the center of the screen
a white glare appears. As the spectators watch the screen
they notice that the large luminous patch is forming a fore
head the forehead of Hoover. He is leaning in such a
LIFE IS INSTILLED IN THE IMAGES 69
way that the forehead takes up too much of the picture,
while the telephone he is holding blots out the mouth and
chin. Then he moves and the picture clears. He is easily
HOOVER Is TELEVISED. He looks up from the manu
script, the lips begin to move and this is what Herbert
Hoover said in his first television-telephone speech :
"It is a matter of just pride to have a part in this his
toric occasion. We have long been familiar with the electrical
transmission of sound. Today we have, in a sense, the trans
mission of sight, for the first time in the world's history.
"Human genius has now destroyed the impediment of
distance in a new respect, and in a manner hitherto unknown.
What its uses may finally be no one can tell, any more than
man could foresee in past years the modern developments of
the telegraph or telephone. All we can say today is that
there has been created a marvelous agency for whatever use
the future may find, with full realization that every great
and fundamental discovery of the past has been followed by
use far beyond the vision of its creator.
"Every school child is aware of the dramatic beginnings
of the telegraph and the telephone and the radio, and this
evolution in electrical communications has perhaps an im
portance as vital as any of these.
"This invention again emphasizes a new era in approach
to important scientific discovery, of which we have already
within the last two months seen another great exhibit the
transatlantic telephone. It is the result of organized, planned
and definitely directed scientific research, magnificently coor
dinated in a cumulative group of highly skilled scientists,
loyally supported by a great corporation devoted to the
advancement of the art. The intricate processes of this in
vention could never have been developed under any condi
tions of isolated individual effort.
"I always find in these occasions a great stimulation to
70 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
confidence in the future. If we can be assured a flow of new
and revolutionary inventions to maintain thought, stimulate
spirit and provide a thousand new opportunities for effort
and service, we will have preserved a vital and moving
Mrs. Hoover is next invited to sit in front of the televisor
and she converses with Mr. Gifford.
"What will you invent next?" she asks. "I hope you won't
invent anything that reads our thoughts."
Newspaper reporters then take turns at the televisor. The
New Yorkers talk with David Lawrence, a Washington cor
respondent. In commenting upon the event one reporter said
that Lawrence was pictured perfectly on the small screen.
He looked like an excellent daguerreotype which had come
to life and started to talk. Even the crinkle of his hair reg
istered perfectly. In these small motion pictures, projected
by television, the detail of the face appears in clear-cut
black lines against a shining gold background, due to the
orange light from the neon tube.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCESS. It remains for Dr. Ives
to describe the process. Aside from the terrific speed of
transmission and the fact that an error of ninety-thou
sandths of a second in the synchronization between the appa
ratus in Washington and that in New York would jumble
the picture, he assures the audience that the problem is not
as complicated as it might seem.
"The performance begins when the person to be televised
takes the seat in front of the television eyes," said Ives.
"Then the arc light is turned on. The revolving disk shuts
most of the light off from the sitter. There is a series of holes
along the rim of the disk. As the disk whirls, the light flashes
through and strikes the person in front of it, through a hole
nearest the rim. That spot of light travels across the top of
the head. The second hole is not as close to the rim of the
disk. Therefore, the second spot of light travels across the
LIFE IS INSTILLED IN THE IMAGES 71
face, just below the first, and the third just below the sec
ond, and so on. There is a total of fifty holes so that fifty
spots of light one beneath the other speed across the scene
or object to be televised.
"If the process could be slowed down infinitely, it would
begin with the action of the visible spot of light. But in
actual operation, the spots move so quickly that the subject
is flooded by steady illumination. However, there is never
more than one spot of light on the face or scene at a time,
but the entire fifty spots or daubs of light flash across the
face eighteen times in a second. The lines, contours,
shadows, highlights and colors of the face naturally cause
variations in the brightness of the light spots they reflect.
These variations are converted into variations in electric
"Three large photoelectric cells face the person being tele
vised. The moving spots of light are reflected from the face
into these cells, where they cause an electron shower or flow
of electricity. The showers are strong or weak, as the light
is strong or weak. These electron showers are nothing but
electric current, so that the photoelectric cells cause a cur
rent, which constantly varies according to the characteristics
of the countenance or scene to be televised. Then the vacuum
tube amplifiers are put to work to intensify the current
5,000,000 to 10,000,000 times before it is strong enough
to perform the work required of it. Then it is sent by either
wire or radio to the receiving set and television screen."
PORTRAITS THAT FLY. This electricity is literally a fly
ing picture. Every change in volume is the feature of a face
or scene. The trick is to make every bit of the flying portrait
land in the right place. When it arrives at the receiving sta
tion the current is carried to a "brush" or an electrical con
tact device which is mounted on a wheel. As the "brush"
revolves on the wheel it makes and breaks the electrical
contact approximately 2,500 times. Each contact is made
72 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
with one of 2,500 wires or "nerves" mounted on a circle in
which the wheel whirls. Each "nerve" snatches a bit of the
electric current or flying picture. This wheel must spin so
accurately, in synchronization with the revolving disk at
the transmitter, that each one of the "nerves" will have de
livered to it eighteen times in a second exactly the bit of
picture intended for it. The slightest error would scramble
Each wire-nerve carries its bit of current to a square of
tinfoil behind the television screen. These patches of tinfoil
are arranged fifty in a row. And there are fifty rows. When
the bit of current carrying a tiny fragment of the picture
reaches one square of tinfoil, it leaps to a wire. It makes
the jump through a bulb in which there is neon gas. The
glow of this lamp is instantaneously effected by the passage
of the electric current through it. Eighteen times every
second there is a flash of light in front of each of the 2,500
patches of tinfoil. The flash is strong or feeble, according to
the light or shadow on a particular part of the face or
scene. These rapid flashes build up the picture of the screen
and they do it at the rate of about 45,000 flashes a second.
The transmitting and receiving of the picture, that is,
taking it to pieces at one place and reassembling at another,
is synchronized by a special method which causes every one
of the 2,500 squares or picture units to fall in the proper
place eighteen times a second. This control calls for the
use of two wires. And in the case of radio television, one wave
length is employed for sending the picture and two others
for the synchronization process. This necessity for at least
three wave lengths is an obstacle in the path of sending tele
vision to the home, because the radio lanes are already badly
congested, except in the ultra-short wave spectrum.
Ives emphasizes that it would require several hundred
times as many dots of light, under equally perfect control,
to make television practical on a large screen such as utilized
LIFE IS INSTILLED IN THE IMAGES 73
in motion picture theaters. Furthermore, television cannot
be thrown on a larger screen without the use of a more pow
erful flood of illumination on the person or scene televised.
The light used in this experiment is strong enough to be
uncomfortable to a person sitting within its glare for any
length of time. However, this factor is not likely to remain
as a heavy obstacle. It is expected that a more sensitive
photoelectric cell will be developed which will enable the tele
vision camera to function in less intense illumination.
FACES KNOWN BY THEIR SOUNDS APRIL 8, 19&7
Strange as it may seem, television signals can be heard as
well as seen. Any radio receiving set if in tune with the
proper wave can eavesdrop on the show. But if only ear
phones or a loudspeaker is utilized, television is a mere
squeal of varying intensity. One can chalk $1,000,000 on a
blackboard and when held in front of a televisor it will sound
far different than a dollar bill within range of the electric
eyes. Every scene and every object has a characteristic tone
John Baird makes a trip to Glasgow to show the home-
folks what he is doing with television. He shows them that
every face has a characteristic sound. A blonde sounds differ
ent from a brunette. Even a derby hat, whether it be brown
or black, has a different refrain than a cap or gray felt hat.
A Scotch plaid sounds as distinctive as it looks. In fact,
every substance emits a distinctive refrain when televised
and picked up by a loudspeaker instead of on the screen.
THE BAIRD DEFINITION. "Television may be defined as
the transmission by telegraphy of images of actual scenes
with such rapidity that they appear instantaneously to the
eye," said the Scotsman at the Glasgow meeting. "The eye,
unfortunately for the success of television, has a time lag,
and images therefore need not be transmitted instantane
ously. The problem of television has been approached by two
74 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
different methods. The first and most obvious was to build
apparatus in imitation of the human optical system. The
human eye consists essentially of a lens which casts an image
of the object viewed upon the retina. The surface of the
retina consists of several million hexagonal cells into which
lead the ends of the optic nerve. These nerve terminals are
immersed in a light-sensitive substance, the visual purple,
which, when ionized by light, changes its color from purple
to a grayish yellow.
"This ionization of the visual purple sends impulses along
the nerve fibers to the brain. The visual purple in life is con
tinually renewed, so that, in effect, it might be compared
to a motion picture camera, with this difference, that in
place of using a moving film coated with a light-sensitive
emulsion, the light-sensitive visual purple is continually
Baird, like other inventors in describing their work, asks
the audience to keep in mind that the eyes are a human tele
vision system. The scenes they view are transmitted to the
brain as mosaics comprising an enormous number of tiny
areas, each of which is flashed simultaneously to the receiv
ing centers 'in the brain. There the impulses of the optic
nerve produce mosaics corresponding to the images on the
retina. He says that artificial television models on these lines
were actually suggested by several early experimenters, but
they soon discovered that the stupendous number of cells,
wires and shutters required made the development of such
a scheme out of the question.
THE SECOND APPROACH. Baird then describes the sec
ond method of approach to television. It uses one photo
electric cell and causes each of the elemental areas to fall
in quick succession upon that artificial eye.
"About four years ago I decided to devote my entire time
to achieving television," he continued. "The problem seemed
comparatively simple. Two optical exploring devices rotat-
LIFE IS INSTILLED IN THE IMAGES 75
ing in synchronism, a light-sensitive cell and a controlled,
varying light source capable of rapid variation were all that
was required. They appeared to be already known. The
problem of synchronism had apparently been solved in a
practical way in multiplex telegraphy. Quite a number of
optical exploring devices were available. The photoelectric
cell, in conjunction with the thermionic valve (vacuum
tube), appeared to offer a ready-made light-sensitive de
vice, and the glow of a discharge lamp an ideal light source.
I wondered why in spite of the apparent simplicity of the
task none had produced television. I found that the stum
bling block was in the cell. After six months' work, however,
I managed to get shadows through. Then the step from mere
shadows to images by reflected light proved extremely diffi
cult, but in April, 1925, I had the satisfaction of transmit
ting simple outlines."
The inventor pauses here in his lecture to demonstrate by
means of a loudspeaker diaphragm how each object that is
televised sings its own refrain.
"If television transmissions are received on a telephone,"
he explains, "they are audible, because every object or scene
has a characteristic sound. I have made a few phonograph
records of the sounds created by different persons' faces.
By noticing carefully it is possible to distinguish one face
from another. A further interesting point is that these rec
ords can be turned back into images, so that a living scene
can be stored in the form of a phonograph disk."
In Baird's first demonstrations of television he had to
utilize an intensely brilliant illumination, which caused con
siderable discomfort to the person being televised. By using
infra-red rays, however, he ultimately dispensed altogether
with light, with the somewhat remarkable result in that the
television eye could see in total darkness.
A NEW DECADE IN RADIO VISION
. . . any one who has witnessed the new inventions, the birth
of new industries, the acceleration of production and con
sumption, and the structural changes which have so vastly in
creased the wealth of the world and altered our entire mode
of living within the memory of those present, cannot be dis
couraged about either the immediate or the distant future.
The opportunities which have so multiplied in the last
generation are only the forerunners of others, and perhaps
greater ones, which will come as the result of forces now at
work and constantly being discovered, so that it is impossible
to predict what may be the opportunities that lie immediately
ahead. . . .
ANDREW W. MELLON,
Secretary of the Treasury, at American
Bankers' Association Convention, 1931.
SEEING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
Boyhood cultivates the restless ambition for youth to go
to sea. So it is with science, ever youthful, ever adventurous,
ever seeking new realms in which to conquer. So it is with
After Marconi had nurtured his invention past the baby
age it suddenly left the land and darted out into the empti
ness of space over the ocean to seek a slender target on the
distant shore. And television, after it peered through the
London fog and across the foothills of the Adirondacks,
wanted to glimpse farther. It wanted to see across the
That great expanse of water has beckoned many an ad
venturer to fame and many others to disaster since Columbus
first accepted its challenge. The Atlantic brought laurels to
Marconi. It brought glory to Lindbergh. It gave prestige to
the Zeppelin. It gave the submarine a mystic power. It is
good to all who triumph on its waves or in the sky above
them. It is cruel to those brave souls struck down by Fate
in man's battle to annihilate time and space.
To look beyond the sea was a natural ambition -for tele
vision images, anxious for a longer flight that would prove
beyond all doubt the power of electric eyes to see far across
the horizon of the earth.
AN IMAGE CROSSES THE SEA FEBRUARY 8, 1928
It is a cold night. The air is crisp and the stars are
twinkling in a clear winter sky. Twenty-seven years have
80 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
gone since the letter "S" made history in its flight across
the Atlantic as the first wireless signal to leap that distance.
The ever restless ocean has been further conquered since
then. Millions of dots and dashes, thousands and thousands
of spoken words have sped across the three thousand miles
of water. Airplanes and dirigibles have soared high out of
range of King Neptune's pronged fork and have landed
safely on the other side of the sea.
Tonight science is engaged in another contest with the
Atlantic. Again the great expanse is to be defied. Over in
England, Big Ben struck midnight several hours ago. A
number of radio experimenters are neglecting their slumber
to tune up electrical apparatus and to adjust a new kind of
man-made eye. Far over the horizon, not far from New
York, another group hovers around a receiving set, the cur
rents of which flow into a unique contraption that resembles
a lens. On the roof a slender wire dangles between two masts
always ready to pluck energy from passing radio waves no
matter from where they may come.
Mrs. Mia Howe sits under the glare and heat of the
powerful electric lamps in the laboratory of John Baird in
London. In front of her is a black wall in which there is an
opening about a foot square. It is the gateway to a scanning
disk. The inventor calls through a speaking tube as he
focuses the apparatus, "Face up a little closer. Chin up,
Through the hole in the wall Mrs. Howe sees a great wheel
going round and round. A slotted disk whirling 2,000 revo
lutions in a minute interrupts the light and reflects the
image, causing it to reach the light-sensitive cell in a series
of flashes. She describes it, saying that it looks like a saw
mill, but to Baird it is part of a machine that is sending the
sound of a face across the ocean.
Over in the United States in a darkened cellar in the vil
lage of Hartsdale, N. Y., a group of persons watch Mrs.
SEEING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC 81
Howe turn her head and move from side to side. The images
are imperfect, but they are images nevertheless. Transat
lantic television is a reality! Another dream of science is
on the way to realization.
The face crosses the sea as a rhythmic rumble, at least
that is the way it sounds as it hums like a bumblebee while
being transformed into a picture by a little black box. The
musical buzz and its choppy cadence represent the lights
and shadows of the face. That is the way a television signal
sounds when tuned in by an operator wearing earphones.
And that is the way it sounds if by chance it goes through
The black box is the televisor. It has a gaping eye in which
tiny oblongs of light suspended in a whirling rectangle of
brilliance swirl and shift to form the face of the woman far
across the swells of the Atlantic. The elements that lurk in
the air over the sea this night try to "break up the show."
The face of Mrs. Howe appears broken and scattered, but
those who see it have no doubt that it is a woman, as she first
shows full face and then her profile.
Then some one pushes a Jack-o'-lantern in front of the
televisor in London. The Americans see it turn its head from
side to side and open its mouth. It is the first Jack-o'-lantern
to pose for a transoceanic broadcast.
The receiving is done by R. M. Hart, owner of a
short wave radio station using the call 2CVJ. Two kilowatts
of power are employed to lift the face across the ocean waves.
TRYING TO RIVAL NATURE FEBRUARY 10, 1928
A London surgeon has been persuaded to give John
Baird the eye just removed from a boy, in order that he
might try it in his television machine in an effort to rival
"As soon as I was given the eye," said Baird, "I hurried
in a taxicab to the laboratory. Within a few minutes I had
82 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
the eye in the machine. Then I turned on the current and the
waves carrying television were broadcast from the aerial.
The essential image for television passed through the eye
within half an hour after the operation. On the following
day the sensitiveness of the eye's visual nerve was gone. The
optic was dead. Nothing was gained from the experiment. It
was gruesome and a waste of time.
"I had been dissatisfied with the old-fashioned selenium
cell and lens. I felt that television demanded something
more refined. The most sensitive optical substance known is
the nerve of the human eye. It was essential to get some
visual purple in the natural setting of the human eyeball in
order to use it as a standard of perfection in completing the
visual parts of my apparatus. I had to wait a long time to
get the eye because unimpaired ones are not often removed
BAIRD'S ROAD TO TELEVISION FEBRUARY 19, 1928
Captain O. G. Hutchinson, an aide of John Baird, has ar
rived in New York to supervise tests which he hopes will
lead to transoceanic broadcasts that will enable New Yorkers
and Londoners to see each other no matter how thick the fog
that might be hovering over the Thames or Sandy Hook.
He is in a reminiscent mood. He refers to Baird as "the
Galileo of radio vision."
"When but twelve years of age Baird began making
selenium light-sensitive cells to transmit shadow pictures,
the forerunner of his later televisor," said Hutchinson. "He
often burned his fingers so badly in his early work with
chemicals that his father, a minister of West Parish church,
Helensburgh, Scotland, frequently felt the necessity of
apologizing to his friends for the condition of his son.
"Undismayed by the predictions of older scientific minds
in England, made less than three years ago, that twenty-
five to fifty years would have to elapse before Baird's 'child'
SEEING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC 83
would crawl from the laboratory, he worked on in the direst
poverty and under the most adverse and squalid conditions.
Late in 1925, I happened to meet him on the Strand in
London with patches on his clothes and about ten dollars
in his possession. That was all he had left of a half inter
est in his invention which he had sold to a friend for money
to keep him alive and to carry on his experiments.
"In December, 1925, we undertook to interest some
friends in the possibilities of the invention and succeeded in
raising a few thousand pounds when Baird said he could
produce television apparatus for a demonstration in six
months. That marked the beginning of the upward trend
and recognition among those who had predicted failure.
"Baird had his first position with the Argyle Motor
Works in Alexandria, Scotland, where he worked in the
drawing (office," continued , Hutchinson. "From there he
went to the Clyde Valley Power Company, near Glasgow.
During the World War he invented what is known in Eng
land as the 'Baird Under-sock, 5 which was worn by soldiers
in the trenches to prevent or allay the malady called
'trench-feet.' He has most eccentric habits. Upon occasions
when he wants to think intently he goes to bed for a week
at a time. He said that upon one of these prolonged rests he
conceived the working part of his apparatus."
Hutchinson remembers one evening while sitting on the
roof of the laboratory in London, Baird commented on the
blood-red sunset, saying that the deep color was caused by
the red rays, which, being of longer wave length, were able
to penetrate the London mist with greater facility than the
other colors. He wondered why the invisible rays just be
yond the red, known as infra-red rays, could not be used to
bring about sight in darkness. They might he able to pene
trate mists and interfering media better than the red visible
He went into the laboratory for a week. At the end of that
84 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
time he told friends he had an interesting experiment. He
invited them to enter the darkened laboratory. The appa
ratus was switched on and the guests beheld an image on
the screen, the likeness of a manikin at the other end of
As a further test an experimental image was placed inside
a glass case in which a chemical fog was so dense that the
image could not be seen. The seeing-in-darkness apparatus,
or the "noctovisor," as it is called, penetrated the fog by
means of the infra-red rays, which are just beyond the
range of human vision, and the image appeared.
"As the next step," said Hutchinson, "talking films were
made by means of equipment that evolved from the 'nocto
visor' experiments. Baird was discouraged in this venture
when existing patents along this line were discovered to be
the property of Ernest Ruhmer, a German inventor. This
experience caused Baird to turn attention more completely
to television, and he succeeded in making his first workable
apparatus and demonstrating it in the form of shadow
graphs at the Self ridge store in London in April, 1925.
These graphs, however, were a thousand miles from television
as we know it today. His main problem was to find a cell
that would be sensitive to weak reflected light."
A FACE Is PICKED UP AT SEA MARCH 7, 1928
Chief Radio Operator Stanley Brown is on board the S.S.
Berengaria. Miss Dora Selvy is in London, a thousand miles
away. For twenty minutes she sits in front of the big eyes
of Baird's television station in London, while Brown in his
wireless cabin on shipboard watches her smile as her brown
eyes look straight at him from the television receiver of the
Brown recognizes her quickly because of a characteristic
little habit of arranging her dark bobbed hair at the back
of her head. And when Miss Selvy turns and appears in
SEEING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC 85
profile he is convinced of her identity. She talks, smiles and
turns around just to prove to him that the image is that of
a living being and not a photograph. She is excited, espe
cially, when a wireless to the ship reports success of the
experiment. And then she asks, "I wonder how I looked so
STEPPING OUT OF THE LABORATORY JULY 12, 1928
A radio camera is wheeled out on the roof of the Bell
Telephone Laboratories. A man dressed in white flannels and
sport shirt stands about twenty feet away. He whirls a tennis
racket through all the strokes in a tennis player's repertory
while the electric eye observes him executing lofts and lobs.
Three floors below several persons watch every handstroke
he makes. Television is no longer limited to catching the
mere head and shoulders of a man sitting in a radio studio.
It is on its way to carrying panoramas, spectacles and even
mob scenes across miles of atmosphere.
The engineers explain that the trick of recording the
action of th tennis player is accomplished by admitting
sunlight into partnership with radio. The glaring lamps
hitherto necessary in photographing an image have given
way to the rays of the sun. A more sensitive photoelectric cell
makes this development possible. It will work even on a
"We can take this camera machine to Niagara, to the
Polo Grounds or to the Yale Bowl," said Paul B. Findley, of
the Bell Laboratories, "and it will pick up the scene for
broadcasting. The important step we have taken in this
new development is that sunlight is used instead of a pow
erful artificial light. It will 'photograph' the cataract of
Niagara. We could mount the televisor camera on a platform
and revolving tripod at a prize ring and broadcast the fight
scene. Television has stepped out of the laboratory as far
86 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
as transmission is concerned. We are no longer limited to
The television camera utilizes a cloth hood in much the
same fashion as did the old style of camera. A lens five
inches in diameter projects from an opening in the black
cloth. Behind the lens and hidden by the cloth is Nipkow's
disk, measuring three feet in diameter. It has fifty tiny holes
along its outer rim. They measure one-sixteenth of an inch
in diameter and are so arranged that no line effect is noticed
on the picture at the receiving end. The disk is of aluminum,
painted black, and when in operation it revolves so that each
of the little light openings passes a given point eighteen
times in a second. This creates 900 lines to "paint" the
image. The impulses are so rapid that the lines are blended
and the picture looks like a half-tone.
The great sensitivity of the new photoelectric cell is the
reason why less light is required on the image. The camera
will even operate on a hazy day, but clouds that shut off the
sun, naturally, lower the efficiency of the machine.
CAMERA SUPPLEMENTS MICROPHONE. The image is fo
cused by moving the lens back and forth. In fact, the prin
ciple is the same as that of a kodak. In the first form of
equipment demonstrated in April, 1927, the scene was illu
minated by a rapidly oscillating beam from a powerful arc
light. The scene to be broadcast was thus limited to a small
area. The new machine frees television from this serious
limitation. This experiment shows that persons in motion
and objects a considerable distance away from the camera
can be scanned successfully.
Dr. Frank Gray is in charge of the camera during the
demonstration. He explains that the radio camera can be
employed several miles from the broadcasting station and be
connected to it by wire line, as are microphones that pick up
music and voices at points outside the studio.
SEEING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC 87
The receiver is shrouded in darkness. One merely sees a
picture about two and a half inches square of the tennis
player on the roof as he jumps about and swings his racquet.
The engineers, however, assure the audience that the receiver
represents no new development.
"This demonstration is merely to illustrate another ad
vance," said one of the engineers. "It does not mean that
television will be ready for use in every home equipped with
radio tomorrow. The equipment is too elaborate for home
use. It requires experts to operate the instruments, although
part of the receiving station is an ordinary broadcast re
ceiver. We hope to make the pictures larger. We hope to
have television so that it can be used in the living room
without having the room darkened. Perhaps some day we
will flash the images on a screen like the movies, but when
that will be we cannot say."
CURTAINS ARE DRAWN BACK SEPTEMBER 11, 1928
Science is pushing asunder still further the curtains be
hind which man catches a glimpse of nature's secrets on
the stage of Time. The genial Dr. Alexanderson in the role
of a scientific showman gives an audience at Schenectady a
glimpse of what may be expected on a more spectacular
scale in the future.
For the first time in history, a dramatic performance is
broadcast simultaneously by radio and television. Voice and
action travel together through space in perfect synchroni
zation, in a forty-minute broadcast of J. Hartley Manners'
one-act play, The Queen's Messenger. It is an old spy melo
drama, for years a favorite with amateur Thespians. It is
chosen for this experiment because the cast contains only
two actors, and their parts are such that they can alternate
in front of the television camera.
While the actors play their roles in a locked studio, the
audience sees and hears them through a television receiving
88 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
set in another room in the same building. Their appearance
and voices, translated into electrical impulses, are carried
by land wire to the broadcast transmitter of WGY four miles
away, where they are given wings for a flight through space.
They are picked up again at the place of their origin. The
effect is the same as listening to a radio drama, except that
in addition to hearing the sounds the audience sees moving
pictures of the actors as they speak their lines and do their
stage "business" with cigarettes, cigars, knives, pistols and
The pictures are about the size of a postal card and are
sometimes blurred and confused. They are not always in the
center of the receiving screen. Sometimes they are hard on
the eyes because they flicker. It is recalled, however, that
ordinary moving pictures suffered from worse mechanical
defects in their pioneer days, and that these shortcomings
of the television pictures signify that they are still in the
THE INVENTOR'S PREDICTION. Alexanderson makes it
clear that it will be some time before radio vision is perfected
to such a degree as to make it practical for home entertain
ment. He predicts that some day there will be special tele
vision theaters all over the world, without actors, musicians,
scene shifters or stage hands, receiving simultaneously iden
tical theatrical broadcasts and musical performances from
a central broadcasting station. And some day, he believes,
television will be seen in natural colors. He is already at
work on the next step, which will give a performance with
pictures measuring a foot square and later full-size motion
pictures of the head and face.
He points out that as far as the main demonstration
featuring the one-act play is concerned, the most significant
factor is the synchronization of word and gesture. That is
a step forward. And he declares that great as has been the
triumph of the talking movies, they may easily be outdone
SEEING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC 89
by television if the technical difficulties are overcome, because
then radio will carry both words and scenes of dramatic and
musical performances, besides public events and athletic
games, into the homes as well as into the theaters.
Like many of the early sound broadcasts, The Queen's
Messenger is released into the air by radio, but how far it
travels no one knows. There are no telegrams, telephone
calls or letters to tell of success. It is broadcast at 1 :30
o'clock in the afternoon and repeated at 11 :30 P.M., in hopes
that under the cover of darkness the waves might go across
a greater mileage to be intercepted by amateur television
experimenters. Several amateurs along the Pacific coast
have picked up images broadcast from the Mohawk Valley
on previous occasions, but they regard themselves as lucky
when able to hold one of the elusive faces for thirty seconds
on the screen.
The two characters in the cast of The Queen's Messenger
are played by Izetta Jewell, a former star of the legitimate
stage, the wife of Professor Hugh Miller of Union College,
and Maurice Randall of the WGY Studio Players. They will
be remembered as pioneer television actors.
The technique of handling this television drama makes it
necessary for the actors to have two assistants, Joyce Evans
Rector and William J. Toniski, whose hands "double" for
the hands of Miss Jewell and Mr. Randall in certain scenes.
They are needed to manipulate the "props" before the tele
vision camera. This is necessary because, at the present stage
of progress, only the heads of the two actors can be televised
There are three cameras on duty in the studio. One takes
only the scenes in which Miss Jewell appears, another only
the scenes which feature Randall, and the third only the
scenes in which the hands of one or the other or the various
"props" are displayed. In addition to the cameras a micro
phone functions in front of each player. The director of the
90 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
production operates a control box in an effort to bring each
actor on the screen at the proper time and to "fade" the
actors in and out of each scene as is done in the movies. In
front of the director is a special receiving set that enables
him to see the faces as they appear on the television screen
and check them with the voices.
Three different wave lengths carry the performance ; the
pictures travel on 379.5- and 21. 4-meter waves while the
words use the 31.96-meter channel.
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES
The divine power of the human eye enables man to dis
Colors are delicate to reproduce. So man in his work to
emulate nature or to photograph its beauty has in many
instances found it necessary to be satisfied with black, white
and shadows. He could photograph in black and white long
before the camera achieved ability to register color on a
plate or film. Even today colored motion pictures are special
But some day cameras will photograph the colors of the
sunset as easily as they do black and white. The "talkies"
will be in natural hues. Ultimately television in the home
will be in color. When the cataract of Niagara flashes on the
screens in millions of homes scattered throughout the world
that beautiful deep green of the tumbling tons of water will
be seen in vivid contrast with the white, madly tossing water
of the rapids, just before the dash over the precipice.
Such will be the wonder of seeing by radio, but first man
must be satisfied with the scenes in black and white, because
science finds it a Herculean task to match the power of the
It is 1929!
TELEVISION BLOSSOMS IN COLOR JUNE 27, 1929
The Stars and Stripes fluttering in front of watchful
electric "eyes" in the Bell Telephone Laboratories is repro
duced in red, white and blue on a screen about one hundred
feet from the transmitter to show the possibilities of tele-
92 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
vision in color. In this experiment a radio channel is not
used. Wires link the transmitter and receiver. The principle
is the same in either case.
The observer walks into a darkened booth and through a
peek hole sees the American flag in color. It is about the size
of a postage stamp. The colors reproduce perfectly. Then
the Union Jack waves on the screen and is easily recognized
by its colored bars.
The man at the transmitter in this television theater, the
technical impresario of which is Dr. Ives, picks up a piece
of water melon, and there can be no mistake in identifying
what he is eating. The red of the melon, the black seeds and
the green rind look true to nature, and so does the red of his
lips, the natural color of his skin and the black hair.
Then a pot of geraniums appears as proof that television
can reproduce flowers the red blossoms and the green
leaves. Next a large ball with colored stripes ; a pineapple, a
bouquet of varicolored roses and the image of a young
woman in a plaid dress flash on the screen to give evidence
that the latest radio "eye" is sensitive to any color.
Ives calls attention to the fact that the engineers have
succeeded in adding color to television motion pictures with
out sacrifice of detail. The picture is restricted to the size
of a postage stamp so that not even the finest detail is lost.
Once this is achieved, the research experts say it will not be
difficult to flash radio movies in color on a much larger
screen, although it will be more expensive.
The person or object televised is rapidly scanned by a
beam of flickering bright light, while three sets of electric
eyes (photoelectric cells) are arranged to transmit current
corresponding to the amount of a primary color, red, blue
or green. Then at the receiver three tubes form images cor
responding in brightness and color to what the electric eyes
at the sending machine see. A system of mirrors combines
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 93
the three images to form the one image in color on the
SIGNIFICANT FEATURES. One of the most significant fea
tures of this color-television achievement is that it does not
require complete new apparatus. Much of it is the same as
employed in handling television pictures in black and white.
The same light sources, driving motors, scanning disks and
synchronizing systems and the same type of amplification
are used. The only new features are the type and arrange
ment of the photoelectric cells at the sending end and the
neon and argon lamps at the receiver.
The outstanding contributions that have made colored
television possible are a new photoelectric cell, new gas cells
for reproducing the image and the instruments associated
directly with them. To render the correct tone of colored ob
jects it was necessary to obtain photoelectric cells, which like
the modern orthochromatic or panchromatic plate, would
be sensitive throughout the visible spectrum. This require
ment has been satisfactorily met. Through the work of A. R.
Olpin and G. R. Stilwell a new kind of photoelectric cell
has been developed which uses sodium in place of potassium.
Its active surface is sensitized by a complicated process
using sulphur vapor and oxygen instead of a glow discharge
of hydrogen, as with the former type of cell. And the re
sponse of the new cell to color, instead of stopping in the
blue-green region, continues all the way to the deep red.
Each of the three groups of photoelectric cells is provided
with color filters or sheets of colored gelatine. One has filters
of an orange-red color, which makes the electric eyes "see"
things as the sensitive nerves of the retina sees them. An
other has yellow-green filters to give the green effect and
the third is a greenish-blue filter which performs a cor
responding duty for the blue constituent of vision.
BLENDING THE COLORS. The former potassium cells were
responsive only to the blue end of the spectrum; therefore,
94 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
objects of a yellowish color appeared darker than they
should have and the tone of the reproduced scene was not
quite correct. This disadvantage applied particularly to
persons of dark or tanned complexion. When the new cells
are used in the original television apparatus and with yellow
filters similar to those used in photographing landscapes
in order to make the blue sky appear properly dark this
defect is corrected and the images assume their correct values
of light and shade no matter what the color of the object or
the complexion of the person. The new photoelectric cells
make color television possible.
The development of color television has been greatly
simplified by the fact that as far as the eye is concerned
any color may be represented by the proper mixture of just
three fundamental colors red, green, blue. This fact is uti
lized in the development of color photography, all the re
search of which serves as the background for color television.
Several methods of combining the three basic colors to form
the reproduced image are available, but, in so far as the
sending or scanning end is concerned, the method developed
has no counterpart in color photography.
MORE "EYES" ARE UTILIZED. The scanning disk and
the light source are the same as with the beam scanning
arrangement used in monochromatic television. The only
difference is in the photoelectric cells, according to Ives.
And thanks to the trichromatic nature of color vision, it is
only necessary to have three times the number of cells used
previously, to reproduce all colors. Three series of television
signals, one for each set of cells, are generated instead of
one and three channels are used for the transmission of the
The photoelectric cell container is called a cage. Twenty-
four cells are located in it. Two have blue filters, eight have
green filters, and fourteen are equipped with red ones. These
numbers are so chosen with respect to the relative sensitive-
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 95
ness of the cells to different colors. The cells are placed in
three banks, one bank in front of and above the position of
the scanned object, one bank diagonally to the right, so that
the cells receive light from both sides of the object and
above. In placing the cells they are so distributed by color
as to give no predominance in any direction to any color. In
addition, large sheets of rough, pressed glass are set up some
distance in front of the cell cage so that the light reflected
from the object to the cells is well diffused.
"The receiving apparatus consists of one of the sixteen-
inch television disks used in our earlier experimental work,"
said Ives. "Behind it are the three special lamps and a lens
system which focuses the light into a small aperture in front
of the disk. The observer, looking into the aperture, re
ceives, through each hole of the disk as it passes by, light
from the three lamps each controlled by its appropriate
signal from the sending end. When the intensities of the
three images are properly adjusted he therefore sees an
image in its true colors, and with the general appearance of
a small colored motion picture."
Color television constitutes a definite further step in the
solution of the many problems presented in the electrical
transmission of images. It is, however, obviously more expen
sive as well as more difficult than the earlier monochromatic
form, involving extra communication channels and addi
tional apparatus. The great obstacle in the way of applying
colored television to radio is that it requires so much space
in the ether three invisible channels 20,000 cycles wide.
Some method must be found to whittle this to a narrower
pathway through the sky.
TRIO OF IMAGES MUST APPEAR. "For color television
the three images must be received in their appropriate colors
and viewed simultaneously and in superposition," said Ives.
"The first problem was to find light sources which, like the
neon lamp previously used, would respond with the requisite
96 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
fidelity to the short-wave signals of television, and at the
same time give red, green and blue light. And when such
lamps were available, a decision had to be made as to how the
three colors could best be combined to form a single image.
"Thus far the images have been received in a manner simi
lar essentially to the method of monochromatic television.
The surface of the disk similar to that used at the sending
end is viewed and light from the receiving lamp is focused
on the pupil of the observer's eye by suitable lenses. To com
bine the light of the three lamps, they are placed at some
distance behind the scanning disk and two semi-transparent
mirrors are set up at right angles to each other but each at
45 degrees to the line of sight. One lamp is then viewed
directly through both mirrors and one lamp is seen by re
flection from each.
ARGON TUBES ARE USED. "The matter of suitable lamps
to provide the red, green and blue light has required a great
deal of study. There is no difficulty about the red light be
cause the neon glow lamp which has been used previously in
television can be transformed into a suitable red light by
interposing a red filter. For the source of green and blue
light nothing nearly so efficient as the neon lamp was avail
able. The decision finally made was to use another one of the
noble gases argon which has a considerable number of
emission lines in the blue and green regions of the spectrum.
Two argon lamps are employed, one with a blue filter to
transmit the blue lines and one with a green filter trans
parent to the green lines of its spectrum.
"These argon lamps unfortunately are not as bright as
neon lamps ; therefore, it was necessary to use various expe
dients to increase their effective brilliancy. Special lamps to
work at high-current densities were constructed with long
narrow and hollow cathodes so that streams of water could
cool them. The cathode is viewed end-on. This greatly fore
shortens the thin glowing layer of gas and thus increases its
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 97
apparent brightness. Even so it is necessary to operate these
lamps from a special tube amplifier to obtain currents as
high as 200 milliamperes."
It is easily understood that television in colors is a far
more difficult task than is monochromatic television. Errors
of quality which would pass unnoticed in an image of only
one color may be fatal to true color reproduction where
three such images are superimposed and viewed simultane
ously. In three-color television any deviations from correct
tone throw out the balance of the colors so that while the
three images might be adjusted to give certain colors prop
erly, others would suffer from excess or deficiency of certain
of the constituents. A further source of erroneous color exists
at the scanning end. If the light from the object being tele
vised were not distributed equally to all the cells, the object
would appear as if illuminated by lights of different colors
shining on it from different directions.
THE KINESCOPE Is INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 18, 1929
There are no moving or mechanical parts in a new tele
vision receiver that Vladimir Zworykin displayed at the
district convention of the Institute of Radio Engineers at
Rochester, N. Y. The image appears on the flat end of a
cone-shaped cathode ray tube. It takes the place of the
neon or glow tube, the scanning disk and the motor of
previous television receivers. It is noiseless in operation and
there is practically no difficulty in synchronizing the trans
mitter and receiver. Zworykin, who has apparently discov
ered several missing links in television, calls the new tube a
"kinescope." He thinks that eventually this improvement
will mean practical simplified television for the home.
This cathode ray tube produces a picture with less flicker
than does the scanning disk. The image is four by five inches,
but the inventor is confident that additional experiments
will teach him how to build tubes which can produce larger
98 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
pictures. To make it possible for a number of people to
watch the images the active surface of the cathode tube is
located below a tilted mirror which reflects the action and
permits several to see it at the same time.
The big feature of this system is that a receiver has been
developed without complexities such as the whirling disk
which must be always in exact step with the scanner at the
Speaking of television or the projection of motion pictures
by radio, Zworykin says : "All the processes needed for pro
jecting motion pictures are in existence. The theory is all
right but at present the apparatus would have to be end
less, cumbersome and uncertain. But it will be simplified. It
will take some years, but we will have eventually the instan
taneous or near-instantaneous transmission of sound motion
pictures by radio. I am ready to discuss the practical possi
bility of flashing radio images on motion picture screens so
that large audiences can view the television broadcasts of im
portant events as sent out from a central station. Visual
broadcasts in the future will be synchronized with sound."
The Zworykin machine is based on the principle that a
pencil of electrons from the hot cathode bombards a screen
of fluorescent material which glows where the electrons strike
it. The electronic pencil follows the movement of the scan
ning light beam so rapidly that the eye beholds a perfect
impression of a miniature motion picture.
The transmitter comprises a motion-picture projector re
built so that the film passes the film-gate downward at a
constant speed. This movement is the vertical component of
scanning. The horizontal scanning is accomplished by
sweeping the film crosswise with a point of light traveling
more rapidly than the downward movement. As a result the
picture passing through the gate is scanned crosswise and
from top to bottom by a series of horizontal lines of light.
The illumination is supplied by an ordinary automobile
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 99
bulb focused on a diaphragm on the projector. This in turn
is focused on the film and the light which passes through it is
again refocused in the form of a stationary spot that strikes
the photoelectric cell.
DUTY OF THE TUBE. The function of the cathode ray
tube in the television receiver is twofold: first, it converts
the electrical impulses received from the transmitting station
into light impulses. Since the electrical impulses from the
transmitter represent the variation of light intensity of the
transmitted image, the light variation obtained on the screen
of the cathode ray tube reproduces the image.
The second function of the cathode ray tube is to repro
duce the scanning of the image without the use of moving
mechanical parts. When the transmission is accomplished
by means of a Nipkow disk, the image is scanned by a series
of parallel lines which cover the whole area of the image.
Exactly the same set of parallel lines is reproduced on the
screen by the cathode ray beam by deflecting it with mag
netic or electrostatic fields. These fields, of course, are so
adjusted that the movement of the spot across the screen
follows exactly the movement of the scanning spot of the
The duty of the cathode ray tube, when used for trans
mitting purposes, is entirely different from that in the re
ceiver and, therefore, the design of the transmitting cathode
ray tube is entirely different from the receiving tube.
ADVANTAGES OF CATHODE RAY TUBE. Zworykin sums
up the advantages of the cathode tube in the television re
ceiver as follows: No mechanical moving parts are used.
Therefore, the set is more easily operated by the rank and
file of the radio audience. It is quiet in operation. Synchro
nization of the transmitter and receiver is easily accom
plished, even when a single carrier wave is used. There is
ample amount of light. The persistence of fluorescence of
the screen aids the persistence of the eye's vision. Therefore,
100 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
it is possible to reduce the number of picture units per
second without any flickering effect. This in turn allows a
greater number of scanning lines and consequently a picture
of greater detail without increasing the width of the radio
channel. The light and electron beams having no physical
weight compared with moving mechanical parts offer no
resistance to the device utilized to gain accurate syn
chronous operation of the transmitter and receiver.
CROOKES DISCOVERS THE RAYS. Cathode rays, the lumi
nous streaks of which paint the television picture, were first
discovered by Sir William Crookes in the 'eighties. The tube
in which the rays perform is funnel-shaped. The wide end is
sealed and the slightly convex cover is coated with a fluores
cent material ( Willemite or a similar acting substance) , be
hind which is hidden the so-called electron gun that shoots
the pencil-like stream of electrons against the fluorescent
screen on which the image appears. Constant tests are being
made to find fluorescent coatings that will glow with greater
brilliancy. The research experts are secretive about this
feature of their cathode ray bulbs.
The electrons traveling at high speed make a rapid trip
through the tube, excite the gas molecules in their path and
the fluorescent screen glows when the electron streams strike
it. The electrons are endowed with kinetic energy and mo
mentum because of their great velocity. This cathode ray
tube is sometimes called an oscilloscope, in fact, these tubes
designed for television are closely related to that electrical
instrument known as an oscillograph.
The tube as employed in television has two parallel
metallic plates upon which an electrostatic charge can be
placed. And there are two coils which produce a magnetic
field when an electric current is sent into them. The purpose
of these intermediate devices located close to the source of
the electron flow is to deflect the beam of electrons either in
a vertical or in a horizontal plane. The cathode beam, be-
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 101
cause it consists of electro/ns, is sensitive to both magnetic
and electrical fields of force. Therefore, when the intensity
of either of these fields is altered a spot of light at the end
of the bulb is caused to move. It draws a bright fluorescent
line as it passes over the "screen" end of the tube. This line
can be made to move with such rapidity up and down in lines
so close together that the human eye views the end of the
tube completely aglow. Now the trick is to obtain a picture
from this phenomenon. That is where the magic of Zworykin,
Manfred von Ardenne of Germany, Farnsworth and others
First of all, they know that to produce a picture it is
necessary to have various intensities of light on the screen.
They accomplish this by varying the intensity of the electron
beam when it sweeps across the end of the tube. A high
intensity electron beam creates a bright area while low
intensity gives weak illumination.
To understand this phenomenon it is helpful to recall the
analogy of the image of the Indian's head traced on a piece
of paper under which is a coin. As the pencil moves across
the paper the raised part of the coin stands out in relief
while the background is lighter. Difference in pressure gives
the result in this case. High speed of the electron pencil in
the cathode ray bulb produces a similar effect on the fluores
Two TYPES OF CATHODE RAY TUBES. There are two
types of cathode ray tubes, "cold" and "hot." The difference
between the "cold" and "hot" cathode ray tube is in the
method by which the electron stream is produced. In
the "cold" tube, it is produced by the discharge through
the residual gases, and in the "hot" tube it is emitted from
the electrically heated filament. Only the latter type tube is
used for television purposes.
The kinescope is of the "hot" cathode variety in which the
electron stream is provided by a hot filament. This class of
102 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
tube calls for a much lower voltage. With the filament
heated by a two-volt battery a satisfactory beam of high
intensity can be produced with 1,500 volts in the second
anode. The "cold" tube, on the other hand, requires from
50,000 to 100,000 volts. To regulate the intensity of the
beam, the kinescope has a special control electrode or grid
introduced between the filament and the first anode.
The incoming radio impulses from the transmitter cause
a change in the normal electron flow. This disturbance cor
responds exactly with variations in the modulated current
at the sending station. The action is similar to that which
takes place within the standard three-element radio tube
when a varying voltage is impressed upon the control grid.
When a positive charge is on the grid some of the electrons
from the filament are attracted, thereby reducing the num
ber of electrons that reach the plate. The grid of the cathode
tube performs a similar duty in that it increases or dimin
ishes the total number of electrons that strike the fluorescent
screen, in accordance with the current variations received
from the transmitter. Thus the image is seen at the receiver
exactly as the original appeared at the television station.
THE KINESCOPE'S DESIGN. Zworykin's kinescope is
sealed in a cone-shaped bulb with a narrow neck. Part of the
neck is silvered and so is the inner wall of the conical por
tion. A lead-in wire makes electrical contact with the silver
coating. The slightly convex base of the cone, ranging from
six to nine inches in diameter, is internally coated with a
substance that makes it a fluorescent screen. The fluores
cent film is a trifle conductive and makes electrical contact
with the silvering to prevent an electric charge from collect
ing on the screen and thus repelling the electron beam or
pencil. Therefore, the interior of the bulb is a completely
enclosed conductive surface which acts as a second anode. It
gives a final acceleration to the electron beam and at the
same time focuses the beam into a small spot on the screen.
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 103
Focusing is accomplished by an interaction of the electro
static field between the first and the second anode and the
moving electrons. The focus is easily regulated by adjusting
the ratio between the potentials of the first and the second
anode. The focusing is not dependent on the presence of
residual gas. The higher the vacuum the better is the focus.
The point of concentration of the electron beam is moved
closer or farther from the first anode by slightly changing
the ratio between the first and second anode potential. The
actual focus is obtained by bringing this point to coincide
with the surface of the fluorescent screen.
The filament is of the indirectly heated type, which per
mits alternating current operation. Special precaution is
taken in the construction to prevent the filament supply
current's magnetic field from interfering with the electron
The first anode is a part of the electron gun located in the
neck of the bulb. It pulls the electrons away from the cathode
(filament) and projects them into the conical section of the
When applied for television purposes, the first anode
potential is + 400 volts, the second anode potential + 2,000
volts. The control electrode is 45 volts. The normal fila
ment current is 1.6 ampere at 2 volts. By varying the voltage
to the control electrode, the second anode current can be
changed and consequently the strength of the spot on the
fluorescent screen can be controlled. Since the controlling
potential is small when compared with that of the second
anode, the control of the intensity does not affect the deflec
tion of the beam. This accounts for the successful use of the
tube for reception of television pictures without distortion,
even for strong contrasts of intensities.
The cathode ray tubes are not usually provided with in
side deflection plates, but are operated by magnetic fields.
The deflection fields are applied close to the first anode where
104 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
the velocity of electrons is comparatively low. This makes the
tube quite sensitive for deflection. However, when magnetic
deflection is impossible, electrostatic deflection, by means of
deflecting plates, is used.
Some refer to the television cathode ray tube as the Braun
tube. This is not correct because it differs in many respects
from the original tube as invented by Professor Braun. The
main difference is in an additional controlling element which
does not exist in the Braun tube, and which is necessary in
television to modulate the intensity of the fluorescent spot.
This addition makes as much difference between the original
Braun bulb and the television receiving cathode ray tube as
there is between the two-electrode Fleming valve and the
Two SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT. It can be seen that two
schools of thought in television are forming out of the vari
ous types of experimental work conducted during the past
few years, the mechanical versus the electrical scanners. The
disk or drum is the contributing factor in the mechanical
method while the cathode ray tube is the heart of the elec
trical scanning system.
The main advantage claimed for electrical scanning is no
moving parts, and, therefore, complete absence of noise. As
opposed to this is the mechanical system, favored by some
engineers because it works at lower voltages and affords
definite control of all its elements. Before the advocates of
this system will discard it in favor of electrical scanning, the
cathode ray tube must be made to deliver a much stronger
white light, instead of a comparatively feeble illumination
of a greenish tint.
Hollis Baird asserts that the cathode tube requires about
2,500 volts for satisfactory operation, and even then the
illumination is far from the intensity desired for projecting
pictures on a large screen. In its present form it is an ex
pensive tube, the cost being estimated at approximately $75.
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 105
Its life is limited to about 100 hours. The pictures vary in
size, some of them being about four by five inches. One of
the problems in connection with the cathode tube is control
of the brilliancy and shape of the scanning spot. Baird
points to the fact that high voltage is needed for brightness
but high voltage decreases the sensitivity. The filament con
trol is critical.
Against the argument that the mechanical system has
moving parts, the advocates of that method contend that
there has been no ob j ection to home talking picture machines
because they have moving parts. And they are usually noisier
in operation than the television disk. It is true that the scan
ning mechanisms have been large and cumbersome but prog
ress is being made in developing smaller, more compact
"One particular point about the mechanical method is that
with improved scanning mechanisms and better light sources
pictures up to two and three feet square are perfectly feasi
ble for projection on a screen," said Baird. "The cathode
ray is definitely limited in the size of its pictures by the pro
hibitive cost of developing a huge cathode bulb. Of course,
both mechanical and electrical methods are of great interest
and both are finding sincere adherents."
Baird, in further comment on a statement by a radio en
gineer that the electrical way was the obvious way and would
be the one used, stated that the helicopter was considered
by early inventors to be the logical way of flying but that
until 1930 no flight with any sort of revolving wing machine
had been successful. In the meantime success has attended
the development of the fixed-wing type of aircraft. That such
a parallel is possible in radio is his contention. He asserts
that the mechanical system of scanning offers more possi
bilities for the experimenter because present results make
it a logical contender for television honors.
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE
An image has been flashed to Australia and back to the
United States m the twinkling of an eye. Speakers at the
ends of telephone wires are seeing each other as they con
verse. Images of men and women are dancing, singing and
joking on a large theater screen upon which a television
projector casts a beam of light.
It begins to look as if a new international theater is being
built, a new industry created, a new link being forged in the
chain of friendship between the nations of the earth. Soon
man will see his fellows smile on the other side of the globe,
wMLe hatred and suspicion are torn from the imagination
that -functions when people cannot see what others are doing
or talking about. Television knows no frontiers. It rips down
barriers. It will empower man to shake hands across the sea,
across the hemispheres.
It is 1930!
To AUSTRALIA AND BACK IN A FLASH FEBRUARY 18, 1930
The days are getting longer in the Mohawk Valley. Win
ter with its ideal atmosphere for radio is on the wane. An
automobile carrying several research experts has left Sche-
nectady and is on the way out through Scotia and up a long
winding hill that leads to the top of an Adirondack foothill.
In a little house at the summit vacuum tubes give a glow of
warmth to this frosty morning. It is 8 o'clock. On the other
side of the globe other vacuum bulbs are shining. Everything
is ready !
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 107
An American asks an Australian if the waves are girdling
the earth, and in a split second a voice with English accent
answers with clarity that indicates the world-wide pathway
is free of static. Short wave station W2XAF, Schenectady,
has established communication with VK&ME at Sydney,
20,000 miles away. Dr. Alexanderson is on the job. He is
ready to broadcast a television picture of rectangular design
painted in black on a white card. He manipulates the elec
trical controls. There goes the picture and there it is back
again before anyone can say "Jack Robinson." Schenectady
projected it into space; Sydney picked it up and flashed it
right back all in one-eighth of a second !
Even the veteran engineers to whom radio magic is an
everyday event marvel at the uncanny result and the terrific
speed, which one might expect would rip a photograph
asunder and scatter it through space.
"Considering the fact that this picture bounded through
the air twice over so great a distance," said Alexanderson,
"I am much enthused with the result. I really did not believe
the picture would be distinct enough to recognize when it
got back to us, because so many conditions lurked in its path
to upset matters.
"There are ripples in the ether, such as there might be in
a pail of water. When one looks into a pail of water that has
been caused to ripple the reflected image is indistinct. The
lines of the picture are exaggerated and made to appear
fuzzy. In this rebroadcast, it was much the same as though
this image seen in one pail of rippled water had been re
flected in another pail of rippled water, corresponding to the
rebroadcast back from Australia.
"Naturally there would be considerable distortion, and I
was much pleased when I saw that this double distortion did
not entirely wipe out the image. The test was carried on for
about five minutes, and many times during that period the
108 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
lines of the rectangle were distinct enough for observers to
identify the picture being broadcast."
LONDON SEES "ABBREVIATED VAUDEVILLE" APRIL 6, 1930
When Sir Ambrose Fleming invented the two-element
vacuum tube, back in 1904, probably he little realized that
some day he would stand in front of a scientific machine de
signed to send the image of his countenance across the Eng
lish countryside to be seen at least ten miles away. And the
observers also hear him talk as he participates in a prelimi
nary introduction to an "abbreviated vaudeville" perform
ance being wafted across the housetops in the British Isles.
Fleming steps away from the televisor. Gracie Fields, a
songster, is ready to begin the vaudeville of the air.
One of the television receivers is installed at 10 Downing
Street, the official residence of the British Premier, Ramsay
MacDonald. Mr. MacDonald's daughter and other members
of the household watch and listen to the performance. Twin
broadcasters, operating on different wave lengths, are being
utilized. One wave handles the image and the other the voice
or music. The spectators see the head and shoulders of the
person televised. The image appears in what is known as a
The success of this demonstration causes Americans to
wonder if Uncle Sam is being left behind in television. The
radio leaders testify he is not backward; in fact, they say
he is far ahead. Again they declare "television is in the re
search laboratories and is not likely to emerge for public
use until it is commercially practical and foolproof."
The American engineers see numerous technical obstacles
which must be overcome before images can be sent through
space with the same clarity that makes listening to radio
musicales a pleasure. It is not likely television will be intro
duced in the United States on an experimental basis as was
broadcasting when thousands of receiving sets were built at
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 109
home. Radio is now an industry, and when television is ready
to leave the research laboratories it will do so with greater
perfection than did the early broadcast receivers. Factory
built sets will be available to meet a nation-wide demand.
The images and sound in the ethereal vaudeville show
v ere picked up ten miles away, according to reports from
London. On the other hand when D. W. Griffith participated
in a WGY transcontinental television broadcast, his image
crossed the United States on the 21.96-meter wave, while his
speech traveled on the 31.4-meter channel, as well as on the
380-meter wave of WGY. That enabled broadcast listeners
to eavesdrop on his words. Only those with the proper short
wave television machine and short-wave receiver could see
and hear him too. The program was on the air for fifteen
minutes in February, 1929. Receivers in California picked
up the picture and words that darted out from aerials in the
JEWETT'S OPINION. America is not being left behind by
England in the matter of television development, according
to Dr. Frank B. Jewett, vice president of the American
Telephone and Telegraph Company. He is also president of
the Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., research organization
of the telephone company, which for a number of years has
been engaged in investigations to determine if and how tele
vision might be adapted to modern life as an improvement
in any existing commercial system. It is his belief that
neither English nor American investigators have found a
clue upon which to concentrate their endeavors.
"According to my belief," said Jewett, "television has not
progressed beyond the experimental stage, and as for Eng
land leaving America behind, it is not so. For many years
past we might have operated in this country a simultaneous
sight and sound broadcast but in order to have a thing like
television in the home one must show clear pictures, else after
a while one would get tired of looking at them. No television
110 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
at the present time is as good as the movies. As a result, one
would always be comparing television with the motion pic
"First, it is difficult to operate television over any kind of
a radio channel because of interference, such as static. A
non-interfering vehicle is essential. Second, to make tele
vision a thing of enjoyment in the home today one must have
elaborate and expensive apparatus. The matter of synchro
nizing the transmitter and receiver is no longer a problem.
Television is a reality in America as it is apparently in
London, but it is not commercially practical."
"This London television experience is certainly no novelty
to American radio fans who for the past three months have
been receiving television pictures synchronized with voice
from the Jenkins television transmitter at Jersey City," said
Lee de Forest. "In this case the voice has been broadcast on
187 meters and the television pictures on 14< meters. Thus
far the nightly pictures transmitted have been those of talk
ing motion picture film, but it will be a matter of only a few
weeks before the visage and voice of visitors to the studio
will be broadcast."
THE TIME HAS ARRIVED. The Jenkins television labora
tory at Jersey City reports to the Federal Radio Commis
sion that the time has arrived for sight-sound broadcasts.
Lieutenant E. K. Jett of the engineering staff of the com
mission contends that experiments indicate television is still
in the laboratory stage and any programs put on the air
now would have little entertaining value, and would create
only an "unrecognizable mess." However, it is pointed out
that the early broadcasts of music were termed "a mess" by
the opera stars and other noted artists who could not be
persuaded to face the microphone. Tone quality in those
days did not count. Radio was a novelty, just to hear a dis
torted voice or discordant music was heralded as wonderful
and thousands rushed to buy radio sets or to build them.
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 111
The public will not be so particular about the clarity of the
first television pictures.
SPEAKERS ON TELEPHONE SEE EACH OTHER
APRIL 9, 1930
Each spring for the past few years has seen a new type
of television blossom at the Bell Laboratories, where Dr. Ives
is nurturing the seeds of radio vision. This season it is two-
way television in which the speakers at both ends of a tele
phone line or radio circuit see the images of each other as
they converse. The demonstration is conducted over wires
between the American Telephone and Telegraph Company,
195 Broadway, and the Bell Telephone laboratories at 463
West Street, about two miles apart.
The system is applicable to radio but with less certainty
than when wires link the two points. However, distance is no
obstacle. The engineers point out that it is just as easy to
let a person in San Francisco see a person at the other end
of the line in Boston, New York or Philadelphia as it is to
see the images over a shorter distance.
Special television booths have been developed which are
about the same size as an ordinary telephone booth. Upon
entering the booth the person to be "televised" sits in a
swivel chair and faces a frame in which he will see the person
at the other end of the line to whom he will speak. The face
is illuminated by a mild glow of blue light reflected from the
face to the photoelectric cells, known as the "radio eyes."
This causes the current to flow and carry the image by wire
to the distant booth.
There is no glare or flood of brilliant light as in early
television systems. At first, as one enters the booth one
notices a dim orange light which is too weak to affect the
photoelectric cells. The usual telephone is missing. Special
television transmitters and receivers are hidden from view.
It was necessary to dispense with the ordinary phone because
112 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
it would hide part of the speaker's face from the distant
THE CURTAIN GOES UP. When the speaker turns in the
chair and faces the apparatus he sees on the glass screen
the words, "Ikonophone Watch this space for the tele
vision image." Then this sign lifts like a magic curtain and
in its place the animated picture of the person at the other
terminal appears. The two converse in ordinary tone as over
the telephone. The images are about a foot square and are
This 1930 television image is greatly improved over that
shown by the Bell Laboratories in 1927. It is double the size
with more clarity and detail. The "radio eyes" are much
more sensitive. They create ten times the amount of current
for the same amount of light as did those of three years ago.
The dazzle of light has been eliminated by the increased
sensitivity of the electric eyes and by the blue scanning
beam. The person being televised never realizes that his face
is being swept eighteen times each second by the beam of
light that illuminates it. Both parties to the television-
telephone conversation see each other with sufficient detail to
recognize the facial expressions. It is like an instantaneous
motion picture in black and white on a pinkish background
caused by the color of the high-powered water-cooled neon
tube utilized in the receiving set. No part of the system is
annoying to the eye.
The voices are picked up by a sensitive condenser-micro
phone the same as used in broadcasting and sound-picture
recording. The microphone and a small loudspeaker are con
cealed behind the screen upon which the image appears. The
microphone is located a trifle above the head and the loud
speaker about even with the knees of the person in the booth.
Both are invisible to the persons using them.
COMMERCIAL ASPECT UNCERTAIN. "Despite the fact
that the research and development work of the past three
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 113
years has resulted in a great improvement and simplification
of the equipment required for television," said Walter S.
Gifford, President of the American Telephone and Tele
graph Company, "it is still necessarily complicated and ex
pensive, requiring expert attention and large units of
apparatus. These facts arise out of the inherent technical
requirements for satisfactory television transmission. While
substantial progress has been made on the technical side, the
future commercial possibilities of television are still uncer
tain. In line with our long established policy of fully explor
ing and developing every field which gives promise of possi
ble improvement in extension of electrical communication we
expect to continue our television work."
LIGHT Is DIFFUSED. Scanning is performed by the beam
method. The scanning beam is derived from an arc lamp
the light of which passes through a disk that has a spiral of
holes. Then the light beam passes through a lens on the level
of the eyes of the person being scanned. The light reflected
from the face is picked up by the array of photoelectric cells
which are in the television booth behind plates of diffusing
glass. The current from the cells is amplified and sent by
wire to the receiving station.
The received signals are translated into an image by
means of a neon glow lamp directly behind a second disk
driven by a second motor placed before the first motor and
disk used in the transmission. The two disks are inclined at
a slight angle to each other. The disks vary in size. The
upper one used for transmission is twenty-one inches in
diameter. The receiving disk is thirty inches in diameter.
The disks used in earlier demonstrations had fifty spirally
arranged holes. Some of the later disks have seventy-two
holes so that the image detail is doubled, in fact, there is
never any doubt about recognizability. Individual traits and
facial expressions are unmistakably transmitted.
114 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
MAKING THE PICTORIAL CALL. From the standpoint of
the user, the engineers have succeeded in simplifying the
operation of the combined telephone and television. A person
enters the booth, closes the door, sits in a revolving chair,
swings around to face a frame through which the scanning
beam reaches his face, and upon seeing the person at the
other end of the line, he talks in a general tone of voice, and
he hears the image speak. The conversation is carried on as
if the two people were at opposite sides of a table.
"Some of the more special problems encountered in two-
way television are primarily optical in character," said Dr.
Frank Gray. "The principal one is that of regulating the
intensity of the scanning light and of the image which is
viewed so that the eyes are not annoyed by the scanning
beam. And precautions must be taken so that the neon lamp
image is not rendered difficult of observation. It has been
necessary in the solution of this problem to reduce the visible
intensity of the scanning beam considerably below the value
formerly used and to increase the brightness of the neon
"The means adopted consists, first, in the use of a scan
ning light of a color to which the eye is relatively insensitive
but to which photoelectric cells can be made highly sensitive.
Blue light is used for this purpose. It is obtained by inter
posing a blue filter in the path of the arc light beam. Potas
sium photoelectric cells specially sensitized to blue light and
more sensitive generally than those previously employed
have been developed. The number of these cells and their
area has also been increased over those utilized in the earlier
television apparatus. Thus the necessary intensity of the
scanning beam is decreased."
The second half of the problem namely, that of securing
a maximum intensity of the neon lamp has been attained
by the development of water-cooled lamps capable of carry
ing high current. The net result of the blue light for scan-
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 115
ning, the use of more sensitive photoelectric cells, and the
high efficiency neon lamps is that the person being televised
is subjected only to a relatively mild blue light sweeping
across the face, which he perceives merely as a blue spot of
light above the incoming image.
OBTAINING PROPER ILLUMINATION. A second optical
problem is the arrangement of the photoelectric cells in or
der to obtain the proper illumination of the observer's face.
The photoelectric cells act as virtual light sources. They can
be manipulated as to both size and position like the lights
employed by a portrait photographer in illuminating the
face. In the television booth, it is desired to have the entire
countenance illuminated and, therefore, photoelectric cells
are provided at either side and above the person in the booth.
One practical difficulty encountered is that eyeglasses,
which often cause annoying reflections in photography, act
the same way in television. It is important, for this reason,
that the photoelectric cells be placed as far to either side or
above as possible. Then the reflections from eyeglasses are
not annoying unless the person turns his face considerably
to one side or the other. The number of cells has been so
chosen as to secure a good balance of effective illumination
from the three sides. It has been found desirable partly to
cover the cells on one side of the booth in order to aid in the
modeling of the face by the creation of lights and shadows
in one direction.
Illumination of the interior of the booth presents another
optical puzzle. There must be sufficient light for the user to
locate himself. It is also desirable that the incoming image
and scanning spot is not seen against an absolutely black
background. The booth is illuminated by orange light to
which the photoelectric cells or "eyes" are practically in
sensitive. The walls and floor of the booth are well illumi
nated. A small light is provided on the shelf bar in front of
the observer so an orange light is cast on the front wall
116 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
surrounding the frame in which the picture appears. This
light contributes materially in reducing the glaring effect of
the scanning beam, and facilitates visibility of the incoming
LARGE CELLS ARE SENSITIVE. Each photoelectric cell is
twenty inches long and four inches in diameter, giving it an
area of approximately eighty square inches for collecting
light. The sensitive cathode consists of a coating of potas
sium sensitized with sulphur, covering the rear wall of the
tube. This type of cell is more sensitive than the older "eyes"
that utilized potassium hydride. To amplify the photoelec
tric current, the cells are filled with argon at a low pressure.
Electrons passing from the sensitive film of potassium to
the anode ionize the gas atoms along their paths and thereby
cause a greater flow of current.
Twelve large photoelectric cells are mounted in the walls
of the booth. They present an area of approximately seven
square feet to collect light reflected from the subject being
televised. A group of five cells is located in each side of the
booth. Two cells are in the sloping front wall above the per
son in the booth. All cells are enclosed in a large sheet copper
box, provided with doors to each group.
An operator is on duty behind the compartment to insure
that the incoming and outgoing images are properly posi
tioned, no matter what the stature of the person sitting in
the booth. He must adjust the images to proper clarity. The
optical monitor adjusts the scanning beam and position of
the viewing lens to suit the height of the sitter.
TIGHT-ROPE ROUTE Is SAFEST. Television images at
their present age should be content to walk the straight and
narrow path on the wire line rather than to take a long run
on an invisible radio wave. Ives warns them to stick to the
wires until engineers can entrust them to the more uncertain
radio channels. Man has no control of the images once they
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 117
enter the portals of the ethereal realm, but when they travel
by wire he can do more to direct their destiny.
To send television images through space today is like
expecting a brook running through a populous area to re
main uncontaminated, according to Ives. But he is hopeful.
He has faith in man's inventive genius. He foresees the day
when the limitations of radio will be overcome. But until
then the images are safest when they stay on the wires. Then
they are out of range of nature's shots. The minute they
leap from a radio aerial they are at the mercy of elements
out of man's control.
"Two-way television requires the equivalent in wire lines
which would carry thirty ordinary telephone conversations,"
said Ives. "To accomplish the same by radio would require
at least fifteen to twenty wave lengths. Wires may be criss
crossed through cities and be kept comparatively free of
interference. It is an entirely different proposition with
radio. In television broadcasts the images may encounter all
kinds of interference. Networks of wires may be utilized for
television and, with a little care, be kept clear of outside in
fluences that might mar the images. Natural interference
cannot be entirely averted, in the present state of our knowl
edge, unless the entire channel is definitely under our con
trol at all times. A wire is the only thing which we can bring
under this classification."
LIKE SLICES OF BREAD. Ives says that radio waves, apart
from their susceptibility to natural sources of interference,
must be shielded from each other by separation in the radio
wave spectrum. Some sort of a "fence" must be erected be
tween the waves to stop any interference that one broadcast
might cause by mingling with another. This "fence" is
nothing more than separation of the waves. In other words,
the radio wave band is not separated like a loaf of bread
after a knife divides it into slices. The separation between
television waves must be like removing every other slice in
118 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
the loaf. But the radio "loaf" cannot be stretched out. This
is one reason why it is impossible at the present time ade
quately to put television on the air from a great number of
stations. The waves available are scarce. Ultra-short waves
hold promise of solving this problem.
TELEVISION GOES ON THE STAGE MAY 22, 1930
Television images are performing on a theater screen in
a world premiere. They dance, sing and joke.
It is a great day for Dr. Alexanderson, who for years has
been giving these ethereal actors the proper electrical nour
ishment in his laboratory at Schenectady, so that they might
grow from dwarfs to the life-size of real Hollywood stars.
They wink and blink, as if bidding for a welcome into the
American home. Their appearance on the big screen reveals
that the wizards at "the House of Magic" have realized their
ambition to build up the images from the size of the face on
a dollar bill to the natural size of man. It was last autumn
that faces were shown on a screen fourteen inches square,
but now the screen measures six by seven feet!
Is IT ONLY A DREAM? Often, Alexanderson is asked if
television will ever be practical, or if it is only a dream. He
always smiles and shrugs his shoulders as he answers, "Oh,
television is a long way off, three years, possibly five or ten."
But now, in 1930, Alexanderson like a magician waves
aside the veils of secrecy and shows, on the stage of Proctor's
Theatre in Schenectady, television performing tricks that
astound the audience. Vaudeville teams banter back and
forth. One member performs and jokes before the televisor,
while the other replies from the stage. Duets are sung by
vocalists two miles apart. The theater orchestra in the pit
is directed by a conductor who waves his baton on the screen.
He is two miles distant. Local newspapers advertise the first
television show ever staged in a regular theater. And a ca
pacity audience attends.
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 119
The lights are dimmed as in any motion picture play
house. The curtains part. In the center of the stage is a
screen. At the side stands a man with a telephone. He calls
the television studio two miles away, and the audience hears
him announce that all is ready for the performance to begin.
The telephone is utilized to convince the audience that it is
a real television performance, and not a talking picture on
a film. A stage manager uses the telephone to direct the
distant actors. A flood of light washes across the screen. It
wavers and flickers like the early movies. A face appears. It
is Merrill Trainer, who is acting as master of ceremonies.
The picture is clear. There is a thunder of applause from
the audience. Trainer hears the cheers through the tele
phone in the hands of the man at the footlights in the thea
ter. He bows, smiles and thanks the audience for the en
RECRUITS FROM VAUDEVILLE. The stage manager asks
Trainer to smoke a cigarette. He takes a pack from his
pocket, scratches a match and blows smoke rings across the
screen. Then the entertainers take their turn at the televisor.
Matilda Russ, a soprano, flashes on the screen. The voice
reproduction and accompaniment are excellent. Entertainers
recruited from the vaudeville circuit next parade in front of
the televisor's eye. Two who usually appear in blackface do
not blacken up for this performance, because television to
day does not take a blackface, although it may later. If a
television actor wants to appear on the screen in blackface
he must use green paint instead of burnt cork.
The television screen is wheeled out on the stage just as
easily as a piano for a novelty act. No longer is the image
restricted to the miniature dimensions of a postage stamp or
a postal card. No longer must the observer squint through a
tiny peek hole to catch a glimpse of the fleeting scenes and
characters. And behind or at the side of the screen is tele
vision's voice, a giant loudspeaker which reproduces the
120 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
voice of the speaker several miles away, at the same time that
his actions and facial expressions appear on the screen.
AN INNOVATION IN PROJECTION. Unlike the movies, no
beam of light streaks across the auditorium above the heads
of the audience. Television's projector is located backstage.
The pictures are thrown on the screen from behind. This new
art seems destined to introduce innovations in theatrical en
The actors are televised in an improvised studio which is a
part of the laboratory. The light reflected from the faces is
converted into electricity and then into radio energy broad
cast by a laboratory transmitter tuned to release the images
on the 140-meter wave. Microphones close by pick up the
speech, music and songs, and convert the sound into electric
ity, which is carried by wire to a short-wave transmitter at
South Schenectady for broadcasting on the 92-meter wave.
The sound and images are scattered through space at the
speed of sunlight. Over at the theater a control operator is
busy. His duty is to manipulate the apparatus that inter
cepts the moving pictures that are somewhere in the air. A
small device called a monitor telopticon transfers the im
pulses to a light valve, at which point the light is broken up
to produce the image that corresponds in every detail to the
person or object being televised several miles away.
THE KAROLTJS LIGHT VALVE. The light valve is based
upon the invention of Dr. August Karolus of Leipzig, Ger
many. It is the heart of an intricate system of lenses, which
is in front of a high intensity arc lamp similar to those used
for the projection of motion pictures. The light valve is a
delicate device. It is used instead of a neon tube. It must
function with the utmost accuracy to permit the passage of
light that corresponds perfectly with the impulses received
from the television transmitter. These light emissions are
passed on through lenses to a disk corresponding in size, de
sign and rate of rotation to a disk at the radio "camera" or
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 121
originating point. Other lenses pass the light forward to the
screen, on which the light impulses, at a rate of 40,000 per
second, wash or paint an active, life-like motion picture.
Karolus has modified and improved the Kerr cell. Kerr,
an English physicist, discovered the principle that certain
insulating materials or dielectrics rotate the plane of polari
zation of a light ray between two prisms when subjected to
Nitrobenzene, carbon bisulphide and other substances are
highly refractive dielectrics. If two metal plates are sus
pended in their medium, the plane of polarization of light
passing between the plates can be rotated by sending an
electric potential across the two plates. If such a device is
inserted between a pair of Nicol prisms, it becomes an effec
tive light valve. The light is then modulated in accordance
with the applied voltage. The Karolus valve employs nitro
benzene, which, incidentally, is a poison that can be absorbed
by contact. Despite the advance that this valve makes pos
sible the engineers want a device that will pass a much more
powerful light. If they can get that they can enlarge the
pictures without sacrificing clarity.
IMAGES ENTER A TUNNEL. The arc lamp, with the as
sociated lenses and light valve, which all comprise the tele
vision projector, is placed seventeen feet back from the
screen. A heavy black cloth from the projector to the screen
forms an effective light tunnel or hood, which eliminates
stray light beams that might blot or blur the pictures. The
entire apparatus is mounted on wheels to facilitate assembly
and disassembly when used as part of a vaudeville show.
A second receiver on duty at the theater detects the words
or music, which are fed into the large loudspeaker tele
The life-like image is not a silhouette, nor is it merely a
black and white picture. All the gray shades between black
and white are reproduced, registering every shadow and
122 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
shade of the original scene, giving both depth and detail to
It is well to remember that in radio broadcasting the fre
quencies of speech and music modulate or shape the current
sent out from the aerial wires. In television the aerial radia
tion is modulated or formed to correspond to the image by
a succession of light impulses. The person to be televised
stands in front of an incandescent lamp. Between the person
and the light is Nipkow's metal disk about the size of a
bicycle wheel and drilled with forty-eight holes. The disk
revolves so that it covers the person's face twenty times in a
second. That creates twenty complete pictures made up of
light and shade. A large square frame contains four photo
electric cells. These "eyes" respond 40,000 times in a second
to the light impulses reflected from the person being tele
FORCES THAT CREATE EPOCHS. "Looking back over the
development of the electrical industry," said Alexanderson,
"we can clearly trace the forces which have enabled the sci
ence of electricity to give birth to the electrical industry. We
see how later the electrical industry took hold of another
branch of science and created the radio industry. We are
able to some extent to project into the future the working
of the forces that give birth to new epochs, but as to the
destiny and significance of these new movements, after they
have been launched, the engineer is peculiarly blind. Owen
D. Young has repeatedly said that he has the great advan
tage of not being handicapped by scientific knowledge. His
predictions of the future have been much more far-flung and
correct than those of the engineers associated with him.
"For fifteen years radio was simply an auxiliary to navi
gation. In 1915 and 1916 we held daily communication by
radio telephone from Schenectady to New York. We found
that many amateurs adopted the habit of listening, and our
noon hour of radio became the first regular broadcasting.
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 123
But we had no idea to what it would lead. Our idea was to
telephone across the ocean, and so we did at the close of the
war, but we failed to see the great social significance of
"Television is today in the same state as radio telephony
was in 1915. We may derive some comfort from this experi
ence of the past, but, on the other hand, we are not sure that
the analogy is justifiable and that television will repeat the
history of radio telephony. We must then fall back upon
our conviction that the development of television is inevitable
on account of the forces working in the scientific world to
day, and that it is a satisfaction to make one's contribution
to this evolution even if, in this case, the results should prove
to be only a stepping-stone to something else."
WHO INVENTED TELEVISION? Alexanderson is asked to
name the inventor of television. He replies that the nearest
to a simple answer is that Nipkow invented television more
than forty years ago. However, Nipkow lacked the radio
amplifier, neon lamp and photoelectric cell. Therefore, his
invention could not be completed at that time. It remained
for others to overcome numerous obstacles. Nipkow did, how
ever, clearly explain the idea of scanning the picture, line
after line, by a spot of light.
"Before we could produce these 1930 results," said Alex
anderson, "we had to make several tests with different wave
lengths. Many of them proved to be failures because one ray
or wave followed the surface of the earth, whereas the other
was reflected from a layer of electrons 100 miles above the
earth. We are now working with the 140-meter wave, in
which the ground wave is predominant. On the other hand,
for long distance, we have found it advantageous to use the
shortest possible wave lengths, so that the bulk of the radia
tion leaves the earth and only the lower fringe of it will ar
rive at the receiving station. It is expected that the tests,
124 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
now in progress, will throw more light on the subject of
"Television apparatus is an ideal working tool for ex
perimenting, and I venture to predict that we will soon see
a wave of activity in amateur television. There are more than
100,000 experimenters in America, young and old, who go
in for radio not to be entertained but to build their own sets
and get a thrill from exploring the unknown. These amateurs
have been rather starved of real interest in the last few years
because of the commercialization of broadcasting. They will
popularize long-distance television just as they created an
early interest in broadcasting.
INCENTIVE FOR EXPERIMENTERS. "The amateurs and the
professional experimenters are on common ground. We got
a real thrill out of sending a television wave to Australia
and have it come back and tell its tale, even though it was a
simple one. We observed that after traveling 20,000 miles a
rectangle still had four corners, which was more than we had
expected. As a matter of fact, it was broken up into pieces
most of the time. But there were glimpses of encouragement
and a fertile field for the imagination. These are the incen
tives of the explorer, whether he is an amateur or a profes
"Whether the general public will be enough interested or
get enough satisfaction out of television to make it possible
to commercialize home sets is still to be seen. A new tech
nique of entertainment will be required. As a supplement of
broadcasting it can make a reality of radio drama. Political
and educational speakers may use it as a medium, and enter
taining personalities like Will Rogers will tell the latest
wisecracks and comment on the news of the day. It is likely
that every moving-picture theater in the large cities will
be equipped to give a short television act.
AN INTERESTING RACE. "What we have demonstrated
is just one of the many steps that must be taken in our ef-
FACES ON WIRES FACES IN SPACE 125
forts to conquer distance by television. The improvement of
light control which makes it possible for us to show a picture
of theater size is due to the light-valve invention by Dr.
Karolus, whom I visited in Leipzig some years ago and
whose inventions we have been endeavoring to perfect. In
our past exhibits the improvements of light control have
been due to Dr. D. McFarland Moore and his neon lamps.
FLYING NEWS REPORTERS. "The possibilities for new
inventions in television are inspiring," continued Alexan-
derson. "Just think of what can be done when you can put
an electric eye wherever you wish and see through this eye
just as if you were there. An airplane with a news reporter
will fly to see whatever is of interest and the whole theater
audience will be with him, seeing what he does, and yet the
audience will be perfectly safe and comfortable.
"What will this mean in the wars of the future when a
staff officer can see the enemy through the television eyes
of his scouting planes or when a bombing plane is sent up
without a man on board to see the target, drop the bomb
and be steered by radio? What will it mean for peaceful
aviation when the ships of the air approach a harbor in fog,
take on a local pilot, not from a little craft that comes to
meet the ship, but by television, whereby the trained eyes of
the pilot functioning by television will guide the ship to the
airport in safety?"
^lexanderson does not expect that seeing by radio will
give as much detail as a talking picture. Television gives
immediate action and is not what he terms a "canned" show.
He believes, however, that television will eventually picture
football games and news events when a radio camera is on
"Television will be a great asset to politicians," he said.
"However, they will have to prearrange their speeches to
conform with broadcasting schedules. The day is likely to
come when candidates for President of the United States
126 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
will campaign by television. The winner may be elected be
cause of a winning smile that enters the homes of millions. I
do not want to predict when we will have television in the
home. All I can say is that we are continually making good
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS
There are fortresses on hilltops and cliffs throughout the
Old World, and fortified strongholds in the Land of Dreams,
but none so electrified with modern ideas as a magnificent
castle the turrets and spires of which project from thick
stone walls on a rocky headland along the seashore at
Gloucester, Mass. That is the scientific mansion of John
Hays Hammond, Jr. In that medieval castle he is busy solv
ing modern problems of radio, television, music and aviation.
And on Manhattan Island a tremendous hole is blasted in
the rock into which tons and tons of concrete are poured],
above which steel fabrics are woven. The riveters peck away
like woodpeckers while masons follow them skyward to cover
the steel cage and framework with millions of bricks, tiles
and stones. And in the end this ornate structure will have an
urban landscape, hangmg gardens, on the grandest scale
ever attempted since the days of Babylon.
Television is an inspiration to art and science, to finan
ciers and builders, to showmen and to artistry!
AN INVENTOR'S GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE JUNE 10, 1930
John Hays Hammond, Jr., is a pioneer in radio dynamics.
And now he has invented a television eye for airplanes so
the pilot can "see" the landing field and surrounding terrain
no matter how thick the fog or how dark the night. He is
developing some radically new ideas that seem destined to
improve the sound reproduction of phonographs, pianos and
talking pictures as well as television. He is a man with an
128 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
international reputation won by his radio controlled boats,
vehicles and torpedoes.
In his castle by the sea John Hays Hammond, Jr., dreams
dreams that come true. Looking out over the ocean through
the narrow, slit-like windows of his laboratory, this radio
inventor meditates and plans for new scientific wonders to
benefit mankind. He has discovered that the most fruitful
ideas from which big strides in progress evolve are simple.
They flash upon the mind in odd and unsuspecting moments.
The visitor who calls at this unique workshop of science
first must cross the wooden bridge that spans the moat be
fore he can rap on the big iron door, an embattled gateway
that guards the inner secrets. The main room of the castle is
of large proportions. It is like a great Gothic church with
all the pews removed. There in a little chapel at one side of
the spacious room the inventor greets his guests.
One might expect to meet a bearded scientist garbed as
an alchemist of yore. But Hammond looks more like the
leader of the Yale Band, in his coat of New Haven blue, a
dark blue tie, a white shirt and white trousers. 'Tis true the
laboratory has an ancient setting, but the inventor is mod
ern. His numerous problems and ideas are ultra-modern. He
is always looking ahead.
NEW WONDERS FORESEEN. "We ought to have a thou
sand research workers here instead of a few as we have,"
said Hammond, "because we have so many ideas to be devel
oped. The span of life is short and affords us opportunity
to get only a start for what the next generation will achieve.
Radio is just beginning. And so is television although I
applied for a patent on color television fifteen years ago,
only to find later that some one had beaten me to it by more
than ten years.
"Radio vision is here today, if we do not attempt to span
too long a distance. I believe that before television goes into
the homes it will be seen in theaters and auditoriums in the
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS 129
large centers of population. For example, there is one popu
lar theatrical performance in New York at which many have
been unable to get a seat. In connection with such a popular
stage production, why not rent three or four other theaters
along Broadway and in them produce the original play on
a television screen? It would be almost as good as the
original. The box office could charge a little more to see the
original than the duplicate. But, in the end, more money
would be made because more people would have an opportu
nity to see the performance.
"The Yale Bowl, Harvard Stadium, Yankee Stadium,
Polo Grounds and Palmer Stadium at Princeton can hold
just so many. Thousands are turned away from the big
games. And thousands of enthusiasts in cities miles away
cannot attend in person. So, I foresee television bringing
the major sports events in the East to capacity audiences
watching the contests on television screens in Detroit, Chi
cago, San Francisco, Boston and other large cities. Then,
the next step will probably be into the home. However, to be
practical and economical the television impresarios ought to
have a pay-as-you-enter plan before they go on the air."
It will be recalled that soon after the broadcasting "craze"
swept the country Hammond suggested a method to make
programs available only to those who had the right tuning
"key," and he told the infant radio industry how it could
become a big business on an economical and self-sustaining
basis. The leaders of the radio industry, however, objected to
broadcasting being operated on a toll principle. It was not
long before the broadcasters realized that Hammond was
right, for all of them were losing money. Some dropped by
the wayside, then the advertisers came to the rescue and
bought time on the air.
GIVING AIRCRAFT EYES. "Today I am devoting much of
my time to a television application that safeguards aircraft
130 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
landing in fog or darkness. It is such a simple idea," he said
smiling, "and these are always the last to hit upon."
Three radio compass stations are located alongside the
airport or flying field.* The plane carries an automatic radio
transmitter which sends out a continuous signal. Operators
at the compass stations train the radio direction finders on
the plane. The bearings are automatically recorded and sent
by wire line to a television station near the field.
At this station is a miniature of the field, perfect in every
detail. It shows every hill, tree, hangar building, fence and
wire, exactly as they are laid out near the field. This model
map corresponds to the surrounding terrain and over it are
three movable arms. These arms represent the directive lines
of the radio bearings.
Where they intersect is a television eye. That eye is in
the exact position over the model field as the plane is above
the ground. Therefore, what the television eye sees is the
same as the aviator would see if his sight could penetrate the
fog or darkness. The miniature field is, of course, indoors, so
no weather can ever affect it. As the plane moves the arms
move and the eye roves accordingly across the replica of the
WHAT THE AVIATOR SEES. The miniature scene that the
eye beholds is televised and flashed to the plane's pilot. He
sees everything on a television screen located ahead of him
on the instrument board. As the plane moves, the pilot sees
before him the exact scene that would be before his eyes if
his vision were clear. He is, however, looking at a model in
stead of reality. Every detail of the ground below him is
faithfully reproduced, every shadow and angle, with a real
ity that a well-executed model can give. He sees approaching
a spire, or clearly defined telegraph wires even the position
of other stationary planes on the field can be added to the
model and transmitted aloft.
As the plane turns, the pilot watches the change of scene
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS 131
before him. His movements are continuously followed, so
the scene before him changes continuously. It is immaterial
to the pilot whether he scans reality or a perfect copy of
reality. He is interested only in his position relative to the
earth and the objects upon it, and this he constantly sees
clearly defined as a view, his own bird's-eye view of every
thing below him.
It is by these combinations of well-known and tried prin
ciples that a new method presents itself by which a substitute
vision is given pilots and the presence of fog, smoke or dark
ness becomes no longer a menace to life. These same princi
ples can apply to shipping in the entrance to harbors.
Incidentally, an arrow at the center of the flying field as
it appears on the screen reveals the direction of the wind.
A number at one end of the field reproduced on the screen
indicates the wind velocity, while another number at the
opposite end of the screen indicates the plane's altitude. All
other navigational instruments will remain in the televised
plane because such equipment will be necessary in all terri
tory where the televisor system is lacking.
HIGH POWER ESSENTIAL. The main questions dealing
with television progress as seen by Hammond are: How
distinct is the image reproduction? How far can a scene be
broadcast? He answers them by asserting that high power
television solves both problems. It covers several miles with
a clear image and overcomes fading.
"There is absolutely no doubt that television is applicable
today over short distances, and by that I mean up to about
five miles," Hammond said. "Alexanderson has developed the
television technique which makes it easy to equip airplanes
with all-seeing radio eyes."
Television requires from eight to ten times as much
"space" in the air as radio broadcasting. For example, if
the highway of music in space is ten feet wide, the road over
which the images travel must be about 100 feet. Space in
132 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
the ether is limited. Every available wave in the broadcast
band is occupied. It is no wonder that the engineers are
puzzled where room will be found for television. It is not
only a question of developing television apparatus but how
to make a path along which the images can dance through
Radio must be relieved of congestion. Hammond is inter
ested in that problem. Already he has sent eight wireless
messages on one wave length. He has demonstrated this from
short wave lengths up to 1,700 meters. However, the degree
of packing varies with different wave lengths ; that is, there
is more room for messages in the short-wave realm. They
can be packed closely. The broadcasters are now over
crowded between 200 and 550 meters. What the Hammond
invention does in this situation is described as similar to
opening a 1,000-room annex to a 50-room hotel. The inven
tion is compared in economic aspects with the discovery of
the multiplexing system in telegraph, telephone and cable
This young inventor, who has also developed a method
whereby aircraft may project torpedoes and then control
their path in the water by radio from a high perch in the
sky, asserts that the great problem facing all branches of
radio is perfection of the fundamentals, and especially in
THE EYE Is CRITICAL. "Time will come when static and
fading will be conquered," he continued. "Broadcasting will
be conducted with the efficiency of transatlantic telephony
and a greater number of stations will fill the air. Within the
next five years I think we will see television in theaters and
auditoriums to take care of overflow audiences at national
events. I mean over short distances.
"We must remember the eye is more particular than the
ear. A crash of static now and then does not bother the ear
so much, but let static freckle a television picture and the
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS 133
eye will become mighty critical. It is going to be a bigger
job to please the eye than the broadcasters have had in
catering to the ear. The majority are eye-minded."
'Way down in the short-wave spectrum, where wave
lengths are measured in inches rather than feet or meters,
the farsighted scientist of Gloucester visualizes vast possi
bilities. The ultra-short waves are an unexplored region in
radio. It is a new field that is calling for investigation. What
scientists will find in this ethereal field, he hesitates to pre
dict. They may find how to transmit more efficiently with
less power and with simple apparatus. They may learn much
about the construction of the atmosphere. They may discover
new radio aids to medicine. Already experimenters have
found that artificial fever can be created by short radio
waves. Most microbes can live only in certain temperatures.
Ultra-short waves may be the source of a fever that will kill
certain germs without harm to the patient.
A LIFETIME STUDY. "There is a wonderful future for
radio," Hammond said. "It is far more than a lifetime study,
we have so much to learn. Now that we have succeeded in
promulgating the wedding of two great sciences, radio-tele
vision and aviation, we have indeed taken an important step.
But radio research is just getting under way. Every step
leads to new scientific applications.
"What a great thing if during the World War an air
plane, through a television eye, 10,000 feet up in the sky,
could have photographed the scene of a battle fleet even
over a 100-mile area and then flashed that picture by tele
vision to submarines lurking below the surface! We can do
that now. Such television maps in future wars will make it
unnecessary for the tell-tale periscope to bob up as a target
for enemy ships. Television will carry the surface scene far
below the waves of the sea. The submarine maneuvers will
be directed by planes far overhead and out of range of anti-
134 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
aircraft guns carried by battleships. The winner of the next
war will win because he has radio and aviation on his side."
Hammond, now in the early forties, is called "a chip off
the old block." He is a graduate of Sheffield Scientific School
at Yale. At the age of 34 he had more than 250 inventions
to his credit, and his patents total more than six hundred.
His father, also a Yale man, is known internationally as a
mining engineer who built up a vast fortune from mining
and engineering projects. Like father, like son, this radio
inventor is prospecting in space as his father did before him
in the depths of the earth.
A NEW CITY RISES ON MANHATTAN ISLAND JUNE 22, 1930
There is usually a reason for fabulous cities aside from
their geography. New York has its harbor with all the world
at its door by rail or ship. Albany has the Hudson River and
the Erie Canal. Niagara has the falls. Chicago has its lake
port, stockyards and railroad terminals. San Francisco's
golden gate welcomes the Pacific and the great Far East.
New Orleans has the mouth of the Mississippi and the Gulf
of Mexico spread out before it. Minneapolis has the grain
fields. And Kansas City has the railroads, wheat and cattle
to make it a busy place.
Ever since America was carved out of the wilderness its
thriving cities, towns and villages have sprung up and
flourished because of water power, railroads, ports, wheat,
cattle, fur, grain, lumber, gold, fruit, climate, quarries, fish,
scenic beauty and what not. Now, because of invisible vibra
tions in the air, a city within a city is growing on the island
that the Indians sold to Peter Minuet for twenty-four dol
lars. The new metropolis is to cost $250,000,000.
Foreseeing the dawn of a new era in electrical entertain
ment and education, and looking ahead to television with
its vast possibilities, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and a group
led by the Radio Corporation of America, designed Radio
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS 135
City or Rockefeller Center, to cover three city blocks in the
heart of New York. It is bounded by Forty-eighth and
Fifty-first streets and by Sixth and Fifth avenues.
"The sociologist's conception of a city has been a munic
ipal unit, self-contained, with a more or less definite trading
area, spreading its economic influence over as much of the
surrounding country as can be conveniently reached by
newspapers, railroads and motor cars within a few hours,"
remarked Dr. Alfred N. Goldsmith, when the plans for this
magic community were announced.
"Now comes a city sired by science, mothered by art,
dedicated to enlightenment and entertainment. It exists not
for an immediate trade territory but for the world. Its drama
and its dreams will be flung across oceans and continents.
It will share its conceptions of beauty and culture with the
farmer, the village store and the schoolrooms as well as with
Radio, as it stepped from the dots and dashes of wireless
to the voice of broadcasting, created a new art that won
instant public acceptance. At first it was called a novelty, a
luxury of entertainment. It amused. Voices and music that
seemed to come from nowhere into the home with entertain
ment, education, religious services, news and music captured
the imagination of the people. Today radio is called a house
hold utility. Listening-in is part of home life.
IN THE BEGINNING. Little did the KDKA pioneers in
November, 1920, realize, when they broadcast the first pro
gram from an amateur station in Dr. Frank Conrad's ga
rage in Pittsburgh, that radio was destined to grow into a
vast industry; into a center of entertainment, which every
American could enter by merely a snap of a switch and the
turn of a dial.
Radio has advanced step by step. Each time it has moved,
the new studios have been lauded as the broadcasters' Utopia,
the best that the science of radio and acoustic engineering
136 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
could offer. But the rapid pace of science has always pushed
the broadcasters into new realms almost before they could
get established in the old. For example, WJZ in 1921 began
its career in humble quarters in Newark, N. J. Later it was
removed to New York into elaborate studios in Aeolian Hall,
then on Forty-second Street. Surely, it was believed, WJZ
had found its ultimate home. But a few years later the sta
tion moved again, this time to 711 Fifth Avenue, to share
with WEAF, the new headquarters, heralded as designed to
accommodate radio for many years to come. But the restless
radio nucleus was soon to make another move.
Ten years ago broadcasting was just getting under way.
Wherever a transmitter went on the air there sprang up a
demand for receiving sets. Existing wireless manufactures
were not equipped to supply the demand. Thousands of
amateurs built receivers on their work benches in the cellar,
in the attic and on the kitchen table.
The theaters were warned to fight the menace. So were
the motion picture and phonograph industries. The the
atrical people continued to call radio a craze, a novelty that
would soon wear off as did mah Jong. It was natural that
there should be skeptics. The theater was an established in
stitution. It would beat radio when the novelty wore off.
Producers said they were not afraid of this invisible com
petitor. Nevertheless, some saw the handwriting on the wall
and were quick to link themselves with the new enterprise.
THE FRIEND OF ALL. Today radio is a friend of all. It
is bringing them all together in a city within a city. It has
proved itself an ally of the theater. Its electrical devices have
assisted in the development of the sound motion picture. It
has electrified the phonograph and has given it renewed life,
superior tone and new possibilities as a musical instrument.
The radio pioneers looked ahead. They planned for the
future, just as they are planning today for greater triumphs
in years ahead. Broadcasting is an art and an industry. This
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS 137
is shown in the fact that the American public in 1929 spent
approximately $850,000,000 for radio instruments. It was
less in 1930 and 1931 because of the business depression.
There are more than 600 broadcasting stations in the
United States. Many of them are linked by land wires for
simultaneous broadcasting of the same program from coast
to coast and border to border. There are more than eighty
transmitters in the regular hook-ups of the National Broad
casting Company and more than eighty in the Columbia
Broadcasting System. It is estimated that the waves from
these stations reach every antenna in the Union. On special
occasions, such as an important address by the President of
the United States or a national political convention, the net
works are expanded to take in other stations. Some are short
wave transmitters that send the events to foreign lands.
In 1922, when the theaters were beginning to wonder how
they might "take over" radio and maintain control of it,
because listening-in was showing signs of being more than a
craze, there were about 60,000 receiving sets. Today it is
estimated that the number is close to 12,000,000. It is be
lieved that the average number of listeners per set is three,
but the audience swells to much larger proportions when a
heavyweight championship bout or some event of national
interest goes on the air.
It may run up to 50,000,000, although no one knows.
MILLIONS or DOLLARS INVOLVED. Broadcasting is a
business. The National Broadcasting Company for 1929
reported a gross income of $15,000,000; $22,000,000 in
1930. The investment in broadcasting runs into many mil
lions of dollars. For example, the cost of a transmitting in
stallation such as that used by KDKA, WLW and KMOX
is estimated at $500,000. More than thirty-two thousand
miles of telephone lines link the networks into a nation-wide
Compared with this, in 1921, WJZ was housed in a small
138 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
building erected on the roof of a factory building. It was
called an experimental transmitter, and used 500 watts of
power, which in those days was considered high. Today the
big stations use 50,000 watts, and WGY at Schenectady,
which has tried 200,000 watts, has plans to experiment with
Radio's star of destiny shines bright. The clouds of the
early days have been dissipated by the research laboratories.
Radio is marching on. Television is ahead. Those who have
faith in it foresee undreamed-of possibilities. They have
faith because even the research engineers and scientists see
no end to what may be accomplished. That is why a Radio
City was founded. This electrical acropolis, in fact, the en
tire structure of broadcasting, has for its basis invisible
waves, which according to the courts belong to no one be
cause no one owns their medium. The broadcast license as
issued by the Federal Radio Commission is granted for only
six months. Yet there seems to be a feeling among the broad
casters that priority counts for something, and that is one
reason why the pioneers are confident of the future ; that is
why they continue to expand and to invest further in the
science and the art of ethereal entertainment.
While this radio center is to house four large theaters, one
seating 7,000; a motion picture auditorium seating 5,000,
another for musical comedy and one for legitimate drama
productions, and possibly a great symphony hall, the build
ers are counting on, by means of the microphone and tele
visor, a greater audience numbering many millions. The
entertainment in this radio city will find its way quickly to
distant places, through broadcasts and television. The melo
dies will travel through space and will entertain also on the
disk of the phonograph through electrical recordings in
studios of this musical center.
NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR TALENT. Culture, education
and entertainment comprise the aim of the enterprise. It is
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS 139
expected to do much to promote all the arts in the range of
electrical entertainment. David Sarnoff, president of the
Radio Corporation of America, foresees that artists will step
upon the new variety stage and, with the developments prom
ised eventually in television, entertain face to face a world
wide audience. He sees the dramatic and musical
performances on the stage of these theaters flashing out to
the countryside. He predicts that this Radio City will en
courage creative talent, because of the vast facilities of
expression. He expects a great advance in the service which
entertainment and musical education can render the public,
both in and out of the theater. In this city of music, tech
nical and artistic development will go hand in hand toward
new goals of progress in the art of communication and
The stage, the silver screen, the television screen, the
phonograph, the microphone and all the avenues which radio
entertainment travels will be brought together.
There will be twenty-seven broadcasting studios. All will
be equipped for television. It was not so long ago that a
radio studio twenty feet square was looked upon as large.
It would easily accommodate a good-sized jazz band! But
suitable dimensions of a studio are no longer judged by the
number in an orchestra. Some of the new studios in the
radio city will be two or three stories in height. They will
be concert halls in effect, carefully planned for their acous
tics. Each of the four big theatres will be designed for
broadcasting. Actors will perform not only for the imme
diate audience but ultimately, perhaps, for the whole coun
try. Ten of the twenty-seven studios will be equipped for
photography and electrical recording. The public will be
provided space so that they can see the radio entertainers at
work. An Opera House is also planned.
The plans for the new studios are taking into account the
fact that broadcasting, established upon a democratic basis
140 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
in the United States, is not only a medium of mass entertain
ment, but that it has added to the cultural and educational
values of modern life. With the great theatrical and musical
enterprises to be created in this development, the broadcast
ing center of the country is being joined with the dramatic
stage, with opera, with vaudeville, with talking pictures,
with the symphony hall. Broadcasting facilities will be at
the side of every artist whose performance can command a
Nor will the talking pictures be neglected because of tele
vision. In fact, they, too, may travel on radio's wings at the
same time they flash on the screen before the visible
"Broadcasting at first seemed to be everybody's business,"
said M. H. Aylesworth, president of the National Broad
casting Company. "It was as though civilization had been
waiting for a return to first principles, not only as to keep
ing in touch with leaders of the nation by spoken word, but
also for entertainment. Here, at last, is a means of com
bining hundreds of thousands, even millions of listeners into
a great forum. The proverbial four walls of the home, here
tofore serving to isolate the family from the outside world,
are now dissolved as the family takes its place daily in the
forum of the air. Invited speakers invited by a twist of a
dial musicians, educators and others come into the home
from far and wide. Radio is the realization of a dream
worthy of Jules Verne."
BRAND-NEW STAGECRAFT. The traditional arts could
not alone have brought about radio's growth, Aylesworth
points out. It has been necessary to develop a special brand
of showmanship or stagecraft, especially applicable to the
microphone. In much the same way that the silent drama of
the motion picture screen produced new problems in the
histrionic art, so has broadcasting introduced new standards
in musical art. The radio playwright has had to be devel-
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS 141
oped with a special technique able to place the players in
a mental setting, continually identifying them, and other
wise to make up for absent scenic effects of the presentation.
The microphone's musical director has had to learn how to
concentrate complete operas or musical comedies into the
shortest possible time without impairing their worth.
WILL TICKETS BE SOLD? It is doubtful if sound broad
casting alone could ever form the foundation for Radio City.
Naturally, there are plenty of economic as well as technical
problems to be solved before this huge entertainment center
is functioning on a paying basis, unless, of course, some
philanthropist takes it over. So it is no wonder that the
listeners, who are apparently destined to become "lookers,"
are wondering what a key or ticket to this magic acropolis
will cost or will the television performance be as free as the
music in the air?
When broadcasting began in 1920 no one seemed to know
exactly how far, or where, it was going. There had never
been anything like it in history. But today broadcasting has
enabled man to look further into the future. A great des
tiny is seen for radio and a new era of electrical entertain
ment. Those who are planning the television center foresee
a radical change coming, in which every home in the land
will be a theater in itself, linked by radio with this nucleus
of entertainment from which music and television entertain
ment will flow into space. Radio vision will give the American
public a powerful field glass through which those in Iowa,
California, Texas, and other distant points can look through
space, across the horizon and into the new temple of radio
which will probably be completed in 1935.
PICTURES MIGHT BE SCRAMBLED. Some are wondering
how this big investment in Radio City will pay. How can a
theater survive if the audience is not called upon to buy
tickets? One theater in this capitol of radio will seat 7,000
and the talking-picture auditorium will seat 5,000. Tickets
142 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
will be sold for these seats. But outside, on the other side of
the televisor, is a countless audience numbering many mil
lions. Will they get the same entertainment gratis? Of
course, they must buy a television receiver. But will the tele
vision waves be scrambled so that no one can see them unless
they buy a certain receiver designed to unscramble the waves
which carry the entertainment? Not for a long time to come ;
it is difficult enough to scramble the voice and have it rec
ognized without attempting to scramble smiles, tears and
Leaders in the radio industry, those who were building
and selling sets as fast as the factories could turn them out
in the early days to meet the urgent demand, objected to
broadcasting operating on a toll principle. They opposed
on the ground that "we must keep a free general system of
broadcasting. The whole industry is founded on that idea
in America. Broadcasts must be accessible to all."
If broadcasting had not captivated the public fancy so
quickly it might have grown slower. A toll system might
have been adopted. But by 1923 it was considered too late
to introduce a secret system chiefly because millions of re
ceiving sets, loudspeakers, batteries and vacuum tubes had
been sold to the public. If a secret method of transmission
had been applied, all the listeners would have had to scrap
their receivers and buy new machines designed to operate
as a key to unlock a mysterious combination of wave lengths.
All of the transmitters would have had to be rebuilt. The
radio industry would have been paralyzed and its growth
Hammond's "narrowcasting" invention, might have made
feasible the collection of fees from listeners. This would have
enabled the broadcasters to pay top-notch entertainers with
out being obligated to advertisers. It may have been too
late to adopt the secret system in 1924, but today the time is
opportune for the broadcasters to look ahead and adopt a
A CASTLE AND A CITY OF DREAMS 143
method, if they care to do it, whereby everybody cannot pick
up a television show free.
The broadcasters contend that they are not worried, how
ever. They know that radio performances as a free com
modity attract the largest audience. If the program were
broadcast on an almost unlimited combination of wave
lengths, only those who pay for the "key" would be able
to eavesdrop. What the broadcasters, who sell time, most
desire is circulation. If they can convince a program spon
sor that they reach an audience of 20,000,000, the adver
tiser is more likely to buy time than if the audience is
restricted to 500,000, limited by a secret system. The broad
casters are looking ahead to television as a great boon to
national advertising. Whether they would adopt a toll idea
is extremely doubtful. They are not anxious to limit the
size of the audience by means of a mechanical contraption.
The outlook is that advertising will support television just
as it does broadcasting.
THE THEATERS WONDER. It is possible, but not alto
gether probable, that some day an inventor will discover
how to stretch a "high wall" around some parts of the tele
vision show. Already theatrical producers are wondering
how they could afford to let a show be televised.
How many would travel to Palmer Stadium to watch
Princeton play Yale if they could sit comfortably at home
and see the football game at a television screen? Would
75,000 gather from all sections of the country to see the
World's Series if a television eye gave the nation a grand
stand seat free? Would Madison Square Garden be packed
to capacity for a championship bout if a television eye hov
ered above the ringside to send the scene across the country
side? And the television eye would be so located that no
seat in the house would afford a finer view. The lookers-in on
the radio would probably see more than the majority in the
arena. Television receivers might be rented in much the
144 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
same way that the telephone system is handled, but that is
doubtful because radio broadcasting has established a prece
dent not easily changed.
ONWARD TO THE PARLOR. David Sarnoff is sure that
progress in the electrical arts inevitably points to millions
of little theaters added to the constellation of entertainment
already made possible by radio, talking pictures and the
"A separate theater for every home although the stage
may be only a cabinet and the curtain a screen is, I be
lieve, the distinct promise of a new era of electrical enter
tainment," said Sarnoff. "The stage, the concert hall and
the opera first entered the average home with the phono
graph. It is true that musical instruments in some form
have existed since the dawn of civilization, but with the
exception of the first crude piano rolls, it required the crea
tive artist or the amateur to make them vibrant with music.
The phonograph reproduced music and speech wherever it
entered. It gave to the home the recorded art of the concert
performer, the operatic star, the stage favorite.
"Now comes the promise of television as applied to the
theater of the home. Important as has been our progress in
the development of sight transmission, great technical prob
lems still remain to be solved before such a service can be
established upon a practical basis.
"Television will be harnessed to the motion picture screen
so that a great event might be simultaneously recorded in a
number of key cities throughout the nation and the talking
motion picture film distributed again by television to mil
lions of homes some hours after the actual occurrence. Tele
vision, when it does come upon a practical service basis,
promises to supply a vast invisible channel of distribution
for motion pictures in the home."
VAULTING ACROSS TEN YEARS
It is November 8, 1930. Radio broadcasting is celebrating
its tenth anniversary. It was ten years ago today that the
'first program went on the air at Pittsburgh. The first decade
of broadcasting has established an industry. It has enter
tained, informed, educated and employed thousands of peo
ple. The second decade is beginning.
What will happen in the next ten years? What new won
ders will the mushroom-shaped cathode ray tube and glow
ing neon lamp with its noble gas achieve? Will the scanning
SURPRISES ARE PROMISED NOVEMBER 2, 1930
Several days ago Dr. Alfred N. Goldsmith sat at luncheon
in the Hotel Astor, and as he looked out on Broadway his
eyes appeared to miss the crowds, and the hustle of noonday
traffic. He seemed to be looking farther into the distance.
His mind was focused on the future of radio. That was the
subject under discussion.
"Think of it," he said, "ten years have shot by since
broadcasting started. Ten years ago radio was a mere in
fant. How it has grown! Today radio is a world-wide and
mature institution. We are on the threshold of another won
derful decade. It is uncanny to imagine what radio will be
like in 1940. We are entering a new era of electrical enter
Why? Because the radio pioneers blazed a splendid trail
in broadcasting. In a brief span of years they have estab-
146 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
lished engineering and artistic precedents of basic impor
tance which have enabled the building up of mass communi
cation by radio telephony into a great industry. During
the last few years the technique of broadcasting has been
refined and the scope widened until, today, in 1930, it stands
as a highly developed and universally accepted form of ma
jor entertainment supplied to the people of the world.
"It is but natural to ask whether the amazing rate of
progress during the last ten years can be maintained, and
whether 1940 will see radio as far improved compared to the
present-day conditions as is the broadcasting of today when
compared to that of 1921," said Goldsmith. "To the public,
which is already well satisfied in the main with the excellent
performance of the better modern receivers and transmit
ting stations, it would offhand appear as if progress from
now on would be slower than in the past. Yet this theory is
extremely doubtful, and the scientists and engineers have
every reason to believe that not only electrical entertainment
in general, but also radio broadcasting in particular, will
improve in performance, convenience and scope, and at a
marked pace, as the years go on. New principles and meth
ods, as yet only in the minds of the inventors, or at best
in the laboratory, appear to beckon the radio art forward
to new accomplishments and triumphs.
IT Is 1940! "And so, vaulting over ten years, imagine
we are in 1940. Looking about at the field of electrical enter
tainment, what do we find?
"We enter the radio broadcasting studio of 1940. The
microphones are nowhere in evidence for the methods used
so successfully in 1930 for sound motion picture production,
with remote and concealed microphone, will have found
their place in broadcasting. Devices oddly like cameras will
point at the actors, picking up their images for television
transmission, perhaps in color. Motion picture cameras are
in evidence. The studio, with its special backgrounds and
VAULTING ACROSS TEN YEARS 147
furnishings, will look much more like the stage of a theater
or a motion picture studio than like the orderly room which
it resembled in 1930. Television pick-up men and camera
men, sound recordists and control room experts are busily
at work. Actors troop out of their dressing rooms in the
costume suited to their performance. Their words and their
appearance are carried instantaneously by wire line or radio
connection to a multitude of outlet stations.
"In the control room, provision is made in the case of
the more important broadcasts to record both the picture
and the sound of the performance, either on photographic
film or on some equivalent material. The cameras are taking
pictures of the television performance which is being broad
cast. Thus, the public can purchase sound motion picture
records of any particularly attractive or historically impor
tant broadcast which has been presented. School children
and their parents will have the advantage of seeing and
hearing historical events which have been recorded for them
at the same time as they were broadcast.
MAN'S NEW SERVANT. "Entering the living room of
1940 one might judge from the preceding description that
all the electrical entertaining devices to which reference
has been made would prevent the owner of the home from
entering the living room because of the congestion of the
pieces of furniture. Yet such is not the case. Instead of sev
eral cabinets each containing a single instrument, the elec
trical entertaining equipment is assembled in relatively few
cabinets and in some cases even in a single cabinet known
as the electrical entertainer. Essentially the electrical enter
tainer requires only two outlet portions, namely, a screen
for showing a picture and a loudspeaker for producing a
sound. Back of the screen is arranged either the television
projector or the sound motion picture projector, or both.
The educational and entertainment possibilities of such a
device are limitless.
148 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
"In 1940 we have the electrical entertainer at the disposal
of the public. Its significance in the stimulation of musical
taste, as an incentive to the creation of music at home, as an
entertainment device and as a means of education has, it is
believed, opened a new era. The electrical entertainer has
already become a part of the life of the world," Goldsmith
declared. "If we now look forward to 1950, some of its
capabilities will have been further explored and mankind
will have begun to derive a larger measure of the inestimable
benefits which the applications of electricity can bring to it.
And so, through the decades, the force which first frightened
man when it flashed in the lightning and roared in the thun
derbolt will not only become his servant but even his ally
in improving his mind, broadening his cultural taste, and
brightening his hours of leisure."
CRITICS LOOK AT TELEVISION. Luigi Pirandello's The
Man with a Flower in his Mouth is televised in Baird's Lon
don studio while dramatic critics apply their eyes and ears
to the sights and sounds that come to them by radio. Station
2LO handles the sound part of the performance on the 356-
meter wave, while a regional station broadcasts the images
on 261 meters.
The critic of the London Times remarks that the diffi
culties already overcome are many and remarkable, but "let
it be admitted at once that plays by television are as yet a
subject for men of science and not for critics of the finer
points of acting."
It is estimated that approximately 1,000 television re
ceivers are being operated in England. Baird, the inventor,
hibernating in his isolated laboratory atop Box Hill, twenty
miles from London, is reported to be well along with a new
television system which is radically and fundamentally dif
ferent from the usual practice.
TELEVISOR HAS FOUR PARTS. The televisor now being
used in London is described as having four essential parts:
VAULTING ACROSS TEN YEARS 149
the graduated scanning disk, driving motor, synchronizing
mechanism, and the neon lamp. The scanning disk is twenty
inches in diameter and has thirty accurately cut circular
holes arranged in the form of a spiral. The first and last
three holes in the spiral are cut square. This results in
greater detail at the center of the screen than at the edges,
and is called "graduated exploration."
The automatic synchronizing device has two small control
knobs on the front panel of the television receiver. One of
these knobs must be adjusted until the image as viewed
through the lens is brought to rest. Manipulation of the
other knob adjusts the image to the correct height, so the
bottom of one face and the top of another are not seen at
The first operation is to tune the receiver. A loudspeaker
can be used as an aid. When the reproducer emits a shrill
note that means the image is being intercepted. The televisor
is then switched on. The observer sees streaks of light that
slant from one side to the other. The synchronizer knob is
turned until the streaks appear horizontal. When exactly
horizontal and in tune with the sending station the images
appear on the glass screen. The picture may then be framed
to please the eye, that is, it can be centered and clarified
by the proper tuning.
HEAD AND SHOULDER VIEWS. Television spectators are
at present restricted to the reception of head-and-shoulder
and other small images. Large outdoor scenes cannot be
broadcast at present, and the engineers explain that whether
the large scenes are likely to become practical within the
next few years is a question in which the whole future of
television is bound up. It is true that considerable depth has
already been achieved in the transmitted image, but it lacks
the full stereoscopic effect for which the engineers are striv
ing. They are proud that television in color has been demon
strated experimentally. Bouquets of red carnations, blue
150 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
delphiniums, also strawberries amid their green leaves in
white baskets have been seen on the radio in striking effects.
But color reception calls for a special receiving set and
tubes. Neon tubes have been used in European experiments
for "painting" the reds, while mercury vapor tubes handle
the blues and greens.
BLONDES ARE PREFERRED. Every person and every
thing does not necessarily televise well. The clarity of the
image depends to a great extent on whether the face which
is being sent is a good "television" countenance. The London
televisor at its present age apparently prefers blondes.
Why brunettes appear to be in disfavor is a riddle. It
seems that the ideal television face is round and smooth with
shallow lines and the fewer hollows the better. Faces differ
for television work as they do in film work, and it may not be
long before a recognizable type of television face emerges
from these pioneer broadcasts. A minimum of make-up is
used because the televisor will produce a pasty image if too
much make-up is put on.
Facial gestures are encouraged. They give life to the
image. No spotlights are used in the studio. The vocalist at
the microphone is in almost complete darkness with a small
red light at one side to indicate the position of the micro
phone, while a flickering white light beam scans the face.
That is one of the recent improvements. Heretofore the per
son being televised was obliged to sit under a light of blind
ing brilliance and so hot that it peeled the skin from the
forehead in the course of a long sitting. But the latest ma
chines, radio cameras and lights involve not the slightest
discomfort to the person under the stare of electric eyes.
PIN POINTS OF LIGHT IN CALIFORNIA DECEMBER 14, 1930
Philo T. Farnsworth, described as a modest young man
who can apply basic theories in a common sense way, visits
New York having first made a call on the Federal Radio
VAULTING ACROSS TEN YEARS 151
Commission in Washington. He announces that he has suc
ceeded at his California laboratory in narrowing the wave
band required for clear television pictures. Advantages of
electrical scanning rather than a mathematical formula per
taining to wave lengths have helped him in this work.
Farnsworth reports that he has developed a cathode ray
tube which together with pin points of light, will eventu
ally make television commercially practical. He says that
this television instrument can be used in conjunction with
existing broadcast receivers. The tube is about the size of
a quart jar and the picture appears on the bottom of it.
"I have abandoned the old idea of a whirling disk with its
motor and other contraptions," said Farnsworth, in describ
ing his system, which first found its way into the newspapers
in October, 1928. A simple beam of light does the trick. The
entire receiver including a cathode ray tube and its power
unit, can be housed in a box slightly larger than a foot in
dimension. It is plugged into the broadcast receiver follow
ing the detector tube. If the cathode bulb burns out the
owner releases a catch, unscrews the tube like changing a
light bulb, and inserts the new one. The entire device and
tube equipped for use with a broadcast set should cost less
than a hundred dollars. The flat end of the cathode tube
takes the place of the grille work which ordinarily covers
the loudspeaker opening.
"In the laboratory at the present time I have a system in
operation which requires a wave band only six kilocycles
wide to carry the images from the transmitter to the receiver.
It is possible to reduce this wave band to five kilocycles
so the pictures can be sent out by regular broadcasting sta
tions. I believe that television will be combined eventually
with sound programs over one ten-kilocycle channel by plac
ing the music or voice on one side of the carrier wave and
the image on the other side."
TUBE CALLED "DISSECTOR". Cathode ray tubes are used
152 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
for both transmission and reception in Farnsworth's system.
The tube at the broadcasting station is called "an image dis
sector bulb." It is a high vacuum, cold cathode type of tube
described broadly as a photoelectric cell designed so that
"an electron image" of an optical image is focused on the
cathode surface through the flat window opposite it.
If a fluorescent screen is placed in the path of a photo
electric cell or target electrode, the original optical image
is reproduced. For this to happen, however, it is essential
that every electron emitted from any point on the cathode
surface must impinge on a corresponding point in the plane
of the electron image. The cathode rays have a tendency to
spread. Therefore sharp focusing of the electron image is
important for successful pictures. By applying a magnetic
field of the proper intensity the image is focused in such a
way that the lines of force are parallel to the axis of the
bulb. The image can be shifted by two transverse magnetic
fields, so that the entire picture can be moved across the
aperture in the target shield, thereby achieving a zigzag
scanning of the image. This is known as electrical scanning.
No whirling disk is required.
AN ELECTRON GUN SHOOTS. Farnsworth calls the
cathode ray tube used at the receiver, an "oscillite." It trans
forms the incoming picture impulses into a visible image.
The scanning at the receiving end is carried out by means
of two sets of coils mounted at right angles to each other,
just as at the sending end. There is an electron gun element
designed to drive the greatest possible number of electrons
through an opening so that the beam can be easily focused.
Synchronism between transmitter and receiver is achieved by
the use of two alternating currents of saw-tooth wave form
generated at the receiver, identical with those at the trans
mitter. These currents are made to induce a strong voltage
into the picture frequency circuit during the steep part of
their slope. These pulses are utilized at the receiver to hold
VAULTING ACROSS TEN YEARS 153
the local generators in step. And the pulses, which are trans
mitted only during the interval between individual pictures,
also serve to turn off the oscillite spot during the return part
of its path. The main advantage of this system is that no
extra communication channel either wire or radio is needed
to convey the synchronizing impulses, nor is additional ap
The inventor calls attention to the fact that the saw
tooth wave form of alternating current is employed for
energizing the coils because if a sine wave current (one that
rises and falls rhythmically), were used a double picture
would appear at the receiver, whenever the two currents were
not in phase. Each scanning frequency at the receiver is
generated by means of a helium glow discharge tube in com
bination with a small power tube employed as an oscillator
and one stage of amplification.
THE NEON TUBE IN ACTION. Now let us turn to the
mechanical method of scanning to see how the neon lamp
performs its duty. It is to the television set what a loud
speaker is to a sound receiver.
Suppose you are looking into the aperture of a television
set equipped with a disk similar to one at a transmitting sta
tion and also provided with fifty small holes arranged in
spiral form. A motor revolves the disk at the same speed in
exact synchronism with the disk at the sending station. The
observer looks at a small rectangular opening or frame in
front of the disk. This frame is of such dimensions that only
one hole on the rim of the disk can appear in the field of
view at a time. As the disk whirls, the holes pass across the
frame one after another in a series of parallel lines, each
displaced a little from the preceding one until in one revo
lution of the disk the entire field has been covered.
GAS RULES THE COLOR. Beyond the disk is the neon
glow lamp. It contains two elements sealed within a glass
bulb that contains one of the so-called noble gases, such as
154. THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
neon, argon or helium. The cathode is a flat metal plate of
shape and area sufficient to fill entirely the field defined by
the frame in front of the disk. The positive electrode or
anode of this lamp is a similar plate separated from the
cathode by about one millimeter. At the proper gas pressure
this tiny space between the plates is within the "cathode
dark space" where no discharge can pass. As a consequence,
the glow discharge develops on the outer surface of the
cathode, where it shows as a perfectly uniform, thin, brightly
glowing layer. The color of the light depends upon the gas
used. Neon produces an orange or pinkish hue. Argon prop
erly mixed with nitrogen gives a white light. Helium gives
a blue-white light but requires higher voltage to produce
satisfactory ionizing. Neon was first used because the eye is
more sensitive to orange than to white so that the images ap
pear brighter in that tint. Furthermore, the voltage neces
sary to ionize neon is comparatively low.
Now, as a hole in the disk moves across the field, the ob
server looking through at the neon lamp behind the disk
sees the aperture as a bright spot. Each spot is on the plate
of the neon lamp for a mere fraction of a second. When the
disk is rotated at high speed, the observer, owing to per
sistence of vision, sees a uniformly illuminated area in the
frame, provided a constant current is flowing through the
lamp. The brightness of the neon lamp is directly propor
tional to the current flowing through it. When a picture is
being received, the lamp is operated directly from the incom
ing picture current. As a result, there is at any instant, in
the field of view at the receiving station, a small aperture
illuminated proportionally to the brightness of the corre
sponding spot of light on the distant subject being tele
vised. Therefore, the observer sees an image of the distant
person reproduced in the frame at the receiving station.
The image on the plate of the lamp is usually about an inch
square. Lenses magnify it for the screen.
VAULTING ACROSS TEN YEARS 155
This flat-plate neon tube has disadvantages, chiefly, that
it diffuses the light whereas it would be far more efficient to
concentrate the glow into a beam thereby obtaining a vast
increase in the illumination of the picture. Then it would
have more detail and larger size. But with the flat-plate tube
only a fraction of the light gets through the scanner to
WATER-COOLING HELPED. The search for a more in
tense light led to the development of the air-cooled and
water-cooled crater neon lamps, which produce strong con
centrated light instead of a diffused glow. The intense glow
appears in a tiny hole the inside of which is coated with a
mixture of calcium, barium, strontium oxides that emit elec
trons at comparatively low temperatures.
It is essential that the glow discharge lamps for television
contain neon, argon or helium, because these gases produce
a light that can be modulated with sufficient rapidity to trace
the incoming radio signal. As television developed it was
found that water-cooling enabled the use of higher currents,
which resulted in greater illumination. It was also discovered
that if a small amount of hydrogen is mixed with the neon
the active life of the lamp is extended. Some neon bulbs are
so designed that hydrogen can be fed in through a valve.
This is done periodically when the action of the lamp be
comes sluggish and the image fuzzy.
There is another type of glow tube known as the crater-
mercury vapor lamp. It emits a blue-white light through a
pinhole in the center of a metal disk inside the tube. A drop
of mercury vaporizes when the current is turned on, and
causes a white instead of the pink light characteristic of the
"The uniformity of the glow of neon tubes and the sput
tering from the active surface depends on the use of the
proper technique in preparing the cathode surface," said
W. H. Weinhart of the Bell Telephone Laboratories. "Sput-
156 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
tering is the dislodging of material from the surface by
impact of ions from the glowing gas. The matter released
leaves the cathode's surface with high velocity and deposits
on the inside of the bulb directly in front of the glow. This
soon renders the lamp useless by reducing the intensity of
the light as viewed through the bulb. It has been found that
beryllium sputters far less than other materials and, there
fore, is used for the final plating of the cathode. Beryllium is
not easily worked. It can neither be electroplated nor readily
deposited by cathode sputtering; therefore, it is necessary
to deposit it by vaporization and condensation. This is done
in a high vacuum to prevent oxidation and to leave the sur
face as free from gas as possible."
And so these mute glass bulbs blink and glow as electrons
work miracles within the thin glass walls, painting pictures
with invisible crayon-like points, annihilating space so that
the human eye can see distinctly, much farther than just
across the street.
THE CALENDAR TURNS AGAIN
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY
In the 'vanishing days of 1930 there are broadcasts that
reveal as never before radio's international influence. Amer
ica on Christmas 1 morning eavesdrops on melodies from
Japan. It listens to the ^00-year-old bell tolling in the tower
of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the Philip
pines. It tunes in Hawaiian guitars being strummed in
Honolulu. And later in the day a church service from Lon
don crosses the sea, and Germany's musical greeting wafts
across the American continent.
Then again on New Year's Day, Italy joins the world
wide circle of friendship. Premier Benito Mussolini at his
desk in the Palazzo Venezia speaks into an Italian micro
phone, a pledge of peace and goodwill that echoes round the
globe on the wmgs of radio projected into the air of the
Surely if sound can thus girdle the earth, television cannot
be so far away.
It is 1931!
ELECTRIC EYES THAT "SEE" RED JANUARY 11, 1951
Electrical research has pushed television nearer to the
talking motion picture in clarity and simplicity. The cum
bersome, heat-creating electric arc light heretofore used in
the majority of television transmitters has been replaced by
a powerful incandescent lamp. And the neon bulb, instead
of casting a pale orange glow, now throws a more powerful
beam of light to paint clearly the image or scene on the
screen. No longer are the neon rays scattered and feeble.
160 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
The rim of the whirling disk has been fitted with seventy-two
sensitive lenses that concentrate the neon tube's light,
thereby giving the picture greater contrast. These progres
sive steps have enabled the engineers at the Bell Telephone
Laboratories to build a television set of half the size. They
are proud that television images really have what they call
They have developed a new caesium photo-cell that "sees"
red. It detects the red pigment of the skin and makes the
image more life-like. It does not dispense with "eyes" of the
potassium variety, which are sensitive to blue at the other
end of the spectrum. But when potassium cells are used alone
the face is more likely to be blotched and darker than normal.
Now the images appear on the screen more nearly as if seen
face to face in daylight.
A. R. Olpin, engineer of the electro-optical research divi
sion of the Bell Laboratories, is credited with much of the
development made possible by the caesium cell. He perfected
it for television, so that the lips would look natural and the
eyes clear. The ears no longer look "dead" white. They have
a tone or shading as the lights play on them.
The new high power incandescent lamp avoids the flicker
ing always present to some extent in an arc. Therefore, the
image is steadier. The maintenance and adjustment of the
incandescent lamp is simpler. A further advantage is that
the incandescent bulb's filament, operating at a lower tem
perature than the arc, radiates more light at the longer wave
lengths (red light). This facilitates improvement in the
EYES INSENSITIVE TO BLUE. At the first two-way televi
sion demonstration in 1930 the scanning beam was filtered to
pass only blue light, and the photoelectric cells (potassium-
sulphur-vapor) were sensitive chiefly to light in the blue re
gion of the spectrum. With two-way television it is necessary
for each person to see and be seen at the same time. There-
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 161
fore, each speaker must be scanned by a beam of light while
looking at the images formed by the neon lamps. The light
from the neon tube is not of high intensity. Therefore, its ef
fectiveness would be decreased if the person being televised
were flooded by a strong light from some other source. He
would be blinded and could not see the image from the other
end of the line. The human eyes, however, are insensitive to
blue light. By giving the scanning light a bluish tinge it has
small effect on the ability of a person to see the received neon
image as it appears on a screen in front of him in the two-
way television booth.
The effect of using only blue light, however, was to make
the yellows and reds in the face too dark in comparison with
the whites, such as a linen collar. This is because little blue
light is reflected from yellow or red surfaces. To secure
greater naturalness in the image a deep red component has
been incorporated in the scanning light beam, making it
purple instead of blue. Two photoelectric cells of the caesium-
oxygen type have been included, which are extremely sensi
tive to red light. The result of this scanning from both
ends of the visible light spectrum is to produce an image
that is a more faithful reproduction of the original. The
effect is much like that which would be obtained by scanning
with light from the middle of the visible spectrum; the
definition of certain important points, such as the eyes, is
The caesium cells are only about half the size of the potas
sium cells, but because of their high sensitivity to light of
long wave length (red rays) and to the richness of the
incandescent lamp in light at the red end of the spectrum,
two caesium cells are about as effective as the twelve potas
sium cells that supplement them.
EYES Now SEE ALL COLORS. In outlining the progress
being made in photoelectric cell manufacture, Olpin said
162 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
that electric eyes can now be obtained which are sensitive
to almost any color.
The new neon tube is known as the "crater type." It has
a much smaller metal plate inside the glass envelope than
the former bulbs of the plate type. It glows with an intense
orange light generated on the surface of a small electrode,
which is slightly concave like a reflector. The effect is to
cause the neon beam to be projected in a thin pencil of light
through a series of lenses which further concentrate and
direct the beam to a series of seventy-two tiny lenses placed
in spiral form around the rim of the receiver's scanning
The lenses are arranged so the full power of the beam is
deflected over the entire area of the screen on which the
observer sees the intercepted image. The result is far greater
contrast between the light and dark areas which make up
the picture. At the beginning of each revolution of the scan
ning disk the orange light beam is painting a dot in one
corner of the screen. Before the light sensation has died away
in the eye of the observer many thousands of such dots of
illumination have been painted, flooding the entire screen
with light. All this takes place in one-eighteenth of a second.
Eighteen of these pictures per second, resulting from the
Nipkow disk turning a like number of times in one second,
deceive the eyes into seeing a smoothly changing picture.
INCANDESCENT LAMP AIDS. Some idea of the efficiency
of this new television optical system is presented by a com
parison of the arc lamp formerly employed to illuminate
the object being televised and the new incandescent lamp,
which is but slightly larger than a 100- watt light bulb.
The arc light emits illumination of about 18,000 candle
power, whereas the new bulb produces but 2,000 candle
power, which is more easily controlled and concentrated.
About 900 watts of electric energy pass through a filament
less than two inches long within the tube. It is one of the
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 163
most intense lights in existence, rivaling even the light of the
larger and more complicated arc lamp.
When the arc light was used the television machine had to
be shut down frequently so new carbon rods could be placed
in the holders. Now this is unnecessary. When an incandes
cent lamp burns out it is unscrewed from the base and a new
one inserted in a few seconds. Formerly the machines were
stopped during all minor adjustments. Now the incandescent
lamp keeps the television machine in running order for more
than 200 hours of operation.
"GHOSTS" THAT HOVER IN SPACE FEBRUARY 22, 1931
Television images and their phantom "ghosts" are play
ing tag around the skyscrapers on Manhattan Island. Re
search experts equipped with sensitive receivers are following
them to watch their antics. The engineers are trying to dis
cover what wave lengths are best for dodging the ill effects
caused by buildings that touch the clouds. And they are
beginning to wonder whether or not it will be more prudent
to erect the television stations outside the city limits where
many of the broadcasters are located.
BOUNCED BACK FROM THE SKY. Some of the images
reach the screen as an apparition. They no sooner flash into
view than the same face reappears in a faint shadowy form,
a specter returned from the infinite. There may be three
or four of these sprites. The experts know what causes them
and they would like to find a way to erase them from space.
It seems that the "ghost" might be bounced back from
the Kennelly-Heaviside surface, the earth's blanket of elec
tricity-conducting air about 100 miles up in the sky. Its
altitude is ever-changing, billowing up and down like the top
of a circus tent in a gale. Radio waves strike this layer,
sometimes called a radio "mirror," and are reflected back to
earth again. Shifts in the height of the layer send the waves
back at varying angles and as a result the waves are not
164 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
always perfectly synchronized with the other waves that
travel along the ground. That causes fading, blurred pic
tures and double images. Or the waves might travel out to a
mountainous region to be reflected as a sort of echo. Scien
tists have observed that these radio echoes have come back
from distances beyond the orbit of the moon. The mileage is
determined by noting the time lag between the main signal
and the echo. On the other hand, part of the transmitter's
energy may follow a sky-wave route while another portion
travels along a ground wave. Both waves do not always
arrive instantaneously at the receiver because their paths
differ in length. That is another cause of ethereal "ghosts."
"One night at nine o'clock I noticed a 'ghost' flashing by,"
said Sanabria. "It grew more violent until eleven o'clock
after which it was seen, but fainter. Finally it vanished
about an hour before sunrise. I was watching it about nine
miles from the transmitter. Incidentally, an antenna in the
open picks up much less 'ghost' than one shielded by a steel
building. This suggests that the ground wave is consider
ably weakened by absorption. The sky wave is much
stronger. I have attempted to observe the correlation of vis
ible clouds with 'ghosts' that sometimes appear in the after
noon, but often the two occurred simultaneously, and at
other times when 'ghosts' appeared only a few clouds were in
the air, so they could not be blamed for creating the sprites."
METAL "UMBRELLA" Is TESTED. Experiments are being
conducted by the Bureau of Standards to exterminate these
"ghosts" that stalk the airways. One idea consists of placing
a large metal sheet or "umbrella" over the transmitter's
aerial. This sheet absorbs all the sky waves or refracts them
toward the ground before they can emanate far from the
sending station, and therefore, the ground wave is sent out
alone. Although it is possible to eliminate the double image
in this way, signals broadcast under such conditions cover
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 165
only a short distance. It is the sky wave that travels farther
and remains strong longer.
When the metal sheet is used above the aerial, and signals
are sent out on frequencies between 43,000 and 80,000 kilo
cycles, the weaker waves are absorbed and a beam-like wave
emanates intensely. Although the tests have not been car
ried far enough to show definite results, it is possible that
the idea may be developed as a solution of the problem.
TELEVISION MOVES NEARER THE HOME MARCH 11, 1931
Seeing by radio is being brought definitely nearer to com
mercial development by research and technical progress
made in the laboratories, according to a report issued by
the Radio Corporation of America, which has a corps of ex
perts led by Zworykin and Alexanderson working night and
day to perfect television devices for the home. The report
Public interest in the new service promised through
sight transmission by radio, and the new industry which
the manufacture of television sets for the home now brings
into view, requires a precise statement with regard to its
developments. It must be recognized at the outset that
while intelligence may be transmitted through either the
ear or the eye, the services which radio may render
through sound and vision do not compete with one an
other. Each has its peculiar and distinct function.
Sound broadcasting, upon a continually rising scale
of public interest, is engaged in developing its maj or pos
sibilities. Similarly, the sound equipment industry con
tinues to be subject to further development technically
and industrially. Sound broadcasting and sound repro
ducing equipment constitute a distinct division of the
While television during the past two years has been
repeatedly demonstrated by wire and by wireless on a
laboratory basis, it has remained our conviction that
further research and development must precede the manu-
166 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
facture and sale of television sets on a commercial basis.
In order that the American public might not be misled
by purely experimental equipment and that a service
comparable to sound broadcasting should be available in
support of the new art, we have devoted efforts to in
tensive research into these problems, to the preparation
of plant facilities and to the planning of studio arrange
ments whereby sight transmission could be installed as a
separate service of nation-wide broadcasting.
It is felt that in the practical sense of the term, tele
vision must develop to the stage where broadcasting
stations will be able to broadcast regularly visual objects
in the studio, or scenes occurring at other places through
remote control ; where reception devices shall be developed
that will make these objects and scenes clearly discernible
in millions of homes ; where such devices can be built
upon a principle that will eliminate rotary scanning
disks, delicate hand controls and other movable parts ;
and where research will make possible the utilization of
wave lengths for sight transmission that will not inter
fere with the use of the already overcrowded channels in
space. . . . Progress already made gives evidence of the
ultimate practicability of a service of television.
MIDST LIGHTNING AND THE RAIN APRIL 26, 1931
The actors in a premiere television performance go forth
from the aerial wires of station W2XCR, New York, to
battle with lightning flashes. The images of Felix the Clown,
Gertrude Lawrence, Dorothy Appleby and a host of others
are subjected to a severe test on their first ethereal flight.
Atmospheric conditions are bad. It is no day for timid
images traveling on the wings of feeble radio waves to stray
far from home if they are to maintain their identity. Nature
has sent a downpour of April showers accompanied by light
ning flashes and the roar of thunder. And lightning, the
mother of static, is never kind to radio images. It freckles
them, cuts away part of the countenance, streaks the face
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 167
and makes the image look like one of the ghosts and witches
that Macbeth saw midst the lightning and the rain.
FIGHTING AN ELECTRIC BARRAGE. But despite the elec
tric barrage, severe enough to silence the powerful voice of
WEAF for more than an hour, the images that jump off the
aerial wires atop 655 Fifth Avenue are plucked from space
in Baltimore and at observation outposts in the metropolitan
area. It is possible that they traversed greater mileage, but
television sets are scarce today compared with the millions
of broadcast receivers.
It is estimated that there may be about 200 television re
ceiving outfits in the New York area. Many of them are
home-made, and are owned by amateur experimenters, as
were the early broadcast receivers in 1920. Chicago is be
lieved to have from 500 to 1,000 vision sets, chiefly because
there has been greater activity in visual broadcasts in that
The images broadcast by stations W9XAO and W9XAP,
Chicago, have been seen as they sped across the corn fields of
Iowa, across the wheat fields of Minnesota and Kansas. They
have found aerial wires in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri. One
observer in Arizona reports that he caught a fleeting glimpse
of them after they had traveled through the desert air. These
television spectators say that they enjoy boxing bouts and
performances that feature plenty of action.
How FACES ARE DISSECTED. The miracle of television is
realized when one stops to consider the process and the elec
trical surgery to which the persons televised are subjected.
They must be scanned, that is, dissected. They are converted
from light into electricity by wondrous eyes so sensitive to
light that they change the lights and shadows into electricity
corresponding in intensity to the original light pattern.
Then the electrical impulses, to which the images are en
trusted, are fed into a short-wave broadcasting machine.
It squeezes the face into electricity so that it can run up
168 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
the lead-in wire and out onto the aerial runway. It is no
longer a face to be seen or recognized. It is a radio wave.
The ether, or whatever that mysterious substance may be
that occupies all space, is set in vibration. Then the images
of Maria Gambarelli and Patricia Bowman dance across the
skyscrapers and off across the countryside in the form of an
invisible wave. A scene from the Silent Witness brings Lionel
Atwill, Sylvia Field and others before the television optics
so that they, too, may dart through the tall buildings to
find slender antenna targets that bid them welcome to re
appear, reincarnated on lenses and screens.
The faces squeezed into a flow of electricity at the aerial
now run down the lead-in wires, showing no partiality in the
selection of a home. All that is required is a television re
ceiver to convert the invisible wave back into electricity and
then into light so that it can be seen. And the wonder of it
all is that, after this complicated operation, the faces again
smile, wink and talk just as they did in the studio a fraction
of a second before.
Those who look into the sky see no evidence that the forms
of people singing, dancing, acting and joking are flash
ing through space, penetrating buildings, walls and even the
human body, at the speed of light. Such is the wonder of the
age that empowers a station to send out sound on a 254-
meter wave, while its associated visual transmitter handles
the images simultaneously on the 147-meter channel.
THE ART OF MAKE-UP. Despite the fact that the Fed
eral Radio Commission still contends that visual broadcast
ing must be pursued on an experimental and not a com
mercial basis, the broadcasting organizations are becoming
intensely interested in learning more about the technical
aspects and the technique of showmanship. Station W&XAB
has been licensed to go on the air in New York and prelimi
nary tests are being conducted to reveal what make-up is
needed. A variety of other essentials are to be studied so
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 169
that, when the Federal authorities pronounce television
ready for commercialization, the broadcasters will be
"Our tests prove that a platinum blonde registers best
on the television screen," said A. B. Chamberlain, chief en
gineer of the station in a report to the Institute of Radio
Engineers. "So far as color being used in television make-up
any results obtained could be duplicated with varying shades
of black and white, but on account of black lipstick being
objectionable to performers, a brown shade has been substi
tuted with satisfactory results. We have also discovered that
a rough white powder reflects more light from the face than
fine powder, creams or grease."
It has been observed that the contour of the face has a
great deal to do with the variety of the picture on the screen.
The light striking a flat-faced person is better reflected to
the photoelectric cells than from a person having deep-set
eyes, pronounced cheek bones and sharp declivities. The
reason for this is that the light striking any surface in a
plane parallel to the beam of light cast on it from the scan
ner is thrown toward the floor or ceiling and not directly to
the photoelectric cells. It is this fact that causes whiskers
to appear at times when actually the person being televised
has no beard or mustache.
"In television-cartooning it is best to keep the easel
close to the scanner using a short focus lens to cover
the desired area," said Chamberlain. "The light from the
scanner to the object loses little of its intensity. On the
other hand, the reflected light from the object to the
photo-cells is attenuated as of the square of the dis
tance. In this way a large surface close to the photo-cells
gives a greater intensity than a small area at a greater
distance. The same rule holds good for football boards,
paintings, art objects and various types of lessons where
books are shown. It is sometimes advisable to employ a
170 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
longer focus lens to cover a small fraction of the picture in
order to show more detail.
"We have found that shiny surfaces register poorly, be
cause if curved they form a minus focus and if flat they add
to the focus of the scanning lens throwing the light in only
one direction, thereby striking only one cell. This results in
an unbalanced picture generally containing straight streaks
of black and white with very little semblance of the object
ENGINEERS ACT QUICKLY. Television requires a differ
ent type of control operator than does sound broadcasting.
The operating engineer must have a good knowledge of arc
lamps and their operation. This in itself calls for consider
able skill ; in fact, it is more than three-quarters of a moving
picture operator's work. The scanning engineer must be
able quickly to select the proper focus lens for the subject
he is scanning and he must bring it into correct focus with
out delay. If there is any delay the observer has much the
same reaction that an off-note would have on the broadcast
listener. Therefore, to facilitate handling the lens a special
six-lens turret is mounted on the scanner where each lens
is kept at almost its correct focus. This turret will imme
diately swing the desired lens into position and little time
is lost in getting a sharply defined picture. The scanning
mechanism at W8XAB is also mounted on a pedestal to
expedite a quick move in any direction, vertical or horizon
tal. It is important, however, that the heavy mechanism of
the scanner be in exact balance in order to follow the move
ments of dancers, prize fighters and other action scenes.
"We have found it necessary to experiment with various
backgrounds and to use them at varying distances behind the
artists, and at varying distances from the photo-cells," con
tinued Chamberlain. "Different drop curtains on rollers are
mounted on a track system which can be quickly and easily
adjusted back and forth from the scanner.
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 171
"It has been difficult to explain to people having a knowl
edge of photography, that it is not so much the color of
artists or the background but their relation to each other so
far as contrast is concerned, in television. They seem to cling
to the idea that the photo-cells pick up an impression much
the same as would a camera's sensitized plate. This is not
the case, because the current flowing through the photo-cell
circuit has a definite value with a given amount of light.
This amount of current changes as the light varies. For in
stance, if we were scanning a pure black non-reflecting back
ground, the image seen in the monitor would appear to be
the same as if we were scanning a pure white background
because there is no variation in the light that influences the
"While the cells are more sensitive to red and blue, nothing
is gained by employing a red or blue background, because
either of these colors would absorb all the white light thrown
by the scanner, thereby lowering the efficiency so far as use
ful illumination is concerned."
DIFFICULTIES ARE MET. Light cannot flow freely in a
television studio, therefore, the artists often find it difficult to
see and to follow their music or script. They constantly call
for more light. But the engineers must refuse, because the
more light in the studio the more difficult it is to get a defi
nite variation due to the flying spot having to scan a subject
already partially illuminated. Furthermore, as the studio
lighting is increased the photo-cells have to work at a higher
point of their characteristic curve, until finally the studio
lighting is sufficient to start ionization which completely
ruins the picture as well as the cells. To overcome this, the
engineers keep the light at a minimum. They also use a
yellow filter, because the cells are less sensitive to yellow
than to any other color. They are working on a so-called
parallel ray lighting system which will have little reflection
from the surface of the music or script to be illuminated.
172 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
Another difficulty is the variation in focus between long
and close shots, according to Chamberlain. For example,
the focus may be at a maximum to pick up a subject ten feet
from the scanner, when some one with a white dress shirt sud
denly steps in as a close-up. That immediately throws an
exceptionally heavy signal through the circuit. It trips the
transmitter off the air and in some cases starts the cell ioni-
zation. It is for this reason that the cards bearing the sta
tion's call letters are printed in white on a black background.
Such cards facilitate control of the signal, but nevertheless,
precaution must be taken by the operator focusing the pro
gram to lower the focus in time to overcome quick changes
in volume, much the same as in sound broadcasting.
ADAPTING FILMS TO TELEVISION. The motion picture
theater is said to be right at the front door as soon as televi
sion lifts up the latch and walks in.
Apparatus is being developed so that the standard films
can be projected by television. One of the greatest difficul
ties encountered in this adaptation of the sound-sight film
to television was caused by the difference in the rate of speed
with which the pictures are taken on the movie lot, and that
with which they are scanned in the television studio. The
motion picture camera exposes twenty-four sections of the
film each second, whereas television laboratories have ex
perimented with scanning systems projecting a maximum
of twenty pictures a second.
The consequent slowing down of the film results in slow
motion of the characters in the television picture. Further
more, the slower movement of the sound track past the
photoelectric cell creates a sound distortion such as that
noticed when the turntable of a phonograph revolves slower
than the speed at which the recording was made.
Armando Conto, research engineer of the Western Tele
vision Corporation, has developed apparatus that broad
casts the standard film with the characters moving at normal
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 173
speed, and the sound taken undistorted from the reel. He
uses a three-spiral scanning system which divides any area to
be broadcast into forty-five horizontal parts at a speed of
fifteen times a second. This leaves a considerable gap be
tween the fifteen pictures a second as broadcast by the tele
vision station and the twenty-four pictures a second
projected in the cinema theaters.
Conto looked with disfavor upon the method by which the
film is kept in motion as a part of the scanning operation,
a practice used in previous technique. He decided that su
perior results could be obtained if the film remained sta
tionary, as it does in the projection of motion pictures, mov
ing forward at a predetermined speed. So he designed a disk
that combines the effects produced by an ordinary scanning
device and the shutter on a moving picture projector. The
disk is built so that the holes through which the light pene
trates are placed on radii four degrees apart instead of
eight degrees as in the ordinary three-spiral 45-hole disk.
Thus, the forty-five holes occupy a 180-degree segment of
the disk, leaving the other half blank to act as the shutter.
Two identical films are employed. One reel is located at the
upper diameter of the scanning disk and the other at the
lower. The movement of both films is toward the center
of the disk.
The films are placed in the same position in each Geneva
movement (the device which moves the films forward). The
two Geneva movements and the scanning disk are inter
connected mechanically in such a way that when the first
hole of the spiral is in a position to scan picture No. 1 in
film No. 1, this film remains motionless for the duration of
the entire scanning operation. While this is being done the
blank segment of the disk is passing before film No. , shut
ting off the light. This interval is used to move picture No. 2
in film No. to a standstill position so that it will be scanned
immediately after picture No. 1 of reel No. 1 is scanned.
174 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
Several experimenters are trying the scanning disk with
the holes arranged in a circle instead of spirally, as a method
of utilizing the standard sound-sight films in television pro
jection. When this type of disk is used the film moves stead
ily with no intermittent motion, whereas with the spiral
hole arrangement the film does not run smoothly but with
an intermittent motion.
Is A NEW NAME NEEDED? There has been some discus
sion relative to a name for television set owners. Listeners is
a logical cognomen for those who tune in on sound
Alexanderson has suggested the name "radio spectator"
to apply to the owner of a television set. The receiver, he be
lieves, might be called a "teleopticon," but he hopes that no
such linguistic abomination as "televisor" will be used.
Aylesworth thinks "radio audience" is superior to any newly
coined word. "Spectauditor" is suggested by George B. Cut-
ten, President of Colgate University.
Frank P. Day, president of Union College does not see
how a new word can be coined for a television receiver any
more than for an ice box or kitchen stove. The obvious word
for the user of a televison set, however, might be "televist."
DeForest offers "televiewer" and "teleseer." John Grier
Hibben, president of Princeton believes "observer" might be
satisfactory because observation is the function of both eye
and ear. Harold LaFount, Federal Radio Commissioner,
agrees with Hibben, because "observer" is all-embracing and
in no sense misleading. Dr. Michael I. Pupin presents
"I generally prefer straightforward, blunt, Anglo-Saxon
terms," said Dr. Alfred N. Goldsmith. "Tortured Graeco-
Roman terms, evolved by ingenious lexicographers in clois
tered studios rarely appeal to the public. When we want a
man to watch what is happening at a railroad crossing do we
TELEVISION TECHNIQUE AND ARTISTRY 175
say: 'Decelerate, Observe Visually; and Ausculate'? What
we say is 'Stop, Look and Listen !'
"The public, with good sense, has decided that we 'listen-
in' to radio programs, and has called itself a group of
'listeners.' Likewise the public will 'look-on' television pic
tures and will probably be willing to be called a group of
'lookers.' But when it comes to those who both look and
listen, the problem is more complicated. Therefore, I sug
gest the coined word 'lookstener' which is a sort of abbrevia
tion of look-and-listener."
Many other words have been proposed such as viseur and
looker-in, but "observer" seems to have the best chance for
being generally adopted.
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE"
It begins to look as if television's destiny is bound up in
little radio waves waves that must be projected from on
high because in general they act almost like rays of sun
shine. Television is leading man into unfathomed realms of
science, into a spectrum long considered useless, but never
It is helpful in trying to comprehend the possibilities in
the short-wave realm to refer to light, and to remember that
the eye perceives light waves as long as 40,000 to the inch or
as short as 80,000 to the inch. All the colors between red and
violet, and all the scenes that man beholds fall within this
microscopic range. The longest red is about one-sixty thou
sandth of an inch longer than the shortest visible violet wave,
according to Henry D. Hubbard of the Bureau of Stand
ards. It is believed that outside this range there is a vast
spectrum of unseen rays. Visible sunlight carries only one-
fifth of the sun's total energy. Scientists are seeking new
"eyes" that will perceive some of these unseen light waves.
Today there is an infra-red camera that takes pictures in
the black of night. The photographic plate is no longer
color blind to infra-red that contains 80 per cent of the sun's
radiant energy. And so in radio and television new and
startling possibilities lurk m the ultra-short waves. It is the
greatest field in radio research today. The television camera
may eventually utilize infra-red rays that will empower it
to see what is going on at night. Radio is just scratching
the surface of this spectrum which promises unique develop
ments in the wizardry of television. The images may even
travel on a beam of light!
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE" 177
MICRO-RAYS SURPRISE THE EXPERTS MAY 1, 1931
Amateur experimenters everywhere, and a corps of pro
fessional engineers steeped in the lore of research, are creat
ing the little waves, flinging them into space and then recap
turing them to see what they do in the air, and what they can
achieve in transmission of sound and sight.
Technically, they are called ultra-high frequencies qr
micro-rays. The layman refers to them as tiny waves, and
that, too, is correct. Physicists have named them quasi-
optical, because of their close relationship to light.
Achievements already credited to this spectrum indicate
that it may hold the key to more than one ethereal lock
which will unfetter television images and free them from
their scientific prison. It is true that these short waves act in
a freak, uncanny manner at times, but they call for simple,
inexpensive, compact apparatus and comparatively low
power. They are economical. And last but by no means least,
ultra-short wave stations can be packed almost as close as
sardines in a can. There are limitations in the distance they
cover, but in the limitation of radiation there is found an
Already, waves measuring only seven inches from crest
to crest, are carrying voices across the English Channel
between the cliffs at St. Margaret's Bay, Dover, England,
and Blanc Nez, near Calais, France. As a result, novel pos
sibilities for television progress are foreseen. The new system
is heralded as a revolutionary development.
Engineers of the International Telephone and Telegraph
Company, employing a miniature station equipped with an
antenna just an inch long, radiating power estimated at
half a watt, enough to operate a small flashlight bulb, have
triumphed across a stretch which marked one of Marconi's
early achievements in wireless communication.
It was on March 27, 1899, that the inventor of wireless
signaled from Dover to Boulogne. At 5 o'clock in the after-
178 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
noon Marconi pressed the key releasing the sparks for a
jump of thirty-two miles across the Channel. That was a
long distance for wireless in those days. Records do not men
tion the length of the wave used in the 1899 experiment. It
was probably about 150 meters, because the possibilities of
short waves were undiscovered.
Since that day, however, both amateur and professional
experimenters have learned many of the secrets lurking in
the elusive short waves. Boys have talked around the world
using less power than is required to operate their mother's
EARTH'S CURVATURE INTERFERES. The new system that
spans the Channel is called micro-ray radio. The results are
said to have surpassed the most sanguine expectations of the
engineers. They recall that only two years elapsed after
Marconi's Channel success before he picked up the first
transatlantic signal. The engineers at the laboratories at
Hendon (England) and Paris are planning further refine
ments and new developments, which they hope will make
possible everyday commercial applications. Eventually, they
may find a way to send these waves across the ocean, but
today the curvature of the earth stands in the way, unless
a number of ocean-relay stations were used and that is
A remarkable fact is that the tiny waves do not fade.
They carry the voice clearly. An ingenious combination of
two reflectors concentrates the radio power into fine pencil-
like rays and projects them into space in much the same
manner that a searchlight casts a beam of light. The reflec
tor is about ten feet in diameter. It faces the direction of
the distant receiver. Another set of reflectors intercepts the
Where there is a sending and a receiving station on the
same site, for example, at Blanc Nez, the receiving outfit is
built eighty yards from the transmitter and arranged to
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE" 179
be in its electro-optical shadow, adequate allowance being
made for diffraction. The same wave length is used for both
transmission and reception.
"The success of the demonstration has definitely shown
that wave length range as low as 10 centimeters is opened
up," said Frank C. Page, vice president of the International
Telephone and Telegraph Company. "The importance of
this from the point of view of relieving radio congestion need
hardly be stressed. A simple calculation will show that the
range of frequencies available within this band is some nine
times as great as that in the wave band heretofore used.
Added to this is the fact that the radiations can easily and
cheaply be concentrated into a small, single band or conical
ray. The frequency band now available will permit the work
ing of a large number of permanent and continuous chan
nels between the same places without mutual interference,
while the directional properties and comparatively short
range of the waves will make possible the use of the same
frequencies or waves for other routes.
NEW HOPE FOR TELEVISION. "A further important use
will be for television transmission," said Page. "The present
difficulty with regard to television is the large frequency
range (wide path in space) required for satisfactory defini
tion of the object that is broadcast. It should be possible to
allocate as wide a band as is necessary for television without
causing any other congestion. It is easy to imagine the estab
lishment of national micro-ray networks for use in conjunc
tion with television apparatus.
"For navigation purposes and especially for radio bea
cons, the simplicity of the transmitters has obvious advan
tages. Valuable applications seem possible in ship-to-ship
communication, as the small size of the equipment would
enable easy use of its directional properties. This, coupled
with the short range, affords a satisfactory method for virtu
ally secret intercommunication between war vessels."
180 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
A radio wave 25.70 inches long carrying a signal clearly
over sixteen miles reveals to the amateur that he is by no
means alone in finding that electromagnetic channels below
10 meters have a wide field of usefulness, but not for long
distance. Indications point to the probability of a future
ultra-high frequency spectrum swarming with telephone
communication systems, television transmitters and broad
Kenneth B. Warner, an official of the American Radio
Relay League, contends in the magazine QST that some
where around 43,000 kilocycles (7 meters) is a limiting fre
quency the sky waves of which seem never to return to earth.
That wave is believed to mark the upper limit of frequencies
useful in the ordinary methods of transmission. Although
the frequencies up to that value are useful for long distance
operation, including at times the 10-meter band, the fre
quencies from that point up seem valuable only for short
"From the meager literature, one judges that the receiver
should be able to 'see' the transmitter," said Warner. "If a
hill intervenes, the transmission is likely to be cut off. Curva
ture of the earth limits the range to the distance where the
wave becomes tangent to the earth ; therefore, the higher the
transmitter the greater the range. Limited application? Not
at all. This is just the thing for commercial television (if a
satisfactory technique is developed), because here is un
occupied territory sufficient to accommodate the enormous
modulation bands required and beautifully limited in range.
The very peculiarities of these frequencies, in that they
cover limited mileage, enable television stations to duplicate
their use on the same wave length in every city in the land
HIGH AERIAL, Is AN ASSET. "We understand that com
mercial television developments looking to these ends are in
process. Of course, the aerial will have to be on a high mast,
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE" 181
or located on a hilltop, or perhaps even suspended over its
'service area' by a small balloon but those things will work
out. Aviation finds these frequencies of even greater promise,
and for similar reasons. In Hawaii the public telephone serv
ice on the various islands is interconnected by short-wave
radio links a few meters long, the stations being located on
mountaintops to 'see' each other and to clear the curvature
of the earth between. In such transmission there is no fad
ing, no static, no uncontrollable interference from other
stations. These tiny waves create 'a radio heaven' for short
WITHIN A SMALL ORBIT. Down to perhaps a meter or
two, the experimenters have discovered that more or less
ordinary circuit arrangements can be applied, according to
Warner's report. He explains that below that, in the region
of centimeters, a most fascinating world awaits the experi
menter with Barkhausen-Kurz oscillations, the frequency of
which is not determined by inductance and capacity but by
the orbits which electrons trace inside the tube, where wave
length is controlled not by tuning but by the varying of
voltages. And these oscillations are apparently rather easily
produced in appreciable power.
A Japanese experimenter has reported to the Institute
of Radio Engineers that he sent signals over several miles on
a wave length of less than half a meter. It has been observed
that the extremely short waves do adhere to the same laws,
apparently, as those of a few meters in length, but they call
for short aerials, and reflectors the dimensions of which make
them easier to handle.
In this connection some years ago John Reinartz, one of
Connecticut's noted radio amateurs, was experimenting with
short waves and found that the copper bowl of an ordinary
household electric heater provided an excellent reflector.
"Doesn't that excite your imagination and cause a few
day-dreams as you visualize reflectors and beam systems in
miniature, quickly built, easily changed?" Warner asked the
182 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
amateurs. "We should find it interesting to participate in
the development of the frequencies above 56 megacycles,
particularly in the creation of apparatus that will work well
in these regions. It is a rich, new field, fertile with possi
bilities for the ingenious, and undoubtedly destined ulti
mately to have a big part in amateur radio. Just what that
part is, our experimenters will determine."
WHAT ENGINEERS OBSERVE. The applications of fre
quencies above 30,000 kilocycles were discussed before the
Boston section of the Institute of Radio Engineers in a
paper prepared by H. H. Beverage, H. O. Peterson and
C. W. Hansell, engineers of the Radio Corporation of Amer
ica. Their observations are based on experiments over a
period of several years.
They find that the altitude of the terminal equipment
location has a marked effect on the signal intensity, even
beyond the optical range. Frequencies below about 43,000
kilocycles appear to be reflected back to earth at relatively
great distances in the daytime in north-south directions, but
east-west transmission over long distances is extremely
Frequencies above approximately 43,000 kilocycles do
not appear to return to earth beyond the ground-wave
range, except at rare intervals, and then for only a few sec
onds or a few minutes. Ground waves which are not bothered
by a sky wave returning to mingle with them also appear
to be free of echoes and multiple path transmission effects.
Therefore, they are free from distortion due to selective
fading and echoes. The range is also limited to the ground-
wave range, so these frequencies may be duplicated at many
points without interference. For example, stations in New
York, Providence and Philadelphia could use the same waves
without overlapping. Experiments with frequencies above
300,000 kilocycles have so far indicated that the maximum
range is limited to the optical distance.
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE" 183
BUILDINGS ACT AS REFLECTORS. Tests are under way
to determine the shielding effect of city buildings. A receiver
is mounted in a test car and continuous observations of a
60,000 kilocycle signal from Weehawken are conducted
while driving through various streets on the Manhattan side
of the Hudson River. The transmitting aerial is on the
roof about 100 feet above the river. It is found that the
signal can be heard in the streets four or five city blocks
back from the water front. Driving along a street parallel
to, and several blocks back from, the river, it is noticed
that the signal strength increases greatly whenever one of
the streets perpendicular to the river is crossed. This sug
gests that buildings may serve as fairly effective reflectors.
Thus, it may be possible to obtain quite effective broadcast
service to all parts of a city if the transmitter is atop a tall
building. Because of obstructions in city areas, however, it
is believed that the service range will be restricted for high-
grade entertainment broadcasting and television. High
power is an essential factor in overcoming some of the ill
VARIOUS USES ARE OUTLINED. In conclusion the engi
neers enumerate some of the uses for which the short waves
might be especially well suited. They explain that frequen
cies above 43,000 kilocycles do not seem to be reflected back
to earth by the Kennelly-Heaviside surface. They fly off
tangent from the earth like sparks from a grinding wheel.
And, furthermore, as the frequency is increased, the maxi
mum range tends to approach the optical range as a limit.
This is a fortunate limitation and in many cases should
be advantageous. It should eliminate the fading effects and
distortion so troublesome on the lower frequencies. It should
be possible to use the same waves over and over at geo
graphically separated points on the earth. A few ultra-high
frequency applications are outlined by the engineers as
184 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
(1) Point-to-point communication up to 300 miles be
(2) Ground-to-aircraft communication up to at least 100
miles and communication between aircraft.
(3) Point-to-point communication between high build
ings or towers up to fifty miles or more.
(4) City police alarm distribution up to a few miles with
portable receivers carried by patrol cars.
(5) Possible application to high speed visual image dis
tribution over local areas.
(6) Local audio, facsimile or ticker distribution.
(7) Communication and direction finding for ferryboats,
tugs and harbor craft.
(8) Marker beacons for air and water craft.
AERIALS GIVE NOVEL RESULTS. Harold H. Beverage
and Dr. N. E. Lindenblad are conducting ultra-short wave
experiments at Radio Central on Long Island. They have
linked Rocky Point and Riverhead, fifteen miles apart, by
little waves radiated by aerials thirteen inches long held aloft
thirty feet to dodge the earth's curve.
They sent an airplane up with a receiver on board. An
other set was located atop the Empire State Building. The
operator could not hear the message on the 68-centimeter
wave (27 inches), but the airplane picked it up at an alti
tude of 1,600 feet. The beam was only a mile wide. When
the plane flew out of that range the signals vanished. Then
they put the aerial up on an 80-foot mast at the transmitter
and the receiver on the skyscraper detected it too.
The engineers are not positive how the 68-centimeter waves
travel. They are reasonably sure that in general they fol
low the curvature of the earth. On several occasions, however,
it has been possible to detect signals several miles beyond the
horizon point. It is believed that moisture in the atmosphere
reflects the signals to a slight extent, making it possible for
them to bend a few miles below the horizon.
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE" 185
So far only a few watts have been carried by these waves.
The engineers want them to carry more energy. They are
trying to find out the greatest amount of power that can
be handled on the shortest possible wave. The tubes are a
limiting factor. New ones are being designed which may
make it possible to use several kilowatts on ultra-short wave
They have observed that the type of aerial employed is
important. One arrangement of the sending wire radiates
68-centimeter waves over an area shaped like a huge dough
nut. The transmitter occupies the exact center of the hole.
An aerial of different design covers an area in the form of
a large slice of pie. An aerial of megaphone shape, with the
transmitter as the mouthpiece, sends out a slender beam of
energy. The aerials are mounted on a board about six feet
square faced with copper and surrounded by reflector
aerials. Connection between the aerial, atop a high tower,
and the oscillator is made by means of radio frequency feeder
lines, which because of their design merely carry the energy
from the transmitter to the aerial or radiator where it is
reflected in the desired direction.
NEW TYPE OF INSULATOR. A unique insulator, which in
reality is an electrical conductor designed to function as an
insulator of the radio frequency current, has been developed
for the aerial system of the 68-centimeter oscillator. It con
sists of two wires each equal to one quarter of the wave
length, or 17 centimeters long, arranged in parallel and
linked to a ground connection at one end. If a wire equal to
one-half the wave length, or 34* centimeters long, were
stretched out in a straight line, it would form an aerial iden
tical to the one located on top of the mast. By running the
two wires parallel, about two inches apart a simple tuned
circuit is formed. It has inductance and capacity. The radio
frequency field of the wires is concentrated within the center
of the two wires because of the parallel arrangement, and
186 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
therefore, has zero radiation resistance. It is really a hair
pin of wire forming a tuned circuit that traps any energy
from leaking away. This forms a highly efficient high fre
quency insulator and, according to Lindenblad, is more effi
cient than glass or porcelain insulators. The insulator may
be used on wave lengths up to five meters.
While millions of cycles are involved in broadcasting at
such high frequencies, practically no wire and condenser
capacities as found in the usual radio transmitter or receiv
ing set are utilized in this apparatus. Connections between
the various parts consist of straight wires which form the
tuning inductances and capacities. The circuits are com
posed of numerous copper rods, which may be lengthened or
shortened by sliding in and out of one another.
THE BARKHAUSEN TUBE. The standard vacuum tube
does not act well when called upon to perform in the ultra-
short wave realm. It refuses to oscillate at high frequencies,
that is, below two meters. The electrons inside the bulb do
not travel fast enough to support the exceedingly rapid
electrical vibrations required. So a new tube has been built
ingeniously to speed up the electronic action and it operates
easily at high frequencies. Dr. Heinrich Barkhausen of Ger
many developed the tube and observed the result, now called
the "Barkhausen effect."
The technical aspects of this tube, as discussed in Elec
tronics, calls attention to the fact that in generating ultra-
high frequencies the self-supporting grid of the Barkhausen
oscillator is maintained positive. The plate is negative. Then
electrons emitted by the cathode are attracted to the grid.
Many of them pass through the grid's mesh and get within
the field of the plate. Inasmuch as the plate is negative, the
electrons are repelled and thrown back to the grid. One
oscillation, therefore, takes place in the time required for an
electron to make its circuit. For successful operation the
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE" 187
plate might have a negative voltage of 40 while the grid has
a positive voltage of about 250 placed on it.
Voltage is applied to the tube through choke coils to pro
tect the power supply apparatus from the high frequency
currents and to prevent part of these supply leads from
forming an oscillating system at a frequency lower than that
desired for radiation from the aerial proper. Since the wave
length is a function only of the size and the voltages thereon,
the tube is designed in such a way that all parts serving as
coupling devices are exact ratios in size and spacing of the
desired wave length. A shield about one inch square protects
the radiating parts of the bulb from the field of the aerial.
The bipoles going out from the grid and plate are carried to
the focus point of the reflectors. At the receiving end wires
on a frame about two feet long act as an antenna to collect
the radiation whence it is conducted to a tube similar to the
one used for transmission except that it is designed for lower
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WAVES. Obviously, the out
standing characteristic of the ultra-short waves is straight-
line propagation. Between two points there is always only
one line of propagation and for that reason all the phenom
ena of fading are unknown at quasi-optical waves. Another
important feature is the possibility of concentrating energy.
Furthermore, the noise level is extremely low. E. Karplus,
engineer of the General Radio Company, has observed that
this seems to be due to the fact that even nature has some
difficulty in starting these high frequencies and that they
do not occur in man-made devices such as electric signs,
elevators, motors and lamps which at times interfere with
It has been proved by theory and practice that for the
longer waves, that is, down to 5 centimeters, humidity,
rain and fog have no influence on propagation. Below 5
centimeters, however, the engineers notice an absorbing ef-
188 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
feet caused by humidity and especially the content of carbon
dioxide. Waves below 3 centimeters have no appreciable
radiation in the atmosphere. They are absorbed and scat
tered in the immediate vicinity of the transmitter. Radiation
of electromagnetic waves that permit communication begins
again only at the shorter heat waves, at the infra-red and
light range. Attenuation of these waves is somewhat less than
in the range of visible light.
"So far as modulation is concerned," said Karplus,
"quasi-optical waves are much better off than all other waves
used in communication. This may be of great importance
when all the difficulties that limit television today are elimi
nated. Ten meters has been assumed arbitrarily as the upper
limit of quasi-optical waves. It is impossible, of course, to
draw distinct limits in nature and it would probably be bet
ter to say 5 meters instead of 10, but the choice of 10 meters
was dictated by the fact that waves below 10 meters only
occasionally are reflected back from the upper atmosphere.
Short-wave broadcasting experiments have been conducted
in Berlin. After tests at 3 meters, the wave length was shifted
to 7 meters. With a one kilowatt transmitter located on
the roof of a building about 100 feet high satisfactory re
sults have been attained up to a distance of five miles."
OLD IDEA COMES IN HANDY. When waves below seven
meters are used the super-regenerative circuit developed by
E. H. Armstrong back in 1922 finds a new field of useful
ness. Its stability, simplicity and high amplification adapt it
to reception of pictures. It will be recalled that the regenera
tive circuit was extremely popular in the early days of
broadcasting, but it howled and squealed so much that it
was frowned upon. When tuning it, the sensitivity builds up
rapidly with regeneration until a point is reached where it
oscillates. That chokes the tube and the signals disappear.
Armstrong sought a way to avert the choking and still
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE" 189
retain the benefits of regeneration, and in so doing he devel
oped the super-regenerator.
ENTERING THE PROMISED LAND. "Any engineer who has
been confronted with the problem of allocating channels to
all the manifold demands for radio service must quickly be
come impressed with the fact that a 'ceiling' has always over
hung the usefulness of space radio," remarked O. H. Cald-
well, former Radio Commissioner. "Nature has provided
only one ether spectrum, and all classes of radio service must
accommodate themselves to its sharp limitations. Multiplica
tion of the spectrum, it was apparent, could come only
through subdivision or else by expansion into the higher
"Recent work with television in the short waves and with
quasi-optical waves, now seems to open up a vast new realm
for radio service. Kilocycles have always been the crying
need in radio, and as we go down into the short waves, we
turn up kilocycles in profusion. For, every time we halve
the wave length made useful for radio, we add to the former
spectrum as many kilocycles as we had, altogether, before !"
Added Total Available
Range Channels Spectrum
Infinity to 10 meters (present
spectrum) 30,000 kc.
10 meters to 5 meters 30,000 kc. 60,000 kc.
5 meters to 2% meters 60,000 kc. 120,000 kc.
21/2 meters to 1% meters 1 20,000 kc. 240,000 kc.
1% meters to % meter 240,000 kc. 480,000 kc.
% meter to 5/16 meter 480,000 kc. 960,000 kc.
5/16 meter to 5/32 meter
( 1 5.6 cm.) 960,000 kc. 1,920,000 kc.
At last, there are kilocycles enough, and down among the
short waves the same frequency can be used over and over
again, even in the same locality. Thus the lid is lifted. The
limits on the multiplied use of space radio become only those
of equipment and demand.
190 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
It is possible that private-line telephones, mechanical con
trol and a host of other uses may follow, until the cities and
countryside of the future are everywhere cross-threaded
with "wireless" local circuits. Caldwell says that with simple
terminal sets and the cost of intervening wires eliminated,
even a vivid imagination wonders what may be the uses of
this new radio realm. Here may develop an equipment mar
ket that will parallel broadcast receivers in numbers. Engi
neers and manufacturers will do well to watch this quasi-
optical field closely.
Results on the frequency band from 43,000 to 45,000
kilocycles have so enthused Boston experimenters at station
W1XG, that they call the 6.97 meter wave "the radio man's
paradise." The tests so far indicate that the service area
of this channel is about forty miles.
"Where a single broadcasting station requires a niche
only 10 kilocycles wide a television station needs 100 kilo
cycles," said Hollis Baird. "In the broadcast spectrum from
550 to 1,500 kilocycles there is space for about ninety-six
cleared channel stations that send out voice and music. Ten
television transmitters would entirely fill this space and be
uncomfortably close to each other. One can easily figure out
that in the ultra-short wave spectrum, let us say, from
30,000 to 100,000 kilocycles (10 to 3.3 meters), there would
be room enough for 7,000 broadcast transmitters and 700
television stations, all on cleared channels. No fading, no
static! No wonder we are excited over the possibilities of
A good idea of how these waves dodge static is found in a
report from Hawaii where the inter-island radiophone makes
use of the ultra-short wave channels: "On Friday and Sat
urday we passed through one of the greatest static storms in
my experience here on the island," said an engineer. "Light
ning flashed almost continually for the better part of two
days and nights. No difficulty was experienced, however, in
TINY WAVES THAT "SEE" 191
the operation of our ultra-frequency telephone circuits. It
was a weird experience to be watching the lightning and at
the same time talk with Hilo without difficulty or without
any particular annoyance being experienced from the faint
indications of static on the circuit."
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC
Television's flying spot of light is thrilling the world. A
switch is thrown. A motor purrs. Electrical life is instilled
in the copper arteries and vems. The electric nerves tingle
and a spot of light flashes on the screen. It moves slowly at
first, then gains in speed as other spots appear. They all
move fast, gyrate and streak the screen. Soon it is flooded
with light. Out of it all comes an image!
So NEAR AND YET So FAR JUNE 1, 1931
How near is television to the home? Discussion of that
subject is usually prefaced with the general statement that
it is just around the corner. No one seems to have discovered
what corner; whether it is where Zworykin Avenue crosses
Ives Street, where Baird Avenue meets Alexanderson Boule
vard, or where Farnsworth Road crosses Sanabria Lane.
Progress is being made but the images reaching the home
today on tiny "screens" are not of sufficient quality or size
to engross the family attention for any length of time as
broadcasting does. Nevertheless, the television era has defi
nitely dawned, according to the observations of Aylesworth.
And Sarnoff asserts that transmission of sight by radio is
a matter of accomplishment, not of speculation. He believes
that the present sporadic activities cannot be classed as
practical service. They are purely experimental, but as such
deserve encouragement and merit public interest. He likens
the present status of television to the pre-broadcasting era
of radio, when amateur experimenters were beginning to
hear faint sounds in their earphones.
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 193
THE EXISTING PROBLEMS. "The next stage in television
and I should anticipate its realization by the end of 1932
should find it comparable to the earphone days of broad
casting," said Sarnoff . "At this point the public may well
be invited to share its further unfolding. By that time, tele
vision should attain the same degree of development as did
sound broadcasting in the early period of the crystal set.
In the practical sense of the term, television must develop to
the stage where stations can broadcast regularly visual ob
jects in the studio, or scenes occurring at other places
through remote control; where reception devices shall be
developed that will make these objects and scenes clearly
discernible in millions of homes; where such devices can be
built upon a principle that will eliminate rotary scanning
disks, delicate hand controls and other movable parts; and
where research has made possible the utilization of wave
lengths for sight transmission that will not interfere with
the use of the already overcrowded channels in space.
"Important forward strides are being made. In our de
velopment laboratory at Camden we are seeking to perfect
television to a point where it is capable of rendering real
service. While the public was willing, and even eager, to
experiment with radio in the early stages of broadcast de
velopment, it seems to us that it will desire a comparatively
more advanced television receiver than the early crystal
radios. There was no precedent for the taking of sound and
music out of space, but the public has been educated by the
motion picture industry to expect picture transmission of a
high quality, and it is doubtful whether interest can long
be sustained by inferior television images.
"The progress we have made so far has given us the belief
that ultimately a great service of television can and will be
made available. I do not believe that television will supersede
sound broadcasting. It will be a correlated industry. Tele
vision promises another great industrial development, but to
194 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
assure this, we cannot disappoint the public and defeat the
possibilities of a future great service by hasty and premature
action at the present time.
"Last year I said that perfected television would come
within five years. The results of our work in the past six
months has brought the goal some years nearer."
Further inquiry among leaders in the radio field reveals
a diversity of opinion regarding television's possibilities.
"I believe television will be in operation on a commercial
basis by the end of 1932," said William S. Paley, president
of the Columbia Broadcasting System. "However, people
should not expect too much. There is a great deal of pioneer
ing and experimenting to be done. One of the big jobs
identified with the coming of television, in addition to the
technical and production development, will be the reorgani
zation of broadcasting to conform with the new requirements
of sound and sight."
DARKNESS NOT DESIRED. "Television is in the home
right now !" exclaims Clem F. Wade, president of the West
ern Television Corporation. He points to the fact that 3,500
visual receivers are in the Chicago area.
"Pictures received in homes have been small," said Wade.
"A darkened room has been necessary on account of the
feeble illumination. This has limited the sale and use of the
set. We believe that television will receive the same impetus
that the loudspeaker gave to radio when a larger picture is
shown in the home without darkening the room. It will not
be long before a picture six inches square will have sufficient
illumination to be seen in daylight. In darkness, the size may
be increased to several feet square."
AGITATION Is PREMATURE. Harold A. Lafount, Federal
Radio Commissioner, finds it difficult to predict how long it
will take to perfect and commercialize television. He foresees
many perplexing obstacles, which must first be overcome be-
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 195
fore one can state that television is in the home. Lafount
believes that three years is an optimistic estimate.
"In my opinion," said the Commissioner, "the present
agitation and interest in television are premature and may
give the public a false impression. It would be a severe blow
to the radio 'infant' to call upon it at this time to do a man's
ON WINGS OF PROSPERITY. Dr. Lee de Forest asserts
that we are perhaps nearer to television in the theater and
further from television in the home than the majority of
"With the return of general prosperity there is no ques
tion that radio manufacturers will intensify their efforts to
revive, by way of wholesale television manufacture, their
'old-time' prosperity," said de Forest. "The industry seems
a unit in the conviction that nothing but television can really
restore this; and under the spur of the lash, improvement
in home television technique may surprise many who are to
day pessimistically inclined."
RESULTS CALLED CRUDE. Powel Crosley, president of
Crosley Radio, reports that he and his engineers have
watched and studied everything they can find in television,
but so far "we have seen nothing that belongs any place ex
cept in the laboratory."
"In the last twenty years only comparatively slight im
provement has been made slightly better photoelectric
cells, slightly better illumination for the picture," said
Crosley. "We feel that it is not time yet to get the public
worked up over the present crude results. The scanning disk
seems to limit television to an interesting laboratory experi
ment. The lack of broadcasting channels and the necessity
for wide frequency bands required to make reasonably good
pictures seems at this time to bump it into an almost impos
196 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
A SCIENTIFIC NOVELTY. Ray H. Manson, chief en
gineer of Stromberg-Carlson Telephone Mfg. Co., contends
that television is a scientific novelty of great promise, and
so long as the public is not led to expect too much from the
systems now in use, progress can be made in an orderly,
"Larger pictures with more detail and better fidelity are
necessary before television can be considered commercial,"
said Manson. "Also, the pictures must be so arranged that
fairly large groups of observers can look at one time. It is
reasonable to expect that any great stride in the advance
ment of television will be through some new invention for
simplifying the transmission problem. Otherwise, progress
will be comparatively slow, and the public will have to wait
several years for the commercial results."
"Now that we have television, what shall we do with it?"
asks Hollis Baird. He answers the question himself:
"One of television's first steps will be the projection of
talking picture films, which will bring to the home entertain
ment featuring sound and sight. This is the result of years
of work by the motion picture producers. In addition mere
news flashes need no longer be broadcast audibly. News
events recorded by sight and sound can be put on the air the
day they happen, in the evening when many will be at home
to enjoy them.
"Then comes the more involved question of studio pro
ductions or direct pick-up entertainment. New photo-cell
equipment permits close-ups and long shots so that tele
vision has variety which was lacking at first. Fading-in from
one of these 'shots' to another can be accomplished elec
trically as easily as a motion picture fades from one scene to
another. This brings up the question of scenery. How much
background can be picked up? That will depend on the
scenic effects. Undoubtedly suggestion and exaggerated de
tails will make up the earliest scenery. And if make-up can
TALKING BY TELEVISION
Dr. Frank B. Jewett, president of
the Bell Telephone Laboratories,
with Dr. Frank Gray in the televi
FOUR POWERFUL EYES
Station W2XBS atop the New
Amsterdam Theater, installed to ex
periment with television in the New
A CLUSTER OF SEVEX LIGHT SPOTS
The drum of mirrors begins to whirl. The dots of light start to gyrate,
and soon the entire screen is flooded with light. Then an image appears.
Alexanderson points to the magic cluster.
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 197
help a motion picture actor with the fine definition which the
movies permit, it will surely have a big place in television.
"Simple variety or vaudeville acts lend themselves easily
to television, but the dramatic field has richer possibilities.
The popularity of radio dramatic skits proves that the
public enjoys this type of entertainment despite the limita
tions of acting that comes to the ear only. There are won
derful possibilities in television drama."
Two CAMPS ARE FOUND. Ross A. Hull, associate editor
of QST, has made a survey of television for the benefit of
radio amateurs, and he finds television interests divided into
two camps : those anxious to talk and those anxious to avoid
talking. The most voluble unfortunately have the least in
formation on the subject. The non-talkers have crawled into
their shells to avoid playing a part in the premature and
misleading publicity. Then, too, they have inventions to
A summary of Hull's observations reveals : Sixty-line pic
tures provide a momentary thrill they fail to keep the
family at home engrossed in a television program . . . the
cathode ray tube has been shown to promise an effective way
of scanning. It has every indication of being one logical suc
cessor to the scanning disk, free from the inaccuracies, the
inconveniences and the speed limitations of any mechanical
device. ... It is not certain that ultra-high frequencies are
capable of good service. . . . Wire linkage of stations
throughout the country probably will still be impractical
because of limitations of wires in carrying high frequency
currents . . . with 240 lines to a picture there will be little
danger of mistaking the soprano for her poodle . . . there
is a big fire in the television stove but the cooks are still with
out a recipe book. . . . Television of the moment is an in
triguing and utterly absorbing field for the experimenter
but as entertainment it is still around the corner.
198 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
THE GAP Is CLOSING UP JUNE 2, 1931
The gap between those who believe that television is al
ready here and those who concede that it is still around the
mythical corner is steadily closing up. A television station
is being erected at a cost of $85,000 atop the Empire State
Building, the world's loftiest skyscraper. It is expected to be
the engineers' most practical teacher, and it may stir up an
interest and a curiosity among the public to look in on what
is passing through the New York air.
HORIZON Is VARIABLE. The technical horizon from the
observation tower of the building is sixty miles. However,
there is usually a haze that hides everything beyond the
thirty-mile limit. When places forty miles distant are recog
nized it is an exceptionally clear day. Twenty-five miles is
considered to be a good average range. It is reported that
Patchogue, Long Island, has been seen to the east on a clear
day, Ossining to the north, the Orange Mountains to the
west and the open sea to the south.
If the experimenters find that the technical horizon is the
absolute limit that the quasi-optical waves will cover, then
a sixty-mile radius with the Empire State tower as the center
will be the range of that station. However, the experts will
be gratified if they can serve that area with a single trans
mitter, because within that circle lies the most thickly popu
lated land in the country. Such a television might claim a
vast audience should homes be equipped with vision sets as
they are with broadcast receivers. New York's metropolitan
area, according to the Census Bureau's 1930 figures, has a
population of 10,901,424, and within 2,541 square miles. A
high power station might reach them all.
The power is rated at 5,000 watts, and it will filter
through space on the following channels by authority of the
Federal Radio Commission: 43,000 to 46,000 kilocycles;
48,500 to 50,300 kilocycles, and 60,000 to 80,000 kilocycles.
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 199
Another transmitter of 2,500-watt capacity will be utilized
for experimental purposes. It is licensed to use 41,000 to
51,000 kilocycles; 60,000 to 400,000 and above 401,000
The station is located on the 86th floor, 1,000 feet above
pedestrians in the street. The aerial is a fourteen-foot rod
on top of the mooring mast, which makes the pinnacle 1,276
feet high. The engineers are hopeful that operation of the
visual broadcaster at this altitude will be helpful in sur
mounting the difficulties that beset television transmission in
the city. If they can succeed in New York with its massive
steel structures, then television in other cities will be an easy
task. This lofty station is designed to get the images well on
their way before the steel fingers have a chance to clutch
them, and the high power is depended upon to drive the
faces through "dead spots" or so-called shadows, which the
buildings cast in the path of radio.
While the research experts have done exceedingly well
with the crude, basic television principles, they consider the
commonplace technique comparable with attempting to de
sign a wrist watch with locomotive parts. The first means in
a new science are obviously immature and cumbersome with
regard to the delicate end. Today nothing can compare in
simplicity, low cost and practicability with mechanical scan
ning; therefore, the only course lies in further refinement
and improvement of components and assembly or the dis
covery of a more efficient system.
LIMITATIONS ARE A CHALLENGE. "The present limita
tions imposed on television are no greater than those im
posed on early broadcasting," Aylesworth once remarked.
"It has not always been possible to broadcast an entire sym
phony orchestra with every assurance that the reproduction
would be successful. In the early days large orchestras were
avoided by broadcasters with reputations to maintain. In
stead, a few musicians were selected. To go beyond a few
200 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
musical instruments was to court disaster. Those who at
tempted complete orchestras presented their audience with
a radio version of the Tower of Babel."
Those who have watched a clean-shaven tenor appear on
the television screen with a goatee, or Mayor Walker of New
York appear with a mustache, realize that existing radio-
vision instruments have limitations. Only a small amount of
detail is available. With just so many light elements at hand
with which to assemble the images at the receiving station, it
is necessary to work with large figures or close-ups, or to
sacrifice detail in obtaining a larger field of vision. It is
possible, therefore, to reproduce close-ups of personalities,
with facial features discernible, so that identification im
poses no severe strain on the imagination. Half-length pic
tures result in marked loss of detail. Facial features are
insufficiently distinct to permit quick identification. How
ever, a greater range of action may make up for loss of
detail. Full-length pictures or so-called long shots possess
little detail. Action alone must tell the story because the
figures may be virtually silhouettes.
The limitations of television are simply a challenge to the
ingenuity of the broadcasters, as Aylesworth sees it. He be
lieves that the program presentations can in large measure
be fitted to the limitations, even giving birth to a unique
form of art, perhaps, as in the case of the silent motion pic
tures and sightless broadcasting. Television is more fortu
nate in its early struggles than was sound broadcasting, be
cause while the latter worked alone, television enjoys the
partnership of an older and firmly established companion
art. By means of sound broadcasting, television has a voice
to speak the story which it is acting. Synchronized sound
broadcasting for television is simply a partnership of both
arts sound and sight.
THE PICTURES ARE SMALL. No one denies that the home
television reproduction of today leaves much to be desired,
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 201
but so did the early broadcast receivers with crystal detector
and earphones. The present pictures usually measure not
more than an inch and a half square. They may be magnified
by lenses in which pictorial imperfections become more ap
parent. And the brilliancy is proportionally reduced. Viewed
through a shadowbox or peep-hole by one or two persons at
a time, the performance is reminiscent of the early days of
the motion picture when a penny-in-the-slot and the turn of
a crank brought animated scenes before the eyes.
Judging from present technical standards, such thoughts
as televising field events and pageants are fantastic but by
no means impossible of realization in the future. To one who
has seen sound broadcasting develop from the faint whisper
of the human voice to a full symphony orchestra, anything
is possible under the destiny of modern research.
Professor Elihu Thomson predicts that the whole world
may some day be able to see a total eclipse of the sun through
the medium of television.
"Though direct observation of a total eclipse is neces
sarily confined to the dark tract of the moon's shadow, tele
vision may bring us from a distance images of the sun in
eclipse," said Thomson lecturing in London. "This predic
tion may be fulfilled in August, 1932, when an eclipse cuts
across New England; but technical development of tele
vision broadcasting may not then be sufficiently advanced."
IMPORTANT FORWARD STRIDES. Zworykin in his labora
tory at Camden, N. J., is privately showing his television
"Zworykin asked us if we wanted to view the images over
a wire line in the laboratory or at an outpost five miles dis
tant to which radio would carry the faces," said a New
Yorker privileged to see a demonstration. "We chose the
outpost and went by automobile to that point. There we
had a pre-review. The picture detail was excellent. It was
clear, in fact, most uncanny."
202 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
Television needs more than a good transmitter and a good
receiver. They can be built and controlled by man but not
so with the invisible waves. What waves are right for tele
vision? That is an important question. Alexanderson has
turned his attention to this part of the problem. He is study
ing wave propagation. Germany reports that some of his
images released from wires in the Mohawk Valley have been
plucked from space near Berlin.
A BLURRED JUMBLE OF GALLOPING HORSES JUNE 3, 1931
Cameronian prances out on the track at Epsom Downs a
favorite. With this gallant horse, vying for the lead with
Gallini, Orpen, Goyescas and others, a television camera
looks down on the scene for the first time and thus the 1931
English Derby is the first to be televised.
It is called a "telecast." The parade of the horses before
the start of the race and the crowds around the winning post
are seen by distant observers. 'Tis true the pictures are not
always clear. Static and other interference make the tele
vision scene at times appear as if viewed through a snow
storm. But, nevertheless, they know it is a horse race
televised in the open air where artificial illumination is
Under the editorial caption, "Viewing the Derby by Tele
vision," the New York Evening Post comments as follows :
While 750,000 were on hand at Epsom Downs to see
Cameronian lead the field in the English Derby, a small
and select group of spectators saw the finish of this
historic race in their own studies. It is true that Camer-
onian's triumph was indistinguishable to these stay-at-
home racing fans in a blurred jumble of galloping horses,
but so must it have been to a tremendous majority of the
thousands at Epsom Downs.
Moreover, while the members of the stay-at-home group
missed a great deal of the excitement which pervaded the
course itself, they also avoided the crowd and tedious
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 203
journeys to and from the race. It was, of course, through
television that this privileged group of Englishmen
watched the Derby in peace and quiet.
However faulty the transmission may have been, the
experiment afforded a taste of what is to come. Slowly
but steadily television is making its way. It is still in the
stage which characterized the first awkward experiments
with moving pictures and is subject to narrow limitations,
but scientific workers engaged in its development differ
in their forecasts only with regard to the time when it
will be commercially practical. Television will some day
be a commonplace and we shall view Derbies or football
games or Presidential inaugurations as we now hear them
over the radio.
On Derby Day, John Baird brings a strange wagon to
Epsom Downs. It resembles a van from a gypsy caravan.
But a mirror projecting on the back of the rear door of the
vehicle gives the onlooker a clue that this might be the con
trivance of a magician rather than that of a wandering
A MIRROR WITH REVOLVING EYES. The mirror dispenses
with the necessity of revolving the "eye" on an axis in order
to follow the race and to "see" various sections of the track.
This television looking-glass is on a hinge so that it can be
turned at different angles. Inside the van is a revolving drum
the periphery of which is equipped with thirty small mirrors.
It scans what the big mirror reflects. As the drum revolves
the mirrors cause a strip of the scene to pass through a lens
aimed at the photoelectric cells. They turn the light into
electricity. There being thirty mirrors, the race track pic
ture is cut into thirty adjacent strips. The process is re
peated twelve and one-half times each second so that the
distant observers, some of whom are fifteen miles away, see a
Telephone wires connect the van with the television control
unit at Long Acre from which point the signals are for-
204 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
warded to Brookmans Park for broadcasting by the British
Broadcasting Company's transmitter tuned to the 261 -meter
Television spectators report that they see the horses and
jockeys parade before the start. They hear the clamor of the
race track. They see men and women walk across the fore
ground little realizing that their actions are being watched
by an eye that televises. They see the leaders dash past the
finish post quite clearly but they cannot be identified indi
This broadcast from Epsom Downs is heralded as a
crowning event for television, one that foreshadows its possi
bilities. It demonstrates that outdoor events can be televised
in sunlight without the glare of artificial lamps. This Eng
lish Derby is just the start of a greater race world-wide
television of news events and scenes of action.
COLOR Music FROM AN ORGAN JUNE 4, 1931
Problems of the television showman are simplified in the
beginning by the fact that the performance is in black and
white. When color is added to the ethereal pictures care will
have to be taken that the tints are synchronized with the
music. The eye and ear must not clash. This will be an im
portant factor so far as entertainment value is concerned.
The engineers assert that one of the main tasks is now in
the creation of projection apparatus to permit the rendering
of color in a form as appealing to the eye as a symphony is
to the ear. The artistically inclined lighting expert foresees
a new opportunity in television.
Already an automatic color organ, called a by-product of
radio, has been developed to produce colors by means of
music and to synchronize colors with music. Television in
years to come may give it a wide field of usefulness.
"It seems that to correlate sound and color is at once im
possible of solution," said E. P. Patterson, the engineer who
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 205
discussed the color organ at a meeting of the Institute of
Radio Engineers. "In spite of this, pleasing results can be
obtained because aesthetic enjoyment is not based on
formula. With color the eye perceives three factors hue,
degree of saturation and brightness."
HUMAN REACTIONS TO COLOR. It is generally recognized
that colors exert a profound influence over the majority of
people. The following table by Luckiesh gives a series of
colors with the commonly associated reactions. It may be
useful to the television showmen when they can utilize tints.
Red warm, exciting, passionate.
Orange warm, exciting, suffocating, flowing, lively.
Yellow warm, exciting, joyous, gay, merry.
Green neutral, tranquil, peaceful, soothing.
Blue-green sober, sedate.
Blue cold, grave, tranquil, serene.
Violet solemn, melancholy, neutral, depressing.
Purple neutral, solemn, stately, pompous, impressive.
"A method of harmonizing color and music is to assume
that the bass notes of the drum indicate an effort on the
part of the composer to create a stirring effect and hence a
red color," said Patterson. "In practice red may usually be
assigned this position. The other colors, however, represent
a more complicated problem. It is possible, with special ar
rangements, to obtain a most sensitive control, the colors fol
lowing practically every change in the music. However,
violent fluctuations tend to become objectionable. Where ex
tremely rapid changes are required, incandescent lamp fila
ments should not be too heavy on account of the time delay
in heating and cooling. While we have roughly determined
the color of the lights to be employed, the success of the
presentation depends greatly upon the manner of light pro-
206 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
jection and also on the introduction of some moving pat
terns, which serve to relieve the possibility of monotony.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE. "There are a number of effect
machines to produce clouds, waterfalls, rain, etc. These, for
the most part, consist of a revolving or painted disk in front
of a spotlight. These spots may be directed on a curtain, and
used in conjunction with ordinary border and footlights as
found in the theater. Elaborate lighting schemes are coming
into prominence where bare walls are painted by color pat
terns and projected pictures. These systems serve to focus
public attention on the lighting art, and lend themselves to
the easy adaptation of color music. In the creation of pat
terns, moving or still, care must be exercised in avoiding too
definite a structure. The imagination is important in giving
aesthetic enjoyment which cannot be realized to the fullest
extent when the pattern is too concrete in form, even though
it may be beautiful in design."
FACES THAT INSPIRE PREDICTION JUNE 9, 1931
There is a roar like a huge printing press getting under
way, but not quite so loud. It is television coming to life.
Sanabria is manipulating the switches and gadgets that
complete the copper pathway over which electricity rushes
into his television machine at one end of a ballroom in a
Chicago hotel. At the other end of the room is a six-foot
screen upon which all eyes are focused.
A spot of light, about the size of an orange, flashes on
the darkened white sheet. Slowly it begins to move to the
right and off the side of the screen. Other spots whiz across,
one above the other. A motor that controls their destiny is
gaining speed and the cluster of light spots moves faster and
faster. Now they appear as illuminated lines instead of
round daubs of light. The screen is streaked and resembles
one of those large transparent washboards with the parallels
of light from top to bottom recalling the board's corrugated
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 207
surface. Suddenly a face stares at the audience. It is blurred.
Nevertheless, it affords a distinct glimpse of what is coming.
Sanabria turns a knob or two and the focus is improved. The
face is clear. The crowd applauds. The large-sized head on
the screen makes a bow.
An observer is inspired to predict that shopping by tele
vision is likely to play a part in the scheme of living in the
not too distant future.
"Just as the broadcasting stations send out shopping,
diet, health and other talks of interest to women, television
will transmit the images of the wares from stores and shops,"
he said. "Women will tune in by television before they begin
their shopping tours. Television shopping will save time and
energy, allowing more opportunity for other pursuits.
Women will have more time to relax. They can see the bar
gain counters from home. They can see the wares by radio
and place the order by telephone."
FANTASTIC THOUGHTS. The question is where are all
the shops going to get wave lengths. And what a mix-up
there would be if hundreds of grocery stores, butchers, hard
ware stores, bakeries, drug and candy shops adopted the
Another visionary person believes that industrial cor
porations will hold their board of directors meetings by tele
vision. The chairman will call to order a meeting of electrical
personalities, and they will discuss the affairs of the cor
poration as if all were present in a room. He even expects
that documents will be televised and comments broadcast.
But what about the millions who might eavesdrop? Tele
vision must be more secretive than radio broadcasting before
this dream can come true.
This same person anticipates that fifty years hence the
Premiers of France and Italy will talk and see across the
water and save weeks of time, now necessary when they make
a trip to see the President of the United States. He contends
208 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
that our grandchildren will wonder at the quaint custom of
the past that made it obligatory for members of Congress to
convene in Washington. He foresees the time when they will
debate and pass laws by television. Filibustering will have no
terrors. Tuning out will be a simple matter.
It will be many a day before statesmen trust the all-per
vading radio and television to handle their diplomatic com
munications. Space cannot be trusted with secrets and im
portant plans. Open discussion is not always desired. And
the day when Congress will meet by television, well, that calls
for a vivid imagination.
A PROPHECY THAT FELL SHORT JULY 18, 1931
Television is forging ahead in England despite the fact
that radio as encountered abroad by H. G. Wells, several
years ago, was found wanting. The English novelist observed
that the invisible audience was disillusioned and bored to
death while lifeless aerial wires sagged between chimneys as
useless as barbed wire entanglements abandoned after war.
He wondered if any indefatigable listeners stuck to the
ethereal amusement for more than two weeks and if so he
thought that they must be "very sedentary persons living in
badly lighted houses or otherwise unable to read" or they
have "no opportunity for thought or conversation."
That was in 1927. The English listeners look back to
June 15, 1920, when Melba broadcast from Chelmsford as
the pioneer performance that revealed the possibilities of
entertaining by way of the microphone. Then two years
passed before a regular broadcaster, station 2LO at London,
went on the air, November 14, 1922. All owners of radio
receivers in the British Isles are now forced to acquire a
license from John Bull so he knows from day to day whether
or not his radio family is growing or dying. Today there are
more than 3,500,000 licenses issued, despite the dire fore
bodings five years ago.
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 209
THE KING PROVES A POINT. The sagging aerial wires
apparently have been tightened. Radio broadcasts have
shown in many ways that antenna wires are a bit more potent
than abandoned barbed wire on No Man's Land after the
What about radio today? The radio that triumphed at the
Naval Arms Conference in London, on January 21, 1930,
when King George V spoke into a golden microphone to the
greatest and most cosmopolitan audience that ever listened
simultaneously to the voice of a monarch. The broadcasters
estimate that on that occasion 100,000,000 tuned in !
President Hoover and his "medicine ball cabinet" gath
ered round a loudspeaker at the White House. France re
ported that the radio speeches calmed the press by their
sincerity and goodwill. Australians recognized His Majesty's
voice. Manila picked up the 25-meter waves from London.
Japan was a trifle disappointed. Reception was "loud, roar
ing and brassy," because a pianist at a Russian station un
ceremoniously crashed into the Japanese ether. Listeners at
Jungfraujoch, 13,000 feet above sea level in the Alps, were
Germany enjoyed excellent reception of "a veritable babel
of voices that swamped several millions of radio fans for two
hours with a technical perfection that left little to be de
sired." Stockholm, Paris, Vienna, Basel, Budapest and Rome
picked up each syllable distinctly. All parts of India eaves
dropped on the delegates in the House of Lords. Radio did
not miss a single nation as it sprayed the surface of the
earth with the messages of peace and goodwill. If radio can
do that with a voice, is it not possible that some day it will
do likewise with a face?
THE FATE OF THE PIONEERS AUGUST 26, 1931
When one looks back in the files that have preserved the
radio programs of 1921 and 1922, he finds that in most
210 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
cases the names of the pioneer entertainers are strange. Few
of them carried on with the development of the art. Many of
them went on the air just for the novelty.
For example, those who donned the earphones on May
25, 1922, and adjusted the crystal detectors, may have heard
WJZ begin its Sabbath broadcasting at 3 o'clock in the
afternoon with chapel service from the Episcopal Church of
Paterson, N. J. This was followed by a musicale featuring
Louise B. Wilder, Lucille Bethel and Mabelanna Corby.
Then came the literary vespers by Edgar White Burrill.
Readings and phonograph recordings by Ralph Mayhew
were on the air at 6 :30 o'clock, followed by Sandman stories
by Kaspar Seidel. "Business on the Upward Trend" was the
topic discussed at 7:20 o'clock by J. H. Tregoe. P. W.
Wilson faced the microphone to report the latest foreign
news. Alfred Sgueo, violinist, gave a one-hour recital. Music
by the Orpheus Quartet of Newark furnished the finale of
the day and WJZ signed off at 10 P.M.
The names of the pioneers have been supplanted by trade
names and names of advertisers who sponsor the entertain
ment. So it may be with television when one looks back a few
years hence to the following performances broadcast by
W2XAB, New York on the 107-meter wave while W2XE
handled the sound on the 49.02-meter channel :
August 24, 1931
2:00 6:00 P.M. Experimental sight programs. Demonstra
tion of card station announcements and
drawings of radio celebrities.
8:00 P.M. At Home Party, an informal studio gather
ing showing set-up for party and large
group of people. Research in televising whole
scenes, utilizing groups as a background.
8:30 P.M. Dancing in the Dark, featuring Natalie
Towers in a series of television waltzes. Five
different lens pick-ups. Test with silver back
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 211
8 :45 P.M. Television Crooner, Doris Sharp, dressed en
tirely in red. Experiment to show effect of
color in television pick-up.
9:00 P.M. How the Best-Dressed Girl in Radio Should
Look Mary McCord wearing the latest
fashions from Paris.
9:15 P.M. Tap dancing demonstration featuring Jack
Fisher in a song recital with self-accompani
ment on the violin.
9:30 P.M. Recital by Charlotte Harriman, contralto.
Use of sun-tan and white make-up.
9:45 P.M. The Bon Bons, quartet in costume.
10:00 P.M. Twin violin demonstration featuring Virginia
and Mary Drane with Carol Seaman. Long
shot pick-up. Half-length focus.
10:15 P.M. Helen Nugent, contralto.
10:30 P.M. Dramatic Readings with modernistic back
ground featuring Alice Raff.
10:45 P.M. The Singing Vagabond, Artells Dickson.
Character songs and stories.
August 25, 1931
2:00 6:00 P.M. Experimental sight programs. Demonstra
tion of card station announcements and
drawings of radio celebrities.
8 :00 P.M. Ernest Naftzger presents following artists
Girls' Trio Dorothy, Alice, and Jean
Islay Benson, English Character Artist
Louis Bia Monte Saxophonist
Ethel Parks Richardson, Hill-Billy songs.
Test to determine clarity of single artist
pick-up as contrasted with three or more.
8 :30 P.M. Teddy Bergman, Television's Clown.
8:45 P.M. Pantomime Demonstration featuring Grace
Voss in three pantomimes. Long shot pick
up with white screen background.
9 :00 P.M. Puppet Follies presented by Peter Williams.
9:15 P.M. Television Taps Tap dancing specialties
by two five-year-old boys ; long shot pick-up
attempting to get in whole figures.
212 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
9:30 P.M. Exhibition Boxing Bout. Three demonstrat
ing possibilities of broadcasting boxing
matches by sight and sound.
9 :45 P.M. Chess Playing Demonstration featuring Ed
ward Lasker, Major Ivan Firth and Gladys
Shaw Erskine. Test shows chessboard and
how a certain championship game was
10:15 P.M. John Brewster, juvenile actor in novelties.
10 :30 P.M. "Waltzing Through the Air."Natalie Towers
dancing by television. Close-up and long shot.
10 :45 P.M. "Songs of Spain," featuring Soledad Espinal.
And so the show goes on! What will they think of these
broadcasts when 1950 arrives? They will probably smile to
think of Natalie Towers waltzing to the tune of "Dancing
in the Dark," while the technical experts were just as much
in the dark regarding some of the problems that look so
simple from the 1950 point of view. By that time the tap
dancers ought to be in demand, and television may be able
to do justice to portrayal of the best-dressed girl in radio.
Studio boxing bouts will have passed from the air as the
regular championship fights are picked up at the ringsides.
And the Puppet Follies will give way to the glorified girl,
while entertainers galore seem to waltz through the air.
TELEVISION ON A BEAM OF LIGHT DECEMBER 22, 1931
Lured by ultra-short waves, Alexanderson has decided to
experiment with television traveling on a beam of light. He
successfully demonstrates in the laboratory that the images
will follow a light ray a billionth of a meter in length, thus
opening the way to a new field of research in which he sees
Instead of feeding the electrical impulses into a radio
transmitter, they are modulated into extremely high fre
quencies on a light beam from a high intensity arc. The
beam is projected the length of the laboratory where it
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 213
strikes a single photoelectric cell which transposes the
modulated light waves back into electrical waves. The elec
trical impulses reproduce the image by means of an ordinary
"The work thus far is highly experimental," said Alexan-
derson, "but some day we may see television broadcast from
a powerful arc light mounted atop a tower. The modulated
light waves will be picked up in homes by individual photo
electric cells, instead of by an antenna. Light broadcasting
may have the same relation to radio broadcasting as the local
newspaper has to the national newspapers. These light waves
can be received at relatively short distances, possibly ten
miles. Each community could have its light broadcasting
system. The logical progress of this development is in the
exploration of still shorter waves than are found in the
radio spectrum. That takes us into light waves which we
know travel in straight lines. Furthermore, they can be
accurately controlled by such optical means as mirrors and
"When it was decided to take up experimentation on this
subject Dr. Irving Langmuir of the research laboratory
was consulted about the probabilities of being able to
modulate a source of light at the required high frequencies
of from 100,000 to a million cycles. Dr. Langmuir, who has
done much research work with arcs, believed that this could
be accomplished by using a high intensity arc. It was con
cluded that a most desirable light would be a high intensity
arc of the type where the light comes from the arc rather
than from the crater. In the 10-ampere arc lamp used for
the first test most of the light comes from the crater, and
comparatively little light is in the arc. The lamp was used
in such a way that the light from the crater was eliminated,
and the arc used was, therefore, quite a weak source of light.
The current from our standard television pick-up was super
imposed upon this arc, and the light from the arc inter-
214 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
cepted by a photoelectric tube at a distance of 130 feet. The
photoelectric tube was then used to control the regular tele
vision projector. The image transmitted in this way had the
same sharpness of detail as the one ordinarily obtained with
out the interposition of the light beam."
JENKINS TRIES LANTERN SLIDE SCANNING March 1, 1932
The television screen up to now has been swept by daubs
of luminous "paint", which picture the image. Small screens
are generally used because of the gigantic task a single
light spot is called upon to perform in order to illuminate
a large screen of theatre size. That is why some engineers
contend that as long as only a tiny light-brush is available
to sweep across the screen, television images will be confined
to a small area.
C. Francis Jenkins has been hunting for a new principle.
In the Yale Scientific Magazine he reports that he is substi
tuting "persistence of picture element for persistence of
vision." His new method does not involve a rapid transvers-
ing of the picture area by a single spot of light in adjacent
parallel lines. The entire picture is on the screen all the
time instead of only a single gyrating dot of light.
Broadly, the new method consists in utilizing the incom
ing radio signals to build up a picture in the path of a light
beam projected on a screen. There is a fixed lantern slide
upon which the objects move instead of being stationary as
on a magic lantern slide. The picture on this animated slide
is scanned or formed thereon by electrical rather than photo
graphic means. The slide replaces the flying light spot em
ployed in other systems.
The mechanics of the method consist of dividing the pic
ture area of the lantern slide into sixty imaginary lines of
sixty dots to each line and changing the chemicals in the
gelatin coating of the plate to attain the fading of an image
and its replacement by a like image every fifteenth of a
A FLYING SPOT OF MAGIC 215
second. The prepared slide is put into a projecting lantern
equipped with a light source.
In the receiver, in front of, closely adjacent and parallel
to this animated lantern slide, a suitable transparent scan
ning disk is mounted. It has sixty wire terminals on its
face to distribute the incoming radio impulses along each of
the sixty lines on the slide. Jenkins estimates that using these
wire-like nerves about 3,600 times as much light can be
Thus Jenkins seems to have accomplished the impossible.
He has arranged a transparent lantern slide plate with a
sensitive surface so that it will become transparent or opaque
in response to rapid changes in light. Areas of crystal clear
ness and darkness move about in an ever changing pattern
and great rapidity, reproducing the picture flashed by the
"When the transparent scanning disk is brought into
synchronism with the analyzer at the transmitter, the in
coming radio signals form spots on the lantern slide", said
the inventor. "Each spot is an element of the picture of the
person or scene being televised at the transmitting station.
All the spots are put in their proper places in a tiny frac
tion of a second.
"But as rapidly as each spot is put on the plate by the in
coming radio signal it begins to fade. The fading time is
one-tenth of a second and a complete respotting occurs every
fifteenth of a second. Obviously, each spot is in its place all
the time in the stationary part of the picture. If, however,
a particular group of spots form a moving part of the
picture, for example, a speaker's arm in gesture, new spots
will be formed in successively new locations as the arm moves
to new positions, and the old spots fade quickly.
"The projected picture on the screen is, therefore, exactly
like the usual lantern slide picture except that it has motion ;
or like a motion picture except that it is made up of chang-
216 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
ing elements instead of changing picture frames of a film.
Incidentally, the elementary picture dots are so blended that
they are as inconspicuous on the theater screen as are the
picture dots of a newspaper illustration."
This method is described as being somewhat analogous to
the three-element vacuum tube in which a little current on the
grid controls the flow of a relatively large amount of cur
rent. The feeble radio current in this television method is
not the light source, as it is in other systems, but the radio
impulses are used to block out, in simultaneously-acting ele
mentary areas, a beam from a powerful light source. There
fore, no interrupting shutter is utilized. Twice as much
light reaches the screen as in a motion-picture projector
where a rotating shutter cuts off half the light.
Jenkins contends that with this system any size screen can
be adequately lighted for large gatherings, to accompany
a synchronous voice-amplifier. He says that a small incan
descent lamp is quite ample for home radiovisors, synchro
nized with the loud-speakers now in use.
A GLIMPSE AHEAD
The New York Times September 28, 1931
Such has been the progress made in television that at the
opening of the recent radio show Mr. David Sarnoff predicted
that next year would witness the establishment of what he
termed "the theater of the home." What we shall see on the
screen of the partially darkened living room will be a living
image about six by eight inches in size and about as well de
fined as a newspaper half-tone picture. Synchronized with the
broadcast voice, the electrical counterfeit presentment will
sing, talk and smile.
Surely these small images will but whet the appetite. A
performance of "Parsifal" at Baireuth visible and audible in
New York, with singers as large as life why not? Television
lends itself to such imaginings. No engineer will deny that
ultimately they will be realities. But give him time. Consider
what television means even on a small scale, he reminds us.
In a motion-picture theater we see a dozen whole pictures in
a second, and because our eyes cannot separate one from
another we obtain the illusion of continuous motion. But a
televised image consists of points of light alone. Several hun
dred thousand of these must be assembled every second to
fool the eye into accepting them as a whole. The more points
the better the picture. A million a second would give us the
detail of a good photograph.
It is hard enough to obtain these many brilliant points on
a small screen to reproduce only the head and shoulders. To
see the full figure on the distant stage, there must be more in
tense light than the engineer can now generate, and a more
flexible distribution of it. There must be something far more
sensitive than the photoelectric cell or "eye" of today which
converts the points of light at the transmitter into electric
impulses and reconverts these at the receiver into an image.
There must be an optical system more effective than anything
thus far devised to collect and concentrate light rays. Ordi
nary broadcasting is child's play compared with television on
such a scale.
State the problem and its solution seems impossible. Yet
the history of invention is full of "impossibilities." The tele-
220 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
vision of today was just such an impossibility only ten years
ago. With a half dozen research organizations here and abroad
devoting their energies and technical resources to electrical
communication, who will deny that we shall see across space
as effectively as hear across it, that we shall be electrically
present at great public festivities of the future, that the chief
dramatic and operatic performances of New York, London
and Paris will be retailed, as it were, to 50,000 theaters scat
tered throughout the world for the benefit not of a few
fortunate travelers but of whole nations ?
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY
TELEVISION scintillated on the mind of man long before it
flashed on a screen. The human race has long anticipated
that some day science would make it possible that man
"looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole
heaven." What medium except radio could fulfill such hopes?
Television is the crystallizing of the dream.
Charles H. Sewall, writing on "The Future of Long
Distance Communication" in Harper's Weekly, December
29, 1900, revealed that more than thirty years ago there
were some who foresaw television :
The child born today in New York City, when in middle
age he is visiting China, may see reproduced upon a screen,
with all its movement and color, light and shade, a proces
sion at that moment passing along his own Broadway. A
telephone line will bring to his ear music and the tramp of
marching men. While the American pageant passes in the
full glare of the morning sun, its transmitted ray will
scintillate upon the screen amid the darkness of an Asiatic
night. Sight and sound will have unlimited reach through
ALL ARE NOT HOPEFUL. A quarter of a century has
seen research move closer to the possibility of that prediction
coming true. The Asiatic has yet to be thrilled by the sight
of the Great White Way coming to him through space. Yet,
the child born in 1900 may see the dream a reality. Despite
the fact that television has moved more than thirty years
nearer the goal, its destiny in 1932 is subject to conjecture
and wide diversity of opinion. For some it sparkles optimis
tically. Others view it with pessimism. They do not expect to
see much or far by radio vision.
222 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
Out of the depression that fell upon the world in the
autumn of 1929 the cry of television is heard as never before.
The youthful radio industry inexperienced in business
cycles, the curves of which turn downward, is hard hit by
adversity. Television is heralded as the savior. Some call it
mere ballyhoo. They look at television as merely a rose that
will fade in the lapel over the aching heart of the radio in
dustry, suffering the pangs of its first great business illness.
RADICAL DISCOVERY NEEDED. It was in July, 1926, that
Dr. Lee de Forest was asked what he foresaw for the future
The inventor shook his head as he remarked, "I am very
skeptical as to the future of television not from a theoret
ical standpoint but from a commercial. I think that with
our present knowledge of physics and natural phenomena, an
operative system of television can exist only at an expendi
ture of an enormous amount of money and after long re
search. The equipment involved would be exceedingly ex
pensive, delicate and require most expert manipulation. It
can, therefore, obviously not become a popular instrument to
be placed promiscuously in thousands of homes.
"It might be possible, granted there was the necessary ex
penditure of money, to project a prize fight from New York
to Chicago or San Francisco so that it could be seen on the
screen in large auditoriums in distant cities, but the equip
ment making this possible would cost so much to build and
maintain that I do not believe the large corporations, which
alone have resources adequate for this problem, will feel
justified in making the necessary investment over the term
of years required.
"At the same time it is conceivable," said de Forest, "that
some one at any moment may come across a radically novel
discovery in physics which will make this problem simple.
Such is entirely in the speculative realm, however. I am not
particularly interested in going into speculative trances,
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 223
based on what we know nothing of, and prompted only by
hope and hootch."
Two DIFFERENT VIEWS. A radio man steeped in tele
vision research in Chicago sees no great future for the art
as far as home entertainment is concerned. He says that he
cannot stretch his imagination to the day when 1,000,000
television sets will be in American homes. Nevertheless, statis
ticians of a broadcasting organization estimate that by 194$
there will be 11,000,000 television sets in the United States.
The Chicago engineer is also at a loss to foresee what sort of
a sound-sight program could be broadcast to please a fas
tidious public. He is told that he should not worry because
that end of television belongs to the showman and not to the
Three months later a noted radio engineer, who won much
fame from inventions of facsimile broadcast apparatus, is
interviewed in New York. He has sent facsimile pictures and
messages far across land and sea.
"Do you think there is any future for television?" he is
An emphatic "No" is his answer without the slightest
deliberation. He is sure of it.
"How can it have a future outside the laboratory?" he
said. "Suppose you were called upon to develop a motion
picture for the theater, with no radio or wire transmission
involved, and all you had to work with was a single spot of
light. And that is the case with television. The pictures at
their best are streaked and freckled, blotched and mangled."
This pessimistic engineer is reminded that his facsimile
pictures were difficult to recognize in the beginning. Yet, to
day he has given up facsimile research because he feels that
the apparatus has reached a point so near perfection that all
improvements from now on must be made in radio circuits.
The pioneer broadcasts of music were crude and distorted
with the melody destroyed by static bombardments. Never-
224 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
theless, the public enjoyed them. They bought thousands
upon thousands of receiving sets. The tone quality and the
types of performances improved rapidly. So might tele
vision when it is given a chance to stretch its wings outside
the laboratory under actual operating conditions. Then the
engineers nurturing it would learn much more about it and
possibly make greater strides, as they did with sound broad
It is true television is more complex. Its life may revolve
around a single, flying spot of light, but there is no reason
why greater things cannot be developed from that nucleus.
The camera with its eagle eye and lenses developed from a
pin hole. The electron is a tiny speck of electricity but won
ders are performed when millions of them get together. It
might be that way with light spots. The fact that television
begins with a spot of light does not mean that it will stop
there. Modern scientific research will eventually prove that
it can take the apparently insignificant spot of illumination
and with it see to the ends of the earth.
"Well, you are an optimist," smiles the engineer. "Keep
to your faith and some day you may be right."
A POWERFUL, FORCE LOOMS. Television, because of its
far-reaching aspects and its magic possibilities that can in
fluence many affairs in this world, is likely to bring with it
a new era in international relations. It is bound to have a
marked effect on home-life, on education, business enter
prises, religion, literature and to play a diversity of roles in
art, science and entertainment. It will cast its spell over the
theaters. It will influence the newspapers, magazines, and
many other agencies that play a part in everyday life. The
advent of the television era can be compared in importance
with the arrival of the electric light that dimmed the glory
of candle and kerosene lamp; with the arrival of the auto
mobile that relieved the horse, sped up travel and introduced
good roads that linked the farm with the city.
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 225
TIME WORKS WONDERS. When wireless began under the
tutelage of Marconi it was difficult for many to believe that
dots and dashes could be sent across the sea without the use
of wires. But there were some whose imagination carried
them afar to predict the day would come when wireless would
carry voices, music, pictures and possibly motion pictures
that talked. Perhaps they foresaw all this for the year 2,000.
In 1900, it took a long stretch of the imagination to look
ahead to the day when a young man would fly across the
Atlantic from New York to Paris in thirty-three hours, and
that four years later when he flew to Japan his voice would
be heard throughout America as he was feted at a dinner in
Tokyo. Yet that happened to Lindbergh in 1931.
"With the advance of radio and aircraft," said Lind
bergh, "the mystery of distance no longer exists. . . . We
have come to Japan over the top of the world, and when we
were near the North Pole we discovered that the people in
our country were not rightside up and those in yours upside
down but that both were really walking at the same angle.
We discovered no line separating a green country from a
purple one on our maps. The ideas which we have inherited
from past ages become insignificant when we look at people
from the sky and speak to distant people through the radio.
I do not know what effect aircraft will eventually have on
the world, but I have great confidence in its future. You
must not, however, expect too much in one generation."
Scientific progress does not come in a flash overnight.
Twenty-five years passed and Marconi celebrated his silver
jubilee in wireless before KDKA went on the air as the
Boys who first saw the light of day when Marconi was
sending early signals in Italy played a vital role in the later
developments that girdled the earth with voices and melody.
Boys in the cradles, in the kindergarten and making mud
pies in their backyards today will no doubt get on the track
226 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
of television as the years roll on and they will make the
dreams of today come true. Television is just beginning. It
is a gigantic task. It cannot all be worked out in one genera
tion. The Edison of television may be unborn in 1932. He
may be just learning to creep in a rural home. One thing is
certain : television offers opportunity it is a promised land
for youth endowed with a scientific mind or talent in research
THE TELEPHONE MAY "SEE." Television may educate
future generations to expect to see people who telephone to
them. They may look upon the present telephone system as
something that should be improved by the addition of sight.
When the silent film took on a voice and became a talkie
there were many skeptics and many who preferred the silent
drama on the screen. But it was not long before the talkie
revolutionized the motion picture. So television may influ
ence the telephone. The next generation may want to see the
speaker at the other end of the line because seeing by radio
creates the desire. That may be the reason why the Bell
Telephone Laboratories are keeping abreast of television
and are experimenting with two-way television from one
telephone booth to another. Today the sightless telephone
is all that is desired. But those who follow in an era of radio
vision may not be content to converse without seeing.
TELEVISING THE CLOCK. Today when a telephone sub
scriber desires he can call a certain number and hear the
correct time struck. He can turn on the radio and hear an
announcer reveal the exact location of the hands on the face
of the clock. In years to come it may be different. There may
be a television clock. It may be the master clock of the na
tion in the Naval Observatory in Washington. Throughout
the day and night, on constant duty will be a television eye
focused on the face of that timepiece. It will always be on
the same wave length. That will be the time wave.
When the owner of a television receiver wants the correct
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 227
time he will merely turn the dial to that wave length and the
face of the clock will be right there visually to announce its
England may have a television time camera trained on
the face of Big Ben atop the House of Parliament, and so
the famous timepieces will be given a new long distance
range. Millions will see their hands brush away the minutes,
instead of a few who pass in the street.
ADVERTISING BY TELEVISION. There seems to be no end
to what television may do. Mariners in mid-ocean will watch
prize fights on shore as the ringside scene travels to them
from New York or Chicago. The roped arena will probably
be one of the first successful sports events on the television
screen because it is not spread out like a baseball diamond or
football gridiron. The ring is twenty-four feet square and
there are only two contestants for the radio camera to keep
its lens trained on.
Advertisers will demonstrate their products, in fact, they
will help finance the television performances in much the
same way as they do broadcasting. Advertising characters
that have long been stationary on cereal boxes, coffee cans
and wrappers will have life instilled into them by television,
because some of them will be enrolled as performers.
An insight to what television will be like when the com
mercial sponsors grasp it as an advertising medium is found
in this announcement made in connection with a 1931 pro
The first million-dollar television broadcast will be
staged at W2XAB, New York, on Tuesday night Septem
ber 8, at 10 o'clock, when rare and historical gems from
Cartier's vaults worth more than that amount will be on
display before the photoelectric eyes.
Natalie Towers, original television girl, will wear the
gems. Ranging from pearl necklaces to emerald rings the
whole gamut of jewels and precious stones will be covered.
228 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
Special emphasis will be placed on engagement rings,
their evolution and fashions today.
The display will start with a short pictorial history
of the engagement ring. The history of stones used to
plight troths will be told in words, while Miss Towers dis
plays the romantic circles. The program will include a
showing of other jewels pearls, diamonds, rubies,
emeralds historical and modern, and many pieces of rare
art from the private collection.
If that can be done with precious gems, think what an
announcer can accomplish in a coast-to-coast television
demonstration of a new automobile as he points out the
salient features while the shining chassis revolves on a turn
table in front of the television eye.
Think of the possibilities and great response an advertiser
might have should he conduct a "guess who" contest by
television. Only parts of faces of prominent actors will be
shown and the invisible audience will be asked to identify
them, and those who guess correctly will win the prizes.
Beautiful girls will be in demand for the Follies of the
Air. They will be called upon to play leading roles in the
television broadcasts that advertise everything from coffee,
that their winning smile reveals is "good to the last drop,"
to the latest hats, shoes, dresses, pajamas, bathing suits,
cigarettes, candy and soup. There may be an Arrow Collar
Quartet and a General Electric tap dancer, while General
Motors contributes the world's greatest troupe of acrobats
and Ford sends in a famous ballet corps. It will be easy for
the announcer or a pretty girl to point out the date on the
can of fresh coffee.
Television will save many a descriptive word on the air
because the pictures will tell the advertising message quickly
and effectively. Television will revolutionize the system of
sound broadcasting that has taken more than ten years to
evolve. Actors, singers, musicians, dancers, acrobats, magi
cians and entertainers of all sorts will flock to the glow of
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 229
the photoelectric cells as thick as insects around an arc light
on a country street. Television will give the arts a new
medium of expression ; talent a new opportunity.
Airplanes will carry television monocles which will enable
the pilots to see through fog and darkness so that they may
land safely. And ships at sea like the serpents in the story
books will see far across the waves, far across the horizon and
the curvature of the globe.
A NEW MEDIUM OF FRIENDSHIP. Images of statesmen
and their friendly gestures will mingle among the nations.
Television will usher in a new era of friendly intercourse
between the nations of the earth. Current conceptions of
foreign countries will be changed. Television will perform in
this respect in much the way that Lindbergh saw aviation
creating new friendships when he said to the Japanese in
"We have come to Japan for an opportunity of meeting
your people and learning a little more of the country which
in our schooldays was known to us in America as being on
the other side of the world. When we were children, we
thought of Japan as a land filled with people who were dif
ferent from us as though they lived on another planet. We
marveled at their ability to walk upside down and that they
kept from falling off the earth altogether."
And so television will enable the inhabitants of the earth,
who do not have the opportunities of travel, to see how their
fellow men live on the other side of the globe. They will learn
to enjoy their music, drama and national scenes. Suspicions
will be obliterated. New friendships will result. No one will
see the other nation always "walking upside down."
When the Japanese Premier, the late Hamaguchi, broad
cast the first message of goodwill to listeners in the United
States his voice was remarkably clear despite its long flight
by short wave across the broad Pacific to the California
shore. He opened a new era in international relations be-
230 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
tween the United States and the East. Then the airplane of
Lindbergh flew over for a visit. The next link in the chain of
friendship may be television when Japan will see America
and Americans will see the Japanese.
Is THE THEATER IN DANGER ? What effect will television
have on the theater? Will the public go to the movies if they
can see the films and news reels flash on screens amid the
comfortable atmosphere of their home? Will they go to the
theater to view a stage performance or to an auditorium to
see and hear the opera ?
The stage, screen and opera will endure. The leaders in
radio are of this opinion else they would not plan great thea
ters for the actors and opera stars in Radio City. The
theater, the cinema and the opera will probably be more
spectacular in this new setting. They will be part of tele
vision. All will go hand in hand. No matter how elaborate
the radio show, it will not keep people away from the theater,
where the entertainers are seen in person untouched, un
blemished by the elements that may attack them on their
flight through space. Television could probably begin suc
cessfully in the home as a more or less peep-show, but in the
theater, if it is to play a part there, it must compete with
the motion picture.
HOLLYWOOD OF THE AIR. When the theater complained
of a dearth of material; when playwrights said they had
used up all the stories and plots of generations past, along
came the motion picture to work them all over again. And
when the silent films exhausted the dramatic themes, the
talkies arrived at the opportune moment. And the old stories
were still good. Now Hollywood says it is running out of
ideas for screen adaptation. This looks like a sign that an
other step in the evolution of entertainment is not so far
away. Television may be next to give the ancient themes a
new avenue of escape and the actors further opportunities.
The old material will be freshened, old ideas and love
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 231
stories as old as the hills will be dressed up to amuse many
millions over and over again. Everything that has been
adapted successfully to the celluloid reel will find television
a medium for greater triumphs. Television and the movies
are destined to be related. There is a wedding of these two
arts in the offing. Camera men, continuity writers, directors,
actors, dialogue specialists, studio fashion stylists, decora
tors, swarms of artisans, carpenters, authors, painters, ora
tors, scenic experts, musicians, electricians and mobs of
extras comprise a small portion of the army that will hear
the call of television inviting them to the Hollywood of the
Air to participate in a great revival of all that has gone
before on the silver screen.
The blood hounds that chased Eliza across the ice blocks
in many a small-town opera house, and then across the movie
screen, featuring Uncle Tom's Cabin, will do that same thing
over again for the television audience. Ben Hur, who lived
on the stage, raced in his chariot across the silent screen only
to have his name blaze in brighter lights on Broadway when
the sound picture brought him back, will race again in a
television thriller, in a spectacle of nation-wide scope. The
covered wagon will lumber through space as it did across the
plains in the pioneer days. The Birth of a Nation and all
the great pictures of the past will be seen again by television.
NEW FIELD FOR FILMS. Television will be a good thing
for the film business. Already the projectors or teleopticons,
as they might be called, are handling reels of pictures in
stead of attempting to televise directly in studios or out
doors. It is more likely that dramas, comedies and
geographic scenes will be photographed and prepared in ad
vance of the broadcast on reels, which will be distributed to
the stations in much the same way as electrical transcrip
tions or records are furnished the broadcasters. Television
from film will be more perfect than direct photography, be
cause mistakes can be corrected before the reels are com-
232 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
pleted. Much of the television show will be prepared in stu
dios and presented as are the talking pictures.
Theaters may find it necessary to subscribe for a wire
service that will bring them television news scenes, so that
the audience can follow the events as they take place. There
may be special television auditoriums that will feature the
world series baseball games, the best stage productions, out
standing football games, championship bouts, international
and national news events, boat races and hockey games.
However, there is much to be done in scientific research
before a television picture is equal in size and clarity to the
motion picture. Furthermore, it is one thing to televise a
filmed studio performance adapted to broadcasting, and a
much different proposition to televise an outdoor event alive
with activity such as a football game. It is a rather difficult
job to follow the gridiron contest on a movie screen and
much more so to follow the plays as might be reproduced by
any of the current television systems.
It will be many a year before the Harvard- Yale game is
played with no spectators in attendance because they are all
at home looking in. As long as the game is played there will
always be the football crowd that prefers to be on the scene
rather than at the screen. And so it will be with other sports
LOOKING IN ON SPORTS. Some one remarked that to hear
a prize fight by radio is like staying at home to look at a
best girl's picture or to watch her in a home motion picture
instead of being with her. The picture or film is a mere sub
stitute. The enthusiast for football will not surrender the
trip to New Haven or Cambridge for a motion picture by
television. The world series fan will continue to go through
the turnstiles. The theatergoer will continue to pay homage
to the box office. Television will supplement. It will not sup
Everyone cannot crowd into a football arena, into a Radio
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 233
City theater, into the Yankee Stadium or into the roped
ringside in Madison Square Garden, so what will it matter
if the same scene travels across the countryside by television ?
It merely gives added millions an opportunity to enjoy the
performance, but the man who pays admission sees it first
Broadcasting did not destroy the stage and motion pic
ture as some predicted it would. They saw radio as a great
monster threatening to claw the theater and the screen. Now
some see television as the monster grown up and more fero
cious. But it is away down the road of the future so far as
the theater is concerned, and when it approaches it may not
be as dangerous as it looks, because of its cooperative and
supplementary features which will open new opportunities
for all concerned.
WHAT SARNOFF FORESEES. "The motion picture indus
try need experience no alarm over the impending advent of
television," said David Sarnoff. "Transmission of sight by
radio will benefit not only the radio industry; it will also
provide a welcome stimulant, a pleasant tonic to all the en
tertainment arts. There will be no conflict between television
in the home and motion pictures in the theater. Each is a
separate and distinct service. Television in the home will
not displace the motion picture in the theater.
"Man is a gregarious creature. Granting that we can
develop 26,000,000 potential theaters in the homes of
America, public theaters will continue to operate because
people will go there in response to the instinct for group
emotions and to see artists in the flesh. These are human de
mands which television in the home cannot satisfy.
"Television, when it arrives as a factor in the field of
entertainment, will give new wings to the talents of creative
and interpretative genius. It will furnish a new and greater
outlet for artistic expression. All this will stimulate and fur
ther advance the art of motion picture production. The
234 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
potential audience of television in its ultimate development
may reasonably be expected to be limited only by the popu
lation of the earth.
"Special types of distribution networks, new forms of
stagecraft and a development of studio equipment and tech
nique will be required. With these must come a new and
greater service of broadcasting, of both sight and sound. A
new world of educational and cultural opportunities will be
opened to the home. New forms of artistry will be encour
aged and developed. Variety and more variety will be the
demand of the day. The ear might be content with the oft-
repeated song; the eye would be impatient with the twice-
repeated scene. The service will demand, therefore, a con
stant succession of personalities, a vast array of talent, a
tremendous store of material, a great variety of scene and
Music DOES NOT NEED SIGHT. Leaders in music attest
to the fact that radio has given the masses a new apprecia
tion of music. Some are wondering what the effect of tele
vision will be on the vast audience that has learned to enjoy
good music without seeing the musicians and conductors.
Willem Van Hoogstraten, conductor of the New York
Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, was asked at a dinner in
New York if he expects television to aid in the development
of appreciation for classical and symphonic music that is
"My answer is no," said Van Hoogstraten. "Television
may revolutionize other forms of radio entertainment but it
cannot be expected to create a devoted interest in the higher
forms of musical composition because sight of the artists
and their instruments invariably dulls the appreciation of
the sounds created, even if the auditor is highly skilled in
the art of listening.
"The ears alone should be permitted to generate one's
impression. When a person sees the musical performer sight
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 235
usually takes away something from his ability to hear and
assimilate the tonal shadings of good music, which, after all,
is something for the ears. A higher plane of musical appre
ciation by listeners in general should be reached without see
ing by radio, even assuming that television were perfect. All
this is my personal point of view. I can understand that
others may want to see the artists. However, the listener who
sees not but hears completely, although the players or their
images are before his eyes, gets the most out of the musical
score. Television in itself is a great mechanical-electrical
achievement but I cannot see it as an aid in the true appre
ciation of music.
"Appreciation of music is the great thing to be sought,"
continued Van Hoogstraten. "But first one must learn how
to listen. Those attending a concert should not depend too
much on the eyes. Do not look at the conductor and the
musicians, or the individual artists on the stage, and you
will begin to hear things never heard before. If one must
hear and not see, to get the most out of music, is not broad
casting of sound the ideal medium of ' conveying the works
of the great masters to everyone ?
"I realize that many people like to see orchestras and
conductors, but the heart of the matter, I believe, is that it
steals attention from the music. Conductors do not stand on
the platform for people to look at ; they are there to convey
to the men of the orchestra that 'which the composer had in
mind when the music was written, as conceived by the leader.
I am much in favor of building halls in which the conductor
and the orchestra would not be seen by the audience. The
lights should be soft, and not shine in the eyes. The fore
ground should be of soft colors. One might go even further
and in an inconspicuous way, use lighting effects which
change softly and slowly to suit the mood of the music."
A BOON TO THE OPERA. There are instances in music
where television will be a boon. Take for example, the opera.
236 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
The broadcasters agree that they can do justice only to
certain arias and acts. That is why they are not anxious to
broadcast complete opera performances from the stage. The
audience must see as well as hear opera to enjoy it thor
oughly. That is why television is expected to stir a renewed
interest in appreciation of this class of music.
"One must see and hear the opera to get the fullest appre
ciation," said Rosa Ponselle, soprano of the Metropolitan
Opera Company. "I believe we are rapidly approaching the
day when radio and the opera will be entirely reconciled by
the addition of television to sound programs. When that
comes it will be a great day for operatic appreciation, but I
am uncertain as to whether such broadcasting will keep
people away from the seats before the footlights or cause
them to gather in greater numbers. We shall see. It seems
that radio is awaiting television to give the theatrical part
of opera the wings now enjoyed by sound."
TELEVISION IN POLITICS. Traveling presidential candi
dates may be rare by 1940. The day is likely to come when
they will make personal appearances before the voters by
television. But there may be a danger lurking in those screen
appearances if the radio waves carry them beyond the Mis
Hughes toured the West in 1916. More than half the
states west of the Mississippi voted against him. The sages
say that he would have been President had he remained in
the East. In 1884, Grover Cleveland chose to be a mystery
man, so far as the great open spaces were concerned. He
stayed in the East. He won. In 1910, William Howard Taft
delivered what was called a poor tariff speech in Minnesota.
That state and others surrounding it went strongly Demo
cratic. In 1919, Woodrow Wilson went into the West to
champion the League of Nations. He collapsed in Colorado
and returned to the national capital broken in health. Presi-
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 237
dent Harding made a western tour and died in 'San Fran
Some of the wise men say that Alfred E. Smith should
have remained in the East. But he went west in person, as
candidates may do by television in years to 'come. Smith lost.
The brown derby did not charm the West.
The Democrats said it was absolutely necessary for Smith
to travel. He had been a home-staying Governor, scarcely
known by sight outside the Empire State. He had to show
himself to his countrymen. Hoover, on the other hand, was
a national figure. California did not see Al Smith but radio
lifted his words of political wisdom over the Rocky Moun
tains and spread them up and down the Pacific coast while
the bands played "The Sidewalks of New York." He made
personal appearances and speeches in Omaha, Oklahoma
City, Helena, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Rochester. Ten
years ago only the people in those cities attending the polit
ical mass meetings would have heard him. But in 1928 the
nation tuned in.
Hoover spoke in New Jersey and they heard him in Cali
fornia. He fired the opening gun of his campaign at Palo
Alto and was heard in Maine. Radio in 1928 made the presi
dential race a national affair within the home circle and took
it away from the front porch.
Possibly when television enters the campaign, red fire and
bunting will come back. Gestures will be in order. The cam
paign will be more realistic than a mere radio battle of
words. But the election bulletin boards in front of the news
paper offices are likely to disappear as the returns are
flashed on television screens.
When the 1928 campaign began it was predicted that the
contest would be won or lost on the radio. The man with the
radio voice would win. Hoover, a shy speaker, found the
microphone a friend indeed. Al Smith, at home with any
audience, was hindered by the prepared speech. He could
238 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
not get his personality over the microphone until he cast
aside the typewritten sheets and spoke extemporaneously.
Then he was at home on the air. Hoover was called a "text
book" type of speaker, while Smith was likened unto a novel.
How BROADCASTING WILL CHANGE. It is natural that
the universal question "What effect will television have on
sound broadcasting?" is on the tongue of all who are inter
ested in it whether from an artistic or a financial standpoint.
The entertainers have reason to wonder what they must do
to adapt themselves to the new medium. The station owners
wonder what will become of the millions they have invested
in equipment. The listeners wonder if their receivers will be
obsolete. The answer is that television is destined to revolu
tionize the art of broadcasting.
All stage stars are not screen successes. Stars in the silent
cinema often ceased to twinkle when the talkies were intro
duced. New requirements had to be met. New talent was
discovered. So it will be in television. All broadcast scars
should not expect to win new triumphs when radio is given
eyes that enable the audience to see. They may be delightful
and serene on the wings of sound alone but that does not
mean that the eye will be pleased with them too. Some will
captivate both eye and ear. They will be the stars of tele
vision. The entertainer who can please the eye need not
worry so much about the ear. But the one who can please
the ear and not the eye had better watch out.
Generally speaking, humorists have failed in broadcast
ing. Their jokes have usually fallen flat. The comedian
needs to be seen in action. His antics and gestures, facial
expressions and make-up do more to put him across. Tele
vision will give the comedian a new day more opportunities
and a greater audience than radio ever did with sound alone.
Radio vision will help the world to have more laughs. The
clowns will have their inning.
In the beginning probably the regular broadcasting sta-
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 239
tions will be employed to handle the sound part of the pro
gram while short waves carry the images. Eventually, the
sound portion of the program may be moved to the ultra-
short wave realm, too. That would mean new equipment.
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY. Right here is one reason
why television cannot be developed overnight. Let us sup
pose that the regular broadcast band from 200 to 550 meters
is to be utilized for sound, and short waves for the scenery.
It means two transmitters and two receiving sets. As re
search progresses it is discovered that the ultra-short waves
are ideal for both sound and sight, more economical and
more efficient from a scientific standpoint. Then the trans
mitting stations would have to be scrapped and so would
all the receiving sets.
If there were 600 transmitters and 10,000,000 television
receiving sets the manufacturers would think awhile before
disturbing such a vast investment. So it is far the best to
determine in the beginning what waves are most suited for
television and build on that foundation rather than develop
on an uncertain basis and later be afraid to change to a more
efficient system because of the tremendous investment that
would be disturbed.
A Washingtonian once remarked to a Chicago station
owner, one of the pioneers in that city, that he could have
bought a 500-watt station in Indiana six years ago for
$1,000 and could have made "a barrel of money."
"I wonder if you would have," remarked the Chicago
broadcaster. "We rushed in here in the beginning and it
didn't cost much to buy the equipment. But we have spent
thousands and thousands of dollars since in development and
replacement of antique apparatus. We have made money but
would be far ahead of the game if we had waited until broad
casting became stabilized and then bought a station. It
would have cost less. So you cannot look at this broad
casting business from an original cost basis. That is why
240 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
many of the pioneers are forgotten. The man who takes them
over after the development is more or less complete makes
the money. We have learned our lesson in this rapidly chang
ing field of radio. We are watchfully waiting for television.
We will let the others rush in at the start, and when we
think it is ready we will enter the race, fresh and ready to
profit by their mistakes and experiences."
AYLESWORTH LOOKS AHEAD. It was M. H. Aylesworth
who pointed to the immediate application of television as
the visual presentation of the broadcast artist. He contends
that the public may look forward to an early television sup
plement to the regular sound broadcast programs, in which
speaker, singer or musician will appear on the home tele
vision screen as purely optional features. In other words, he
believes that the sound program will be received in the same
manner as it is today. However, if the home be equipped
with a television receiver, it will be possible to tune in the
animated portrait of the performer. That this feature will
prove highly attractive, no one will deny, especially in the
instances of an entertainer whose personality is firmly estab
lished in the hearts of the present "blind" audience.
There are certain to be new uses for television. Just as
the artistic mind of the past has capitalized on the limita
tions of silent movies and blind broadcasting, so will the
artistic mind evolve an entirely new mode of expression to
be handled by the television vehicle. It is already predicted
that a variation of the futuristic art, with its symbolic ab
breviation whereby a few lines and masses effectively tell an
intricate story, may come to the aid of television in its early
stages when detail must be sparingly used.
"If television continues for some time as a supplement to
existing sound broadcasts, there will be no serious artistic
problems," Aylesworth remarked. "It can strive towards bet
ter detail all the while, with laboratory progress introduced
into everyday practice from time to time. Ultimately, when
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 241
it possesses sufficient detail for a presentation quite on a
par with sound broadcasting, it may insist on its own way in
many broadcasts, with television as the main issue and sound
as the supplement. That day will come when television is
capable of sending complete scenes over the air. Sporting
events, parades, news events, ceremonies, plays, pageants
such subjects may eventually be handled by television both
in the studio and out in the field at which time the pictorial
presentation will surpass the sound presentation in impor
"While cartoonists and columnists have worked up a con
siderable apprehension over the effect of sight broadcasting
on the present sound entertainers, I can assure you there is
no great cause for worry. Although it is true that our pres
ent broadcast performers are judged purely on their micro
phone personalities, the fact remains that most of them have
equally attractive visible personalities. Indeed much has
been said regarding the present blindness of broadcasting,
yet our studios are anything but blind. Many perform
ances are attended by visitors, so that entertainers must be
considerate of their visual as well as their microphone per
sonalities. If anything, the majority of the radio artists
would welcome the television feature at this time, inasmuch
as it would give them a desired opportunity to display their
"What television may mean to broadcast performers is
perhaps best expressed in the personal appearance of the
artists. Time and again the audiences before whom they ap
pear are delighted to see them in person and carry away a
permanent impression which supplements subsequent listen
ing in, making for greater appreciation and enjoyment."
TELEVISION'S RELATION TO PRINT. Radio is not a substi
tute for print. Eleven years of broadcasting from sunrise to
sunset has proved that. Radio offers no serious threat to
newspapers or magazines. They are entirely different. They
242 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
perform different functions. One appeals to the brain
through the ear, the other through the eye. But what about
television that appeals to both eye and ear ? How will it treat
the printing press ?
"Radio occupies only a minor place in the advertising
world, and the newspapers should not fear its competition,"
said Bruce Barton, at a meeting of the Newspaper Advertis
ing Executives Association, Inc. "Radio will never take the
place of the newspaper. Television, radio and all other such
devices will never replace print. For this the reasons are
based on human physiology and human psychology in
other words, on human nature.
"Psychologists tell us that men and women receive 80
per cent of their impressions through the eyes, and only 20
per cent through the ears and other media. People are four-
fifths eye-minded and only one-fifth ear-minded. If I were a
newspaper publisher I would fear a great many things, a
great many other forms of competition, before I would fear
radio. Although radio occupies a real integral place in the
advertising field, its place is strictly minor and limited.
Radio, and even television, can never achieve the permanence
of the printed page. It comes and goes with the speed of
light. Hence its impression must be to some degree transitory
and ephemeral. Not so with a message in print.
"In another way radio lacks the stability of print. It con
stitutes no record. It is, from its nature, less dependable.
When I pick up my newspaper I know just where to find,
for instance, stock market quotations and financial news,
and just how they will appear. I infinitely prefer to read
the quotations in a newspaper rather than hear them over
the radio. I can study and digest them in a newspaper. Over
the radio, practically speaking, I can't."
Television is a fleeting medium as is sound broadcasting.
Print leaves a permanent record. It can be read at will.
Television must be seen at the definite time it is on the air.
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 243
Nevertheless, it will be an advertising medium more effective
than sound broadcasting because a picture is likely to leave a
more indelible impression on the mind than do words uttered
by an invisible person. Printed advertisements will probably
be handled by television. Bold face type can be seen by elec
tric eyes that send it through the air. An advertiser, espe
cially during the daytime, may devote several minutes of
his program to an attractively printed and interesting an
nouncement. Housewives could read and digest it more care
fully on the screen than they can the words of an announcer.
And television offers opportunities for actual demonstra
ACROBATS INSTEAD or NEWS. Television, because it ad
vertises by sound and sight, looms as a greater competitor to
the press than does sound broadcasting. The fact that it
handles sight, which broadcasting lacks, gives it an added
weapon in its fight for supremacy in the world of business.
If a television screen can carry a printed advertisement and
attract millions to read it by presenting it as part of an en
tertainment, it becomes a competitor of print. It may divert
revenue from the press and from magazines. The newspaper
offers news to attract readers to the advertisements. Tele
vision will offer musical entertainment, comedy, drama, news
events, dancers and acrobats, boxers and magicians to at
tract observers to its advertisements. A newspaper knows
how much circulation it can offer. If there are 10,000,000
television receivers in the United States by 1942, as pre
dicted, a coast-to-coast television system could offer quite a
circulation but one difficult to guarantee.
However, looking at it from all angles, there seems to be
little doubt that broadcasting of sight-sound programs
eventually probably after 194*0 will enter the advertising
field as a greater competitor of print than radio broadcast
ing ever threatened to be. Facsimile transmission may some
day send printed matter right into the home.
244 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
"We saw radio coming as a competitor," said the pub
lisher of an Iowa paper. "We felt we should grasp it and
link it with the press. So we ran the paper and the station
together. Our revenue and circulation jumped more in two
years than in the previous forty. The circulation of the
paper became greater than the population of the town."
A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW FOR ALL. Turning to aviation,
numerous possibilities are seen for television. The bird's-eye
view will take on a new meaning. An electric eye linked with
a radio camera from a lofty perch can photograph a scene
and flash it to earth by short waves. On the ground it will
be intercepted, recorded on a film and rebroadcast through
out the country by television. Californians may see what the
aviator over Manhattan sees as he flies above the skyscrapers.
The entire nation may be taken for a television tour across
the Grand Canyon, down the St. Lawrence or see Broad
way's Great White Way converted into a nocturnal fairy
land of electrical glow. Spectators at home may see how their
city looks when scrutinized from the sky. These are peaceful
roles for radio vision.
War offers new opportunities. Planes equipped with tele
vision transmitters will look down on the enemy and broad
cast the scene. Televised maps will be flashed to the planes.
Those directing the battle from behind the lines will see ex
actly what is going on up front. The gunners will see if
they make a bull's-eye, how the barrage is falling and where
to direct the shots. Aircraft over the sea may make radio
photographs of convoys and fleets, then broadcast them by
television to submarines lurking beneath the surface ready
to attack. Radio waves are audible under the water as well
as under the ground, and so television can dip faces through
Police are likely to find television a valuable assistant in
war on crime. Pictures of criminals, fingerprints, photo
graphs of missing persons will be televised for reception by
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 245
patrol cars and police booths. Printed orders from head
quarters will be flashed on screens. Officers and patrolmen
on the line of duty will look in on the police line-up at the
THE DRAMA OF EXPLORATION. Adventure and explora
tion linked with television cameras give the imagination an
opportunity to function. It will be recalled that the members
of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition were thrilled by familiar
voices broadcast special to them from Pittsburgh and
Schenectady. Out of the darkness of the long winter night,
through various climes and a mixture of weather, came
voices the identities of which were faithfully preserved, and
the ring of the voice was true, despite the long flight across
land and sea, across jungles and mountains, across the
Tropic of Cancer, the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn,
finally to strike a slender target of copper antenna wire
stretched between two masts reaching up from the ice.
If all that is possible and it has been done why should
radio not carry sight to and from the far distant points of
the earth? Isn't it feasible to believe that some day an ex
plorer will soar over the South Pole with a television camera,
just as the plane Floyd Bennett carried a motion picture
eye? Then, instead of waiting for a ship to bring the films
to civilization and to theaters throughout the land, radio will
flash the scene around the globe so that many millions will
see exactly what the aviator views and at the instant he is
seeing it. The fact that messages have traveled back and
forth from the isolated regions leads those who have faith
in science to believe that as the ear hears so shall the eye see.
No SUBSTITUTE FOR TEACHERS. The school children will
see history made when the television screen is hung along
side the blackboard. It will not dispense with the instructor
who covers the three R's. Television will merely supplement
teacher, books and chalk. The motion picture, phonograph
and radio are merely additional tools for the teacher. Such
246 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
is the role of television. It will carry historic scenes that
books will describe for students who go to school in later
days. Television will be a timely instructor.
The National Advisory Council on Radio in Education at
its first assembly, May 21-23, 1931, in New York, declared
in its report that television broadcasting is in an advanced
"It has not yet been possible to establish transmitting
stations capable of giving reliable television service over a
considerable area, nor to provide on a commercial scale re
ceivers which give a clear, bright picture of an acceptable
color, adequate detail, satisfactory size, freedom from
flicker, of sufficiently wide angle of view, and of the requisite
steadiness of position," stated the Engineering Committee.
"The problems involved are under active investigation, and
there is a likelihood that within the next few years equip
ment of this sort will be commercially available and that at
least a moderate number of television broadcasting stations
capable of supplying program material to those having
suitable receiving equipment will be in operation.
"The problem of network syndication of television pro
grams is in a less advanced state. If a program for tele
vision transmission is recorded on a motion picture film,
methods analogous to the electrical transcription will doubt
less become suitable for syndication. It is also possible that
wire line facilities capable of carrying television programs
will be developed, although these do not exist even experi
mentally at this time."
It is believed that the value of television for educational
purposes will be largely dependent upon the amount of de
tail which the picture can carry. If the development of tele
vision during the next few years leads to pictures of such
detail that lecture room demonstrations can be readily and
clearly reproduced, and if some impression of the personal
ity of the lecturer can be gained by the observer, and if the
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 247
range of transmission and reception is such that large
groups of people can successfully receive lectures and dem
onstrations, it is anticipated that television may have a sub
stantial educational value and a wide application.
It should be pointed out, according to the Advisory
Council, that much confusion exists among the public as to
the exact meaning of the term television. Comparatively
blurred, dim, flickering and unsteady images, carrying little
detail and simultaneously visible to only one or two persons
at a given receiver, and then only in a darkened room, are
claimed by some to constitute successful television. Equip
ment capable of yielding such limited results is on the market
to a slight extent, but is obviously of no significance to edu
cators. From the point of view of the educator, a picture of
an entirely different and greatly superior character is
strictly necessary. Any educational project based upon pic
tures which do not meet reasonably high specifications will
find the application of television a handicap rather than an
assistance, inasmuch as a poor picture is rather a distraction
than an instructional agency.
Television is at present in such a state that in general the
mode of transmission and its romantic interest attract a
major portion of the observer's attention. In consequence it
parallels the condition of radio broadcasting at the time
when the quality of transmission was at a level where crit
icism of the program or of the artists was not practical, ac
cording to the report. The medium of transmission was not
sufficiently precise or constant in its action to enable criti
cism to be well founded. Until television reaches a stage
where the mechanics will be forgotten and attention concen
trated on the program itself, its utility in education wih 1 be
IT ALL TAKES TIME. It seems that there are so many
fields in which television can function that the work may
never be finished. It will require long years to take advan-
248 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
tage of all it offers. No one should expect that by 1940 tele
vision will be perfect and performing all that it eventually
will perform. By that time it will be just getting under way.
Televised preachers and pulpits, televised fashion shows
from Paris, televised Passion Plays from Germany, televised
Niagara are not for the morrow. The greatest miracles in
seeing by radio belong to the future. It was a far cry from
the candle to the electric light, from the schooner to the
ocean liner, from the horse to the 8-cylinder motor car, from
the balloon to the 400-mile an hour airplane, from the stere-
opticon to the talking motion picture, from Faraday's
dynamo to the powerful generators that harness the cataract
of Niagara. Many years intervened between these stages of
progress so man must be patient while radio broadcasting
leads on to television.
The past hundred years might well be called the Century
of Electricity. Those who have doubts about television's fu
ture will do well to reflect on all that has happened.
Little did the world realize in 1831 that Michael Fara
day's many discoveries in physics and chemistry especially
his great triumph, the generation of electricity by causing
magnets and coils of wire to rotate relatively to each other
marked the beginning of a century of electrical wonders.
Faraday, so engrossed in his research and so close to it,
probably little dreamed that the day was to come when net
works of wires would be crisscrossed on poles over the land
and through conduits under the ground carrying electricity
for lighting, to perform useful work in the home, factory,
office and on the streets. Who in those days dreamed of a
world-wide communication system with telegraph, telephone,
radio and television all supplementing each other to an
nihilate the distance that separates city from farm and
nation from nation.
Today these electrical wonders are accepted as a matter
TELEVISION'S COMMERCIAL DESTINY 249
of course. The thrill and novelty of hearing music that
travels across the Atlantic without the use of wires are no
longer a front page story. In the news it is no different from
New York hearing music performed in Newark across the
Each year will bring new discoveries in the electrical field.
There is much ahead. Television, which some frown upon
today because it is not clear, because the image is small and
streaked, will surprise its most optimistic followers and
prophets. What appears a fantasy today is likely in years
to come to surpass even the dreams of this ingenious age.
It is no wonder that television has its skeptics. It is a
miraculous science, almost unbelievable. It is uncanny when
a man can smile in London and that smile is seen instan
taneously 3,000 miles across the sea with no connecting link
except an invisible medium.
The great scientist Tyndall found it difficult to follow
Faraday. It seemed to him that "there was a vast vagueness
of immeasurable hopefulness in Faraday's views of matter
and force." Yet he conceded that the Faraday "discovery of
magneto-electricity is the greatest experimental result ever
obtained by an investigator. It is the Mont Blanc of Fara
day's own achievements."
Faraday had built "an electrical machine." It was a crude
affair compared with the great generators of today but it
did the trick. There was a disk of copper between the poles
of a large magnet. A metal brush rested on the shaft of the
disk and another on the rim. Then he turned the disk and
the result was a continuous current the first dynamo. Me
chanical motion had been converted into electrical energy.
No longer was a battery the only source of a steady electri
cal current. The life-blood of industry electricity was
beginning to flow in copper wires that would some day girdle
the globe to work for mankind.
250 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
That was the beginning. The march of electrical progress
since that day has mustered a multitude of men to do their
bit for the evolution of television the era of which has
dawned. But this monarch of radio, the Mont Blanc of tele
vision, is still in the distance !
FACES AND SCENES ADRIFT
A DRAMA facilitated by science is unfolding, the ethereal
curtain is slowly rising, television in later acts is going to
telescope the world bringing scenes of grandeur to millions
of screens in a performance P. T. Barnum no doubt would
dub the "greatest show on earth."
Television might well be called an electrical palette upon
which art and science join to blend faces and scenes and then
the touch of an electron brush sends them adrift in the
emptiness of space. It is the magic that transforms pictures
of people and places from light into electricity, from elec
tricity that flows on a wire to radio that spreads through
the air. But in the twinkling of an eye the ethereal phantoms
are all changed back into a festal of light as 'if touched by
some master showman's wand that reaches stealthily down
from the sky.
Some day, in years to come, the American family at home
in any metropolis, town or hamlet may watch a Roman
pageant in that Eternal City beyond the Alps or view a
military tattoo under the glare of an Indian sun. It will all
depend upon the wave length selected. Berlin will be just a
hair's breadth away from Montreal. A finger will turn the
dial that separates Tokyo from Budapest. The slight turn
of a knob and the scene will shift from Africa's jungles to
the land of the midnight sun. And these pictures will speed
around the globe in a split second as years come and go.
Television promises a vivid spectacle.
Man marveled when the buzz of a bumble bee crossed the
continent; when the song of the nightingale in England
was heard in America; when the whisper of Ezra Meeker's
252 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
voice feeble with age was audible across the nation many
years after he had helped to blaze the Oregon Trail in a
covered wagon. Radio did that. Now television is thrilling
the world. And with sufficient electrical power to hurl it into
the infinite, a wink, a frown or a smile may some day girdle
the earthly sphere seven and one-half times in the tick of a
clock. Radio travels at the speed of light covering 186,000
miles in a second.
A WORLD-WIDE MIRAGE. The time is likely to come
when short waves will empower spectators in Europe, Asia,
Africa and the Orient to see Niagara adrift in space above
the hemispheres. It will be a world- wide mirage on the tele
vision screens. Japan and Germany, England and Australia,
Brazil and the Argentine will see the tons of turbulent water
tumble over the precipice into the gorge below while loud
speakers reproduce the thunderous roar of the tossing tor
rent. The Japanese schoolboy will catch a glimpse of the
falls almost as vividly as the honeymooners at Prospect
New Yorkers will turn a dial that begins a whirl and
swirl of imperfect vagueness, which upon refined tuning
takes them to Egypt, the land of early dynasties, to Luxor
and to Karnak where decorative obelisks, their sides carved
deep with hieroglyphic inscriptions, stand as solitary monu
ments to fallen cities and to kings long dead. There they will
see the Great Sphinx at Gizeh, crouched in the sands for
centuries little suspecting that some day his weather-beaten
countenance would be televised in a radio drama.
Londoners may set their dials in tune with an invisible
ray that prolongs the range of their optic nerve across the
Atlantic and into the great Far West to Glacier National
Park. There they will catch a magnificent sight of the snow
capped Rockies, and perchance Old Faithful geyser belch
ing steam and spray into the sky. The globe will be a great
FACES AND SCENES ADRIFT 253
Geography will be an animated subject as a flutter of
light brings pictures of people and the scenery of nations
to school and home just as radio brings voices and music
from far and wide. The grand old Mississippi, the Danube
and the Rhine will flow on television screens while orches
tras broadcast "Ole Man River," "the Blue Danube" and
the "Ride of the Valkyries."
Television like a graphic roll will spin its scenes around
the globe. It seems destined to turn the entire universe into
a vast cosmopolitan theater in which many millions are
seated to enjoy a production of world- wide magnitude. No
international language will be needed. The pictures, smiles,
acting and laughter, no matter from what amphitheater they
come, from Moscow or Shanghai, from San Francisco or
Paris, will fascinate all without the use of words. The motion
picture will tell the story in picturesque detail portrayed in
black and white. Commercial television in tints and natural
hues belongs to the distant future.
Some of these things seem fantastic, but there is a mag
nificent vagueness about them. It was difficult for many
minds in 1900 to comprehend that human thoughts could
span the ocean without the use of wires linking the distant
shores. That was only thirty-odd years ago. And fourteen
years elapsed from the day of Marconi's transatlantic tri
umph until the spoken word found its way through the air
from Washington to Paris. Eleven more years went by be
fore the image of a face was tossed from London to New
York. Scientific progress requires time and patience. Tele
vision is part of the miraculous scheme so spectacular that
a year is but a fleeting moment in the gigantic task of mak
ing it practical for everybody.
THE EYE Is FICKLE. It is one thing to please the ear
and a vastly different task to please the eye. The eye is
quick to reject by a drop of the lid or a turn of the head.
The ear is not so equipped for censorship. To be perfect
254 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
television must emulate the talking cinema else the fickle
eye may close its lid. That introduces a challenge to the
research corps. They can project a motion picture from the
rear of a theater to the screen on the stage. But they must
master new forces, acquire new skill and technique before
they can project Eiffel Tower or Gibraltar over the sea.
Once they can successfully televise a mouse it will be easy
to send an image of the elephant.
Historic events will be preserved for posterity on tele
vision films. There will be libraries of talking pictures, miles
and miles of film that portray scenes of war and peace. Years
afterward the reels will be taken from the fireproof archives
to recall memories of the past as radio gives the images of
characters long dead, the power to live again, to walk and
to talk on silver screens. Television is a parallel to the sound
motion picture with its drama, tragedy, comedy and
To reveal the thrilling possibilities let us go back a bit,
into the land of what-might-have-been, where the imagina
tion links the future with the past. Charles A. Lindbergh is
at Curtiss Field ready to begin his famous flight to Paris.
The electric cameras with their all-seeing eyes and sensitive
lenses are on duty to snap the scene.
ON MAY 20,
It is 2 o'clock in the morning. Television screens depict a
murky, dreary scene. Puddles caused by a thunder storm's
deluge around midnight glare like tiny lakes in the flood
of the electric lights that are now illuminating the television
scene. The silver nose of the Spirit of St. Louis glistens
through the hangar door upon which a television camera is
focused. Word has been broadcast that Lindy is preparing
to go. Crowds are collecting. Automobiles line the roads
around the field and on the television screen the Nassau
FACES AND SCENES ADRIFT 255
county police are seen rushing about to keep the mob off the
Wisps of fog blow across the field and the televisors catch
them. It is a dismal scene but nevertheless a dramatic one
for the millions who are forsaking slumber to watch an
historic event. They hear the chatter and comment of the
crowds. The shouts of the police. Complaints of the wet field.
Microphones alongside the radio camera pick up words that
come from the crowd. Some one says it is the height of folly
for any plane to take off, even on a short flight. A spectator
at the field looks skyward and holds out the palm of his
hand. He says it is raining again. But some one runs out of
the hangar and reports the sky to the north is clearing.
Apparently the threatening conditions are only local.
A policeman's motorcycle roars across the television
screen. He is clearing a path through the crowd for the
pilot. It has stopped raining. The big doors of the hangar
swing open revealing a graceful plane. A truck backs up to
the doorway. The Spirit of St. Louis is turned around. The
tail is lifted up by careful hands and is made secure with
ropes. Every precaution is taken to avoid strain before it
gets into the air. It is bound on a long journey on an un
charted pathway along the Great Circle Route that links
The television screens of all America are illuminated with
activity. Motorcycle policemen are seen to surround the
truck and the silver bird is pulled ignominiously along tail
first across the field as a corps of television photographers
follow with their electric eyes and microphones. Mechanics
are seen to stoop occasionally as they walk along to feel
the wheel bearings for fear they might heat up under the
load of 200 gallons of fuel already pumped into the tanks.
It is 5 o'clock. The rain is sprinkling. The truck moves
slowly toward the runway so that the plane will ride tenderly
256 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
over the rough spots and puddles that dot the field. The
grass is wet and the ground soggy.
THE SUN COMES UP TO HELP. The television scene is
becoming a bit clearer. The clouds in the east are breaking
and the first faint streaks of light appear. Soon the radio
men will not need the artificial spotlights and flares to illumi
nate the scene. At last the nose of the Spirit of St. Louis
with a canvas cap over the motor is at the head of the
The ship is facing the rising sun. A closed car approaches.
A youth in army breeches and a tight woolen sweater steps
out. Men standing on the nose of the plane are pouring in
the gasoline. Fellow aviators realize this flier will soon be
off and they are shaking hands and wishing him good luck.
The spectators on the field and at the television sets are
excited and anxious. Those at the field have wet feet. Those
watching by television are comfortable at home, many of
them in night clothes. They wonder if there is any bottom
to those hungry gasoline tanks. Finally they see the men
climbing down from the plane. They hear a mechanic tell
the flier that there are 451 gallons in the tanks, 150 more
than the plane ever lifted. It is a dramatic moment.
A mechanic turns over the motor. There is a terrific roai
on the television screens as the associated loudspeakers re
produce the noise. The birdman is seen donning his fur-
lined flying suit. His helmet is shoved back and the goggles
rest high on the forehead. He gazes off into space. He is
the most unperturbed man on the field. He climbs into the
pilot's seat and warms up the motor. The throttle is open
and the great man-made bird roars and flutters. The tele
vision eyes are not missing a thing.
Some one runs up excitedly and asks him if he has for
gotten his rations.
The microphones on duty pick up his answer. The electric
cameras point at him.
FACES AND SCENES ADRIFT 257
"I have five sandwiches. That's enough. If I get to Paris
I won't need any more, and if I don't get to Paris I won't
need any more, either."
"How is it?" asks the pilot.
"She sounds good to me," replies the mechanic.
"Well, then I might as well go."
It is exactly 7 :5 A.M.
"So long" he calls from the tiny window of the plane as
he waves to the crowd.
MOMENTS OF EXCITEMENT. The blocks are pulled from
beneath the wheels. The motor roars. Television eyes located
all down the field watch the heavily burdened plane lurch
slowly down the runway. The wheels find it difficult to travel
over the bumps and soggy field. She does not seem to get up
flying speed, at least not enough to rise with the load. The
television spectators groan. So do those at the field. The
plane looks nose heavy and as if it might plunge over on its
nose at any instant. It must lift quickly or strike a gully
at the end of the runway. Suddenly it hits a bump which
throws it upward on the television panorama. But the wheels
come back to earth. It has not enough flying speed. It looks
as if the craft is too heavy. Suddenly as if some unseen force
were lifting the wings they leave the ground and the plane
just skims over a tractor which is directly in its path and
near the last television camera.
The camera man turns his lens toward the plane. It is
seen to clear the electric wires by barely twenty feet. But
it doesn't seem to rise high. There are trees ahead. Lind
bergh apparently sees them through his periscope. He turns
a little to the right and selects the point where the foliage
is lowest. The silver wings sweep by and the machine begins
to climb. The sun creeps out from behind the clouds and
smiles on the Spirit of St. Louis as it dips off over the
horizon. It is just a mere speck in the television picture now.
A fleeting bird is flying across Long Island Sound on a
268 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
course that leads to Rhode Island and over Massachusetts
Bay to Nova Scotia and on to Paris, 3,610 miles away.
Lindy is out of sight. It is time for the television audience
in the East to go to work. Californians may catch a few
hours' more sleep. The next scene will come from Le Bourget
flying field in France. It is almost midnight in Paris 33%
hours later, when the landing lights flash across the sky and
100,000 pairs of eyes are on the watch for Lindy.
How could it be done? How could the earth's population
be spectators at such history making events? Television is
the answer. It is the wizardry of the age.
SCIENCE BECKONS TO MAN. All the intricacies of tele
vision will not be completed in this century. The scientists of
other generations will pick up where the contemporaries
leave off. Television is too preponderant a work for an indi
vidual. It is too great a task for a generation of mathemati
cians, optical experts and radio engineers. Only time meas
ured by years will solve the many problems that eventually
will open the way toward the goal of ultimate perfection.
No one man will wear television's crown of success. New elec
trical and optical instruments, new vacuum tubes and "cold"
filamentless bulbs, new cameras, new microphones undreamed
of today will be discovered in the march of progress. And in
the end television will be so simple!
It is well to remember that man was toiling on the trans
mission of pictures back in 1840 and he will be toiling on
and on with television, ever trying to improve it, long after
1940 passes by the milestones and down the dim corridors
The television day has dawned. But it is a long time be
tween the sunrise and the sunset of a new science. It is meas
ured by centuries in which the span of a human life is but
a fleeting moment. In that time many men play many parts.
They contribute their mite to the miracle called television.
FACES AND SCENES ADRIFT 259
Men, my brothers, men the workers,
ever reaping something new;
That which they have done but earnest
of the things that they shall do.
For I dipped into the future, far as
human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all
the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce,
argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping
down with costly bales :
Eye, to which all order festers, all
things here are out of j oint.
Science moves, but slowly, slowly, creeping
on from point to point.
"Locksley Hall," Tennyson.
Television is envisioned as a boon to many activities in human
life. In it lurks the germ of entirely new international relation
ships. It looms as a revolutionary social force. It threatens radical
changes that will speed the tempo of a slow-pulsing industrial
world, the wheels of which are stopped or moved irregularly in
the throes of a business depression. Television may be the hero
of the hour as it emerges from the research laboratories to answer
the call of a new era.
Prominent men, leaders in various fields including science, edu
cation, religion, drama, politics, business and warfare have been
invited to participate in a symposium, projecting their minds into
the future. This is what they foresee ten to twenty years ahead.
BY BRUCE BARTON
BATTEN, BARTON, DURSTINE & OSBORNE, INC.
Inevitably, television will have an important influence on adver
tising, newspapers and magazines, but it seems to me unlikely that
it will displace either newspapers or magazines. Existing media
of communication and education are modified by new developments
but are not usually displaced by them.
I recall that in the early days of the telephone the telephone
company advertised: "Don't travel. Telephone." This appeal was
quite promptly withdrawn because they discovered that the more
people traveled the more they telephoned. It seems to me likely
that the more the public of the future is informed and educated by
television the more, rather than less, it will appreciate and depend
on the newspaper and the magazine.
The thrilling thing about the universe is that everything has to
change. In our advertising agency we try to remember this and to
keep alert. We were one of the first of the agencies to recognize
radio was destined to play a large part in advertising. Our radio
business today runs into many millions of dollars, yet it has been
built up without diminishing our newspaper and magazine appro
BY REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD E. BYRD
After Peary discovered the North Pole on April 6, 1909, and
Amundsen found the South Pole on December 14, 1911, many
days passed before they completed the hazardous trek back across
the ice to notify the world that the long-sought goals had been
reached, and man had stood at the top and the bottom of the globe.
When Floyd Bennett and I flew over the North Pole on May 9,
1926, and when Balchen, McKinley, June and myself encircled
the South Pole on November 29, 1929, we carried radio apparatus.
It was only a few hours before newspapers were on the streets of
New York and other cities telling the story of our airplane
Radio not only carried the bulletins of success out of the desolate
regions, but it brought us messages and news from home. We picked
up music and voices that relieved the monotony of Antarctica. We
were only one-twentieth of a second from New York by radio,
although 9,000 miles away.
It is of interest to explorers to know that the next step in radio
science may equip them with television. It would be miraculous,
if in years to come a group of adventurers visited. Little America
and by turning dials saw faces of friends smile at them through
a blizzard raging outside. And in exchange the explorers might
project the Antarctic scene with the penguins as the actors. Then
the folks at home would catch a glimpse of a remote section of
the earth seldom seen by human eyes.
BY DR. GEORGE B. CUTTEN
PRESIDENT, COLGATE UNIVERSITY
He is a brave man who will dare to prognosticate what even
the immediate future has in store for us as a result of the marvelous
development of science, the threshold of which we are just crossing.
One of the subjects which promises most is television. The moving
picture, with the accompanying dialogue or description, has been a
great step in advance ; but the television will be to that even more
of an advance than a telephone conversation is to a letter.
One cannot refrain from thinking what it will mean in education
where the most noted lecturer in the country will not be confined
to a single classroom or university, but while lecturing to his im
mediate audience he may be seen and heard in every other univer
sity in the world. Nor need this reception be confined to university
classrooms, but a college education may be available to every person
in his own home. The question really comes whether in the future
colleges as formal institutions will be necessary, and if the attend
ance of classes in any one place will not become as obsolete as the
buggy of twenty-five years ago.
While we think particularly of classroom lectures, with the im
provement and development of television, there seems to be no part
262 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
of college work that would not be immediately available to every
individual in his home. Starting in with classwork in the morning,
one might see a football game in the afternoon, and attend a college
play in the evening, without moving out of his chair.
Just where this will all lead is a secret which the future is as
yet guarding carefully.
BY DR. LEE DE FOREST
Within ten years television, by wire or radio, will be in the
majority of homes of the well-to-do in the more thickly populated
sections of America. It will, I trust, be introduced, maintained and
regulated on a far wiser and more business-like basis than is our
The television receiving equipment will never be as compact,
simple and economical as are good radio receivers today. But
whether supplied by ultra-short waves or over wire, we may depend
on the picture being far more free from static or fading than is
One grand advantage of television over radio, for which all
apartment dwellers might be devoutly thankful, should be that
the neighbors' vision won't disturb others that is, of course, if
they will obligingly cut off or subdue the vocal accompaniment,
which they too often won't !
Steady, clear, screen projected pictures in almost black and
white, one to two feet square, will be the usual form in the home.
These, while not revealing all the infinite detail of a motion picture,
will have the surpassing value and fascination of being actual trans
mission of living personality and actual coincident events. There
will always reside a compelling thrill with which no "canned"
picture, however lovely, can ever successfully compete.
To the home screen, on the wall or cabinet, will then come daily
and nightly scenes from distant theaters, fashion manikin parades,
ball parks, boxing arenas, cruising dirigibles, river steamers there
will be no end of rich variety for the enterprising television pick-up.
The horizons of all will be enlarged, home life will be far more
attractive. Television should do much to restore acquaintance with
home and family.
Theater producers and artists will welcome this enormous in
crease in their audiences. For television will be developed along
reasonable, business lines, where those who use it will pay for their
enjoyment, by monthly rentals, or metered wired service small
in each instance, but aggregating the large sum necessary to pro
vide the talent and the intricate equipment involved, without objec-
tionable recourse to the incessant advertising ballyhoo, which radio
broadcasters now seem to feel so essential to their own existence.
BY THE RIGHT REVEREND JAMES E. FREEMAN
THE BISHOP OF WASHINGTON
When Edward Bellamy wrote his book, Looking Backward, he
projected himself into the centuries ahead and tried to envision
the procession of the years. Today our prophets and seers are
looking forward and, with a fine recognition of the unparalleled ad
vances we have made along scientific and mechanical lines, are
conceiving of a new age that shall far outstrip the present.
Radio has made the world a whispering gallery and has so
emphasized the intimacy of our fellowship that it is tending to
break down national and racial prejudices. Now television is to
bring within the confines of our homes scenes and personalities far
removed from us.
Some fear that in the realm of religion and corporate worship it
may tend to weaken the Church and make us unmindful of the
ancient admonition: "Forget not the assembling of yourselves to
gether, as the manner of some is." Our judgment is against this
view. Anything and everything that can render religion more ar
ticulate must give freshened demonstration of the value of that
which the Church stands for. Radio and television must quicken
the appetites of men for things spiritual. Nothing makes us yearn
more for the companionship of our fellows than the suggestion
conveyed to our senses of the meaning and worth of that which
reaches its highest satisfaction in places where great assemblages
BY MAJOR GENERAL JAMES G. HARBORD
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, RADIO CORPORATION OF AMERICA
If television advances in the next twenty years as those who are
watching it in its laboratory stages hope, it will change the con
duct of future wars as much as giving fuller sight to a man partly
blind would change the range of his activities. Assuming, for pur
poses of a forecast necessarily fanciful, that within a score of
years television can send from a moving transmitting station an
image as detailed as that on a motion picture screen today, the
possibilities of its applications in war set the imagination spinning.
With such television "eyes," strengthened by telescopic lenses,
aircraft flying over enemy territory may carry back to future army
headquarters the view that would lie before an aircraft observer
264 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
with high-powered field glasses, to supplement airplane pictures
and maps. On such information plans for attacks could be made.
As attacks move forward future generals may see spread before
them on screens moving images of their men advancing, notice the
massing of the enemy at a certain point and shift the attack
quickly to a weaker spot.
It is within the realm of bad dreams or a delirium that unmanned
aircraft loaded with explosives and guided by remote radio control
may be sent far into enemy territory. Men at a television screen
may see the country under such aircraft and select targets as ac
curately as if they were in the cockpits. Television equipped tor
pedoes may follow ships, no matter how they dodge.
Television promises eventually to take a place on a par with
sound broadcasting today. In that case it will be a factor in the
struggle of morale in wars to come. Every one of the millions of
home radio receiving sets probably will be a target for enemy propa
ganda. The television watcher may see in his living room motion
pictures of his nation's soldiers in foreign prison camps, for ex
ample, and to offset that be given convincing looks at his well-
trained, well-equipped troops at the front.
When such imaginings flit through our minds it is pleasant to
think that television in times of peace will take its place beside
sound broadcasting as an influence toward international under
standing and goodwill, and toward making war less likely.
BY COLONEL THEODORE ROOSEVELT
GOVERNOR GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINES
Of course, television will have a considerable influence on politics,
especially in national and state-wide campaigns. It, combined with
radio, will undoubtedly cut down the number of places in which
national or state candidates speak, but it will merely cut them
down. It will not eliminate them. There is something which a candi
date gets from appearing in the flesh before an audience, from
visiting the town or city, which neither television nor radio can
In this, much the same maxim holds as does on inspections. A
report of conditions may be studied in an office, but an inspection
in person builds morale and gives a point of view which cannot be
I believe the great mission that will be accomplished by tele
vision and radio is that whereas thirty years ago only an infini
tesimal number of people in the nation ever heard the voice of a
President or saw his picture outside of a few lithographs or some
mediocre newspaper reproductions, now the vast majority of a
country will see him as well as hear his voice. I think this will
have a great effect, for it cannot but stir the nation to a lively
interest in those who are directing its policies and in the policies
themselves. The result will normally be that we may expect more
intelligent, more concerted action from an electorate. The people
will think more for themselves and less simply at the direction of
local members of the political machines.
At the present, there are but a few men in the country who are
known equally in Oregon, Kansas and New Hampshire. It is diffi
cult for a man to become a national leader. With television and
radio this should be greatly changed, and the number of leaders
known to the general public multiplied many times.
BY S. L. ROTHAFEL (ROXY)
Projecting my thoughts into the future, how do I see television
affecting the stage and screen? Will the theater pass out of exist
ence or will it be bigger and better, because television may extend
The theater will never pass out of existence. All the world's a
stage and all the world has always wanted to see itself mirrored.
In the history of the theater, we find periods where its hold on
the people seemed to be lessening. In a few years, it regained its
important position. Television, I think, in twenty years, will be
the mirror, mirroring the stage. And because of television, the stage
will be greater than ever. This, because of the economics. Cities
will have the actual theaters and the villages the vision.
Already in our plans for Radio City, television is given a place.
I am inclined to believe that in five years, because our scientists
work with such amazing rapidity these days, the stage and television
will be one. As to the effect, going to the question of whether the
theater will pass out of existence or will be bigger and better, some
evidence may be gathered from the fact that innumerable artists,
practically unknown before their broadcasting, have become sen
sational attractions in the theater. Also, personal appearances of
talking picture stars are more evidence. We are all human and we
all want to see, "in the flesh," those we love.
THE CALENDAR OF WIRELESS-RADIO-TELEVISION
640 B.C. Thales of Miletus notices that amber, after being
rubbed, acquires the property of attracting straws and other
1600 A.D. William Gilbert publishes his work De Magnete in
which he uses term "electric force."
1650 Otto von Guericke invents the air pump and first frictional
1654 Robert Boyle observes that electric attraction takes place
through a vacuum.
1666 Sir Isaac Newton performs fundamental experiments on
discovery of the spectrum.
1676 Olaus Roemer discovers that light travels at a finite velocity.
1725 Stephen Gray observes that electric forces can be carried
about 1,000 feet by means of a hemp thread, thus discover
ing electrical conduction.
1733 Dufay observes that sealing wax rubbed with cat's fur is
electrified but differs from an electrified glass rod. He terms
one "vitreous" and the other "resinous." Franklin later
introduces terms "positive" and "negative" electricity.
1745 Musschenbroeck of Leyden discovers principle of the electro
1 749 Ben j amin Franklin by his celebrated kite experiment proves
lightning is an electrical phenomenon.
1780 Luigi Galvani makes historic observation relative to twitch
ing frog legs, which leads to invention of voltaic cell. He
calls it "animal electricity"; thus history records him as
discoverer of current or "galvanic" electricity.
1794 Alessandro Volta invents the voltaic cell.
1800 William Herschel discovers infra-red rays.
1801 Humphrey Davy displays first electric carbon arc light.
1819 Hans Christian Oersted discovers magnetic action of an
electric current and publishes an account of the influence
of galvanic current on a magnetic needle.
1820 Johann Schweigger invents the galvanometer.
1821 Andre M. Ampere makes research in electricity that is re-
sponsible for relationship between electricity and mag
1825 Georg Simon Ohm propounds the law named for him
1827 Wheatstone coins term "microphone" for an acoustic device
he has developed to amplify weak sounds.
1830 Joseph N. Niepce and Louis Daguerre produce first prac
tical process of photography.
1831 Michael Faraday formulates laws of electromagnetic induc
tion that lead to development of magneto and dynamo.
1831 Joseph Henry discovers self-induction, improves the electro
magnet and makes the first electric bell.
1832 Samuel F. B. Morse discusses his idea of the telegraph.
1838 First induction coil is made by Charles Page of Washington.
1838 Steinheil discovers the use of the earth-return later utilized
in telegraphy, telephony and wireless.
1847 Thomas Alva Edison born February 11 at Milan, Ohio.
1849 John Ambrose Fleming born November 29 in England.
1856 Caselli sends designs by telegraph utilizing a cylinder cov
ered with tinfoil on which the figures are drawn in insulating
compound by a contact pin or needle traveling over the
1857 Geissler produces a vacuum tube.
1858 (Aug. 16) First transatlantic cable is opened with ex
change of greetings between President Buchanan and Queen
1861 Philip Reis of Germany designs a make-and-break platinum
contact microphone with which musical sounds but not
speech are transmitted.
1865 Wilhelm Theodor Holtz builds an induction machine.
1867 James Clerk Maxwell outlines theoretically and predicts
action of electromagnetic waves.
1869 Hittorf, of Minister, performs a number of experiments with
tubes having comparatively high vacuum.
1870 Varley discovers that sound may be emitted from a con
1872 (July 30) First patent for a system of wireless issued in
United States to Dr. Mahlon Loomis of Washington, D. C.,
who in 1865 made a drawing to illustrate how setting up
"disturbances in the atmosphere would cause electric waves
to travel through the atmosphere and ground."
1874 (April 25) Guglielmo Marconi born at Bologna, Italy;
268 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
father, Joseph Marconi (Italian), mother, Anna Jameson
1875 Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
1875 Thomas A. Edison observes the phenomenon "etheric force."
1877 Emile Berliner in Washington observes that the resistance
of a loose contact varies with pressure and he applies the
principle to microphone design.
1877 Edison patents a telephone transmitter of a variable re
sistance amplifying type in which the resistance element is a
button of solid carbon.
1878 Sir William Crookes invents Crookes tube and demonstrates
cathode rays to illustrate their properties.
1878 Francis Blake designs a telephone transmitter utilizing a
block of hard carbon and a vibrating diaphragm.
1878 Hughes in London designs an extremely sensitive inertia
transmitter and revives the term "microphone." He discovers
phenomena upon which action of the coherer depends.
1880 J. and P. Curie of France discover piezo electric effect later
applied to hold radio stations on their exact waves thereby
1880 Trowbridge discovers that signaling can be carried on by
electric conduction through the earth or water although the
terminals are not linked metallically.
1882 (March) Professor Dolbear is awarded a United States
patent for wireless apparatus. He states that "electrical
communication, using this apparatus, might be established
between points certainly more than one-half mile apart,
but how much further I cannot say."
1883 Edison discovers what is called "the Edison effect," a phe
nomenon occurring in an incandescent lamp, in that an elec
tric current can be made to pass through space from the
burning filament to an adjacent cold metallic plate.
1884 Paul Nipkow of Germany invents television scanning disk.
1884 Ader of France develops a multiple carbon pencil micro
phone for picking up musical programs.
1885 Edison, assisted by Phelps, Gilliland and Smith develops a
system of communication between railroad stations and
moving trains by means of induction. No connecting wires
are used. This is Edison's only patent on long-distance
telegraphy without wires. (He filed the application on May
23, 1885, and the patent No. 465971 was issued December
29, 1891. The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company pur
chased it in 1903.)
1885 Sir William Preece in experiments at Newcastle-on-Tyne
demonstrates that in two completely insulated circuits of
square form, each side being 440 yards, located a quarter
of a mile apart, telephonic speech can be conveyed by
1886 Dolbear patents a system of wireless by means of two insu
lated elevated metallic plates.
1886 Professor Heinrich Hertz, a German physicist, proves ex
perimentally that electric waves are sent through space with
the speed of light by the electric discharge that takes place
when a spark is made by an induction coil or a static
1886 Edison applies for a patent on telephone transmitter filled
with granules of hard coal.
1890 Anthony White invents the so-called solid-back transmitter.
1890 Professor Edouard Branly of France develops the coherer
which considerably advances radio reception because of its
properties as a detector.
1890 C. Francis Jenkins begins search for new appliances needed
for success of Nipkow scanning disk.
1891 Nikola Tesla experiments with high frequency currents and
discovers principle of the rotary magnetic field applying it
in practical form to the induction motor.
1892 Preece signals between two points on the Bristol Channel
at Lochness, Scotland, by a system that employs both in
duction and conduction to affect one circuit by the current
flowing in the other.
1894 Rathenau signals through three miles of water by using a
conductive system of wireless.
1895 William Conrad Roentgen announces discovery of X-rays
from a Crookes tube excited by electricity.
1895 Marconi sends and receives his first wireless messages on
his father's estate at Bologna, Italy.
1895 Marconi proves that electric waves can be transmitted
through the earth, water or air by means of sparks pro
ducing high frequency electrical oscillations.
1896 Marconi files application for the first British patent on wire
less telegraphy. Experiments proved his system would com
municate for at least one and three-quarter miles.
1896 Marconi sends a wireless signal at Salisbury Plain, England,
across a two-mile range.
1897 Marconi on tug boat receives messages from Needles on Isle
of Wight, 1 8 miles away.
270 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1898 (June 3) First paid radio message is sent from the Needles,
Isle of Wight station.
1898 (July 20) Kingstown regatta off Ireland is reported by
wireless to a Dublin newspaper from the steamer Flying
1899 Elster and Geitel discover that various elements possess
1899 (March 27) Marconi signals by wireless across the English
Channel for the first time.
1899 Marconi proves curvature of the earth does not interfere
with propagation of wireless waves.
1899 (April 22) The first French gunboat is equipped with
wireless at Boulogne.
1899 (April 28) Steamer R. F. Mathews collides with East
Goodwin Sands Lightship and flashes the first wireless call
1899 (April) United States Army Signal Corps establishes wire
less communication between Fire Island and Fire Island
Lightship, a distance of twelve miles, and later between
Governor's Island and Fort Hamilton.
1899 (July) British warships Alexandra, Juno and Europa ex
change wireless messages at sea up to seventy-five nautical
1900 Sir Oliver Heaviside (died February 4, 1925) and Pro
fessor Arthur E. Kennelly suggest theory of "radio mirror"
now known as the Heaviside surface, a conducting medium
in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
1900 A. F. Collins uses his so-called "electrostatic system" to
signal eight miles by wireless.
1900 (February 18) First German commercial wireless station is
opened on Borkum Island.
1900 (February 28) S. S. Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse equipped
with wireless and leaves port as the first seagoing pas
senger vessel to carry such service. Borkum Island hears it
sixty miles away.
1900 Michael Pupin invents the loading coil that improves long
1900 Marconi files application for his famed Patent 7777 for a
"tuned" or synchronized system of wireless.
1900 (November 2) Belgium's first wireless station is completed
1901 (January 1) The bark Medora is reported by wireless to
be waterlogged on Ratel Bank and assistance is sent.
1901 (February 11) Wireless communication across 196 miles is
established between Niton station, Isle of Wight, and the
1901 (March) Public wireless service inaugurated between five
principal islands of the Hawaiian group.
1901 (September 28) Professor Reginald A. Fessenden applies
for United States patent on "improvements in apparatus for
wireless transmission of electromagnetic waves, said im
provements relating more especially to the transmission and
reproduction of words or other audible signals." He con
templates use of an alternating current generator having a
frequency of 50,000 cycles a second.
1901 Dr. John Stone applies for United States patents covering
1901 (December 12) Marconi, with two assistants, P. W. Paget
and G. S. Kemp, at St. Johns, Newfoundland, picks up the
first transatlantic wireless signal, the letter "S" sent from
the transmitter at Poldhu.
1902 (February) Marconi on S. S. Philadelphia hears signals
from Poldhu 2,099 miles away.
1902 (June 25) Marconi introduces the magnetic detector, actu
ated by clockwork on the Italian cruiser Carlo Alberto.
1902 Electrolytic detector introduced by Professor R. A. Fessen
1902 Professor E. Ruhmer's ph otophone system of wireless covers
a distance of twenty miles at Kiel, Germany.
1902 (July 14) Marconi on Italian cruiser Carlo Alberto, at Cape
Skagen, receives a message from Poldhu 800 miles distant
and from Kronstadt, 1600 miles.
1902 (December 17) First west-east transatlantic wireless mes
sages sent by Marconi from Glace Bay to England.
1903 Valdemar Poulsen and William Duddell introduce the elec
tric arc transmitter as a means of propagating electromag
1903 Message from President Roosevelt to King Edward of Eng
land sent via station WCC, South Wellsfleet, Cape Cod, is
received at Poldhu.
1903 First ocean daily newspaper instituted on board S. S. Cam
pania, with dispatches supplied by wireless.
1903 (August 4) First International Radiotelegraphic Conference
held at Berlin.
1903 Poulsen patents an improved arc oscillation generator using
a hydrocarbon atmosphere and a magnetic field.
272 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1904 (February 1) Marconi Company institutes CQD as the wire
less call of distress.
1904 Professor John Ambrose Fleming, of England, invents the
two-element thermionic valve detector, the patent number
1904 (August 15) Great Britain passes a wireless telegraph act.
1904 Wireless apparatus displayed as one of the marvels at St.
Louis World's Fair.
1905 Marconi patents a horizontal directional transmitting aerial
and predicts that he will soon be able to reach the antipodes
more easily than nearby places.
1905 The New York Times receives eyewitness wireless reports
of naval battle off Port Arthur in Russo-Japanese war.
1906 E. Bellini and A. Tosi in Italy pioneer in radio direction
1906 Rignoux and Fournier, French physicists, use selenium cells
to construct artificial retina. Each cell is linked by wire to
a shutter that opens when light actuates the cell.
1906 Telefunken arc system of wireless telegraphy is developed
and covers a distance of twenty-five miles.
1906 Lee de Forest invents the three-element vacuum tube that
has a filament, plate and grid.
1906 Professor R. A. Fessenden develops a high frequency alter
nator and installs it at Brant Rock, Mass., for communica
tion with ships at sea.
1906 Dunwoody discovers the rectifying properties of carborun
dum crystals and Greenleaf Pickard discovers similar prop
erties of silicon.
1907 Coherer replaced by the crystal, magnetic, thermal and elec
1907 (January 18) Lee de Forest is granted a patent on the three-
element vacuum tube which he calls "the audion."
1907 Arthur Korn sends a picture of President Fallieres of France
by wire from Berlin to Paris in twelve minutes.
1907 (October 17) Commercial wireless service begins between
Clifden, Ireland, and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
1908 (February 2) S. S. St. Cuthbert on fire off Sable Island is
sighted by S. S. Cymric from which a newspaper corre
spondent sends story by wireless to The New York Times
and Chicago Tribune.
1908 (February 3) Marconi transatlantic wireless stations opened
to the public for transmission and reception of Marconi-
grams between England and Canada.
1908 Professor Marjorana designs an arc oscillating generator
and liquid microphone system utilizing it for communication
between Rome and Sicily.
1908 Fessenden constructs a high frequency alternator with an
output of 2.5 kilowatts at 225 volts and with a frequency
of 70,000 cycles a second.
1908 Telefunken Company conducts a series of tests between
Sandy Hook and Bedloe's Island to prove practicability of
1908 International Radio Telegraphic Conference at Berlin pro
poses SOS as wireless distress call instead of CQD.
1908 Poulsen develops an arc transmitter that covers 150 miles on
the first test.
1909 (January 23) S. S. Republic collides with S. S. Florida off
New York; Jack Binns, the wireless operator of the Re
public, sends the CQD and summons assistance thereby
proving the value of radio in time of disaster at sea.
1909 Marconi awarded Nobel Prize in physics.
1910 (January 7) Steamship Puritan caught in ice in Lake Michi
gan flashes SOS and tugs go to the rescue of fifteen pas
1910 (January 13) Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn sing in
deForest radiophone broadcast from Metropolitan Opera
House. It is picked up by S. S. Avon at sea and in Bridge
1910 A. Ekstrom of Sweden discovers that he can "scan" an
object directly by use of a strong beam of light behind a
1910 Marconi sends wireless to Buenos Aires from Ireland.
1910 S. S. Principessa Mafalda receives Clifden signal across a
distance of 4,000 miles by day and 6,735 at night.
1910 (April 23) Marconi transatlantic America-Europe service
1910 (June 24) United States government approves act requiring
radio equipment and operators on certain passenger carry
1911 (July 1) Department of Commerce organizes radio division
to enforce act of June 24, 1910.
1911 Radio telephone covers 350 miles between Nauen, Germany,
and Vienna, Austria.
1912 Frederick A. Kolster, of the Bureau of Standards, develops
a decremeter to make direct measurements of radio wave
274 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1912 United Wireless Company is absorbed by the American Mar
1912 (February) Marconi Company procures Bellini Tosi patents
including the direction finder.
1912 (February 3) First Australian Commonwealth wireless sta
tion is opened.
1912 (April 14) S. S. Titanic disaster proves the value of wire
less at sea. Seven hundred lives are saved.
1912 (July 5) International Radio Telegraphic Conference in
London approves regulations to secure uniformity of prac
tice in radio services.
1912 United States Naval Radio Station NAA opens at Arlington,
1912 Edwin H. Armstrong develops a regenerative vacuum tube
circuit while experimenting at Hartley Laboratory, Columbia
1912 Marconi patents "the timed spark system" by which ex
ceedingly long waves can be employed (14,000 meters and
1912 (July 23) Act approved by United States government ex
tending act of June 24, 1910, to cover cargo vessels and
requiring auxiliary source of power, efficient communication
between wireless cabin and bridge, and two or more skilled
wireless operators in charge of apparatus on certain pas
1912 (August 13) United States government approves act licens
ing radio operators and transmitting stations.
1913 United States and French governments cooperate between
Arlington and Eiffel Tower to procure data for comparing
velocity of electromagnetic waves with that of light.
1913 (June) Radiotelegraph Act of Canada passed by Parlia
ment at Ottawa.
1913 Station POZ, Nauen, Germany, sends a message 1,550 miles.
1913 Dr. William David Coolidge invents "hot" cathode ray tube
and makes useful developments in X-ray tubes.
1913 (September) Prince Albert, ruler of principality of Monaco,
sails into New York harbor on his yacht Hirondelle equip
ped with a wireless piano.
1913 (October 11) S. S. Volturno on fire at sea. Wireless call for
help brings ten vessels to the rescue.
!913 Wireless station at Macquerie Island keeps Dr. Mauson,
Australian explorer, in communication with outer world.
1913 (November 12) Safety at Sea Conference held in London
and wireless receives major consideration.
1913 (November 24) Wireless tests made on Delaware, Lacka-
wanna & Western Railroad between Hoboken and Buffalo.
1914 Direct communication established between WSL, Sayville on
Long Island and POZ, Nauen, Germany, and between Tuck-
1914 Two warships at sea report radio telephone reliable for
communication over 18 miles.
1914 (April 15) Memorial unveiled at Godalming in honor of
Jack Phillips, chief operator of ill-fated Titanic who died
at his post.
1914 Motor lifeboats of S. S. Aquitania are equipped with wire
less marking a new departure in the application of radio to
safety of life at sea.
1914 (September 24) California-Honolulu wireless circuit opened
by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America.
1914 Laws formulated by foremost maritime nations requiring
vessels of certain size and grades to carry wireless apparatus
1914 United States District Court, Eastern District of New York,
in opinion handed down by Judge Van Vechten Veeder
upholds validity and priority of Marconi's patents.
1914 Cryptic wireless message from Nauen, Germany, tells Kron-
prinzessin Cecile 850 miles off Irish coast to dash for a
neutral port with the $10,000,000 gold on board. It sur
prises Bar Harbor by arriving there several days later.
1914 (October 6) E. H. Armstrong issued a patent covering the
regenerative circuit known as the feed-back or self-hetero
1914 Marconi turns his attention to adapting radio to warfare in
cluding short waves, secret communication, direction finders,
and "narrow-casting" by the use of parabolic reflectors and
1915 (February 20) Panama-Pacific Exhibition at San Francisco
is officially opened by President Wilson at Washington,
through wireless signal.
1915 (May 12) Monument in Battery Park, New York, unveiled
in honor of wireless operators who lost their lives at post
1915 (May 22) Marconi predicts visible telephony as he sails
from New York for Rome upon request of King Victor Em
manuel because of Italy's entry into World War.
276 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1915 Dr. F. A. Kolster at the Bureau of Standards develops a
moveable coil type radio compass.
1915 (July 27) Wireless communication established between
United States and Japan via relay through Honolulu.
1915 (July 28) American Telephone and Telegraph Company
working in conjunction with Western Electric engineers at
Arlington, Va., succeeds in telephoning by radio to Paris,
3,700 miles, and to Hawaii, 5,000 miles.
1916 Determination of the difference in longitude between Paris
and Washington with assistance of radio which has been in
progress since 1913 is completed. The result, expressed in
terms of time being 5 hours 17 minutes and 35.67 seconds,
has a probable accuracy of 0.01 second.
1916 (November 5) President Wilson and Mikado of Japan ex
change radiograms at opening of transpacific circuit.
1916 (November) DeForest experimental radiophone station
opens at High Bridge, N. Y.
1916 (November) Station 2ZK, New Rochelle, operated by
George C. Cannon and Charles V. Logwood, broadcasts
music between 9 and 10 P.M., daily except Sunday.
1917 E. F. W. Alexanderson designs 200-kilowatt high fre
quency alternator making world-wide wireless possible.
1917 German submarines elude Allied listening posts by use of
short waves (75 meters).
1917 (June 2) Wireless "becomes of age" in England. Twenty-
one years have passed since the registration of wireless
patent No. 12039 in 1896.
1918 A. Hoxie installs high-speed wireless recorder at Otter
Cliffs, Me., to copy messages from France.
1918 Radiotelegraph and radiophone conclusively prove their tre
mendous importance in warfare during the World War.
1918 Progress toward continuous-wave radio as distinct from
damped waves is marked, chiefly because of the vacuum tube
as a generator of undamped oscillations. Wireless telephony
also forges ahead.
1918 High power radio station built by the United States is
opened at Croix d'Hins, near Bordeaux. It is called the
1918 Erection of a high power station near Buenos Aires is begun.
It will communicate direct with North America.
1918 (April) High power station LCM, opened at Stavanger,
Norway, for use of Norwegian government. The signal is
clear in the United States.
1918 Application of wireless to ships continues and at the end
of the year between 2,500 to 3,000 vessels in the British
Merchant Marine carry transmitters and receivers.
1918 (July 31) United States government takes over all wireless
land stations in the country, with exception of a few high
power transmitters which remain under control of commer
1918 (September 22) Sydney, Australia, hears wireless from
Carnarvon, England, 12,000 miles. Confirmation of the dis
patches sent by cable at the same time arrive several hours
1918 (November) Wireless from France and Germany announces
signing of the Armistice.
1919 (February) Spanish decree specifies that all sailing vessels
of 500 tons or more and carrying fifty or more passengers
must be wireless equipped.
1919 The "spark" and "arc" era in radio transmission begin to
give way to the vacuum tube.
1919 President Wilson goes to Peace Conference in Paris while
wireless on board the S. S. George Washington maintains
communication with shore.
1919 NC-flying boats use radio on transatlantic flight.
1919 (June 30) There are 2,312 ship stations licensed by the
United States, an increase from 1,478 since June 30, 1918,
chiefly due to number of vessels built for war.
1919 (August 24) United States Signal Corps broadcasts service
of Trinity Church at Third and D streets, Washington, D. C.
1919 British Parliament passes bill specifying that all merchant
vessels of 1,600 tons or more under English flag must carry
wireless. This makes permanent a temporary war measure.
1919 British dirigible R-34 crosses Atlantic equipped with a
vacuum tube transmitter.
1919 Radiophone links England and Canada by use of vacuum
1919 President Wilson returning from Peace Conference on board
S. S. George Washington makes Memorial Day address to
crew and his voice is heard in a broadcast to shore.
1919 Radio Corporation of America organized, taking over the
interests of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of
America and radio activities of the General Electric Com
pany in plans for an American world-wide radio system.
1920 (January 14) Greece passes a law that makes carrying wire
less equipment obligatory on all Greek merchant ships of
278 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1,600 gross tons or over, or having fifty persons on board
including the crew.
1920 (January 25) High power station LPZ opened at Mont-
1920 (February 29) United States government returns high power
stations under its control during World War, and first com
mercial long distance radio communication between the
United States and foreign countries is inaugurated by the
Radio Corporation of America.
1920 A tract of land covering ten square miles is acquired on Long
Island at Rocky Point and Riverhead for the construction
of a Radio Central conceived for world-wide communication.
1920 American radio amateurs reorganize their forces, now rein
forced many thousands of times by war-trained radio men,
and begin to turn their attention to amateur radiophone.
1920 Installation of 200-kilowatt Alexanderson high frequency
alternators for international communication begins at Bo-
linas, Calif., Marion, Mass., and Kahuku, Hawaii.
1920 (November 2) Radio broadcasting begins with KDKA,
Pittsburgh, the pioneer station broadcasting Harding-Cox
1921 President Harding formally opens Radio Central on Long
Island by sending a radiogram addressed to all nations.
1921 Paul Godley goes to Ardrossan, Scotland, and hears twenty-
seven radio amateurs in the United States make history in
their field by transmitting across the Atlantic on power
outputs ranging from 50 to 1,000 watts.
1921 200-kilowatt Alexanderson alternator system installed at
Tuckerton, N. J.
1921 (July 2) Dempsey-Carpentier fight is broadcast from Boyle's
Thirty Acres in Jersey City, N. J., by a temporarily installed
transmitter at Hoboken.
1921 Professor Edouard Branly awarded Nobel Prize for Physics
because of his radio research work.
1921 (August 30) First annual convention of American Radio
Relay League held in Chicago.
1921 (September 27) Station WBZ opens at Springfield, Mass.
1921 (October 1) Station WJZ officially opened at Newark, N. J.,
as the first broadcaster in the metropolitan area. First pro
gram features World Series bulletins.
1921 (November 11) Burial of unknown soldier at Arlington in
cluding an address by President Harding is broadcast.
1921 (November 11) Station KYW goes on the air in Chicago.
1921 (December 15) Broadcasting station WDY opens at Roselle
Park, N. J., (continued until February 15, 1922, when it
was amalgamated with WJZ previously opened at Newark).
1922 First ship-to-shore two-way radio conversation between Deal
Beach, N. J., and S. S. America 400 miles at sea.
1922 S. S. Gloucester off Jersey coast talks to Deal Beach, N. J.,
which relays voices by wire to Long Beach, Calif., and then
by radiophone to the Catalina Islands.
1922 (February 20) Station WGY, Schenectady, goes on the air.
1922 (February 27) First Annual Radio Conference, pertaining to
broadcasting, held in Washington, D. C.
1922 Marconi demonstrates to Institute of Radio Engineers his
radio beam system of communication that utilizes reflectors
to concentrate radio energy in much the same way that a
searchlight casts a beam of light.
1922 (July 25) Station WBAY abandoned by the American Tele
phone and Telegraph Co.
1922 (August 16) Station WEAF goes on the air with transmitter
atop Western Electric Building on West Street, New York.
1922 Edwin H. Armstrong announces his superheterodyne and
1922 (September 7) First commercial broadcast over WEAF
sponsored by the Queensborough Corporation.
1922 (October 15) First time in history high-powered vacuum
tube transmitters handle traffic between New York, England
1922 (October 28) Princeton-Chicago football game goes on the
air as the first gridiron broadcast.
1922 (November 11) Remote control pick-up of opera A'ida from
Kingsbridge Armory, New York.
1922 (November 22) First broadcast by New York Philharmonic-
1922 Dr. Irving Langmuir of the General Electric Company an*
nounces a 20-kilowatt vacuum tube.
1923 (January 4) First chain broadcast with telephone lines con
necting WEAF, New York, with WNAC, Boston.
1923 (March) Professor L. A. Hazeltine describes his invention
of the neutrodyne circuit at Radio Club of America meeting.
1923 C. Francis Jenkins sends a picture of President Harding by
television from Washington to Philadelphia.
1923 (March 4) Station KDPM, Cleveland, Ohio, picks up short
waves from KDKA, Pittsburgh, and thereby stages the first
280 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1923 (March 20) Second Annual Radio Conference held in Wash
ington, D. C.
1923 Radio station built in a valley between the Herzogstand and
the Stein, two foothills of the Bavarian Alps, features an
aerial suspended by wire cables stretched between the tops
of the two peaks.
1923 Increased radio traffic to and from ocean liners leads to
installation of high speed transmitters and automatic re
1923 (May 15) Station WJZ moves from Newark to New York.
1923 (June) First multiple station network with WEAF, New
York, WGY, Schenectady, KDKA, Pittsburgh, and KYW,
Chicago, linked by wires.
1923 President Warren G. Harding speaks from St. Louis as he
begins the western tour that ends in his death at San Fran
cisco. The stations are WJZ, New York; WCAP, Washing
ton; KSD, St. Louis.
1923 (August 1) Station WRC opened at Washington, D. C.
1923 American and French amateurs establish two-way communi
cation across Atlantic on 100-meter wave.
1923 Charles Proteus Steinmetz declares "there are no ether
1923 (November 11) Woodrow Wilson's Armistice Day address
broadcast by WEAF, his only public address after retiring
from the White House.
1923 Wireless controlled airplane makes flight without a pilot at
the Etampes Aerodrome in France. Flights were also made
with a pilot using a gyroscopic stabilizer and special steer
ing motors controlled from the ground.
1923 International Commission for Aerial Navigation agree, as a
general principle, all aircraft engaged in public transport
should carry radio equipment.
1923 Tube delivering 20 kilowatts of high frequency energy to
the aerial is introduced.
1923 (December 4) First broadcast from United States Capitol,
opening of Congress.
1923 Donald B. MacMillan in Arctic region uses short waves
from ship, the Bowdoin, to communicate with Chicago, New
York and other cities. He hears broadcasting stations in
United States and England.
1924 (January 9) Station KGO, Oakland, Calif., goes on the air.
1924 The 800-kilowatt station at Monte Grande, Argentina, is
opened for communication with New York, Paris and Berlin.
1924 (February 5) England rebroadcasts a short-wave program
sent across the sea by KDKA.
1924 (February 6) Funeral services for Woodrow Wilson at Na
tional Cathedral, Washington, D. C., are broadcast with
WEAF as the New York outlet.
1924 (February 23) Calcutta picks up KDKA program relayed
1924 (May 30) Marconi using short waves talks by voice from his
yacht off England to Australia.
1924 National Republican convention at Cleveland and National
Democratic convention at New York broadcast by nation
1924 (July) British government and Marconi Wireless Telegraph
Co., plan to link the Empire by beam radio system.
1924 Marconi in lecture before the Royal Society of Arts de
scribes his short-wave beam system.
1924 (September) Marconi using the 32-meter wave in daylight
talks with Syria by voice from his yacht 2,100 miles away.
1924 (October) Zeppelin ZR-3 (renamed Los Angeles) crosses
Atlantic equipped with wireless.
1924 Wireless "lighthouse" established on an island in the Firth
of Forth, Scotland. The wireless energy concentrated by re
flectors flashes a beam that ships within a 100-mile area can
detect to determine their position in fog.
1924 (October 6) Third National Radio Conference held in
Washington, >. C.
1924 (October 11) Cape Town, Africa, intercepts program from
KDKA and rebroadcasts it.
1924 (November 30) Pictures of President Coolidge, Prince of
Wales, Premier Stanley Baldwin and others sent by fac
simile radio from London to New York in twenty minutes.
1924 First international broadcast with program transmitted on
long wave (1,600 meters) from Coventry, England, picked
up at Houlton, Me., transmitted by wire to WJZ and re-
1924 (December 15) Station KOA, Denver, goes on the air.
1925 Commercial applications of short waves progress as trans
atlantic traffic is handled on channels from 20 to 105 meters.
1925 Trend toward high power broadcasting sends the transmit
ters outside the thickly populated areas to minimize inter
1925 Experiments are conducted at Pittsburgh and Schenectady
with 50-kilowatt transmitters for broadcasting.
282 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1925 Three-meter waves generated at Technical Physical Insti
tute at Jena with a capacity of about 100 watts.
1925 Coolidge inaugural broadcast by twenty-four stations scat
tered from coast-to-coast.
1925 (April) Radio shadowgraphs demonstrated by John L. Baird
in Selfridge store, London.
1925 (May 7) Facsimile messages, maps and pictures radioed
from New York to Honolulu, 5,136 miles, by the Ranger
1925 Nichols and Schelling of Bell Telephone Laboratories sug
gest theory to account for fading of radio, which they believe
is caused by the earth's magnetic field's effect on wave
1925 Stations WJZ and WRC rebroadcast the sound of Big
Ben atop the House of Parliament when it strikes midnight.
1925 Radio receiving sets and tubes designed for complete alter
nating current operation are introduced for home use.
1925 United States Naval Radio Research Laboratory at Belle-
vue, D. C., and Carnegie Institution confirm Heaviside-Ken-
1926 (January 1) John McCormack and Lucrezia Bori make
their radio debuts over WJZ, a move that encourages other
noted artists to go on the air.
1926 S. S. President Roosevelt successfully uses radio compass
in blinding snowstorm to find S. S. Antinoe in distress.
1926 (February 23) President Coolidge signs the Dill-White
1926 (April 20) Picturegram of check sent from London to New
York where it is honored and cashed.
1926 (May) Byrd and Bennett in plane Josepine Ford fly to the
North Pole from Spitzbergen carrying a 44-meter radio
transmitter to maintain contact with the base.
1926 (May) Dirigible Norge sails over the Arctic and sends wire
less message direct from the North Pole.
1926 Radio receiving sets having complete alternating current or
light socket operation are introduced for home use.
1926 (September 23) Dempsey-Tunney fight is broadcast by long
and short waves to all parts of the world.
1926 World Series is broadcast by WJZ's national network.
1926 (November 1) National Broadcasting Company organized.
1926 (December 15) Alexanderson in St. Louis demonstrates an
advance in television by showing his multiple light-brush
system and new projector.
1927 (January 1) Initial coast-to-coast hook-up using a 4,000-
mile network to broadcast football game in Bowl of Roses,
1927 (January 7) Radiotelephone circuit opens between New
York and London. Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of the New
York Times, talks with Geoffrey Dawson, editor of the
1927 (January 21) First coast-to-coast broadcast of opera
(Faust) from stage of the Chicago Civic Auditorium.
1927 (February 3) John L. Baird describes his television system
1927 (February 22) First coast-to-coast Presidential broadcast
and first from the floor of Congress; Washington Birthday
address by Calvin Coolidge at joint session of Congress.
1927 (March 2) Federal Radio Commission is appointed; Rear
Admiral W. H. G. Bullard, John F. Dillon, Judge E. O.
Sykes, O. H. Caldwell and H. A. Bellows.
1927 (April 7) Wire television demonstrated between Washing
ton, D. C., and New York; and radio television between
Whippany, N. J., and New York by Bell Telephone Labora
1927 (June 11) Massachusetts Institute of Technology dinner in
New York sees photoradio messages and pictures arrive
from London and Hawaii.
1927 Arrival of Lindbergh back in United States after historic
flight to Paris is broadcast by largest network of stations
ever assembled up to this time.
1927 Plane America with Byrd, Balchen, Acosta and Noville
hops off for Europe with radio equipment on board.
1927 (August 20) Airplane Dallas Spirit in tail spin over Pacific
on way to Hawaii flashes SOS on 33-meter wave which is
picked up by the New York Times' receiving station, 3,500
1927 (September 18) Columbia Broadcasting System goes on the
air with a basic network of sixteen stations.
1927 (October 17) Marconi predicts at Institute of Radio En
gineers that short waves are destined to play a vital role in
radio progress and television.
1927 (December 30) Radiomarine Corporation of America or
ganized to operate radio service for ships at sea.
1928 (February 8) Mrs. Mia Howe in London is televised by
Baird and is seen in Hartsdale, N. Y., as the first television
face to cross the Atlantic.
284 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1928 (March 7) Passengers on S. S. Berengaria 1,000 miles
distant see face of Dora Selvy televised in London.
1928 (July 12) Televising of outdoor scenes without use of arti
ficial light is accomplished at the Bell Telephone Labora
1928 (August 11) Hoover is officially notified of his nomination
for presidency while 107 stations are linked with the micro
phones at Palo Alto, Calif.
1928 (September 11) A one-act melodrama, The Queen's Mes
senger, is televised at Schenectady.
1929 (February 1) Band concert from Queens Hall, London,
broadcast as the first scheduled international rebroadcast.
1929 (February) While D. W. Griffith broadcasts at Schenectady
he is televised and seen in Los Angeles by radio.
1929 (June) Thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey for re
covery of King George is rebroadcast in United States.
1929 Screen-grid tube permitting greater sensitivity of receiving
set with fewer tubes is developed.
1929 (June 27) Television in color demonstrated by Bell Tele
phone Laboratories by wire from one end of a room to the
1929 (August 15) Brokerage offices established on several ocean
liners are supplied Wall Street service by wireless.
1929 (November 15) Radio handles efficiently and expeditiously
greatly increased volume of transatlantic communications
when earthquake snaps twelve cables on bed of North
1929 (November 18) Zworykin demonstrates his kinescope or
cathode ray television system at Rochester, N. Y.
1929 (November 29) Short wave radio from Little America,
Antarctica, announces that Byrd flew over the South Pole.
Balchen piloted the machine.
1929 (December 20) First international program from Germany,
broadcast from Koenigswusterhausen by short wave and re-
broadcast by stations in United States.
1929 (December 25) International exchange of programs between
United States, Germany, England and Holland.
1929 Dr. Karolus of Germany contributes an electro-chemical light
valve or "shutter" to television so more powerful illumination
can be used.
1930 (January 21) King George V welcomes delegates to the
London Naval Conference and is heard in his first world
1930 (February 18) Drawing of rectangular design is sent by
television to Australia and flashed back to Schenectady with
out losing its identity.
1930 (March 11) Arrival of Byrd Antarctic Expedition at Dune-
din, New Zealand, and two-way conversation between mem
bers of the expedition and friends in New York heard in a
rebroadcast throughout the United States.
1930 (April 6) John L. Baird televises "abbreviated vaudeville"
1930 (April 9) Two-way wire television in which speakers at
ends of 3-mile line see each other as they converse is demon
strated by Bell Telephone Laboratories.
1930 (April) U. A. Sanabria shows television images on a two-
foot screen in his Chicago laboratory.
1930 (April 30) Two-way radiophone conversation between
Marconi aboard his yacht near Italian coast and friends in
1930 The pentode and supercontrol tubes for broadcast reception
1930 (May 22) Television is seen on six-foot screen in Proctor's
theater in Schenectady.
1930 (June) S.S. America off Fastnet Island, approximately 3,000
miles from New York, picks up facsimile messages from
1930 (June) Plans announced for $250,000,000 Radio City to be
built on Manhattan Island.
1930 (June 10) John Hays Hammond, Jr., describes his patent
for a television eye for airplanes that enables pilots to "see"
through fog and darkness to make safe landings.
1930 (June 30) First round-the-world broadcast, Schenectady to
Holland, relay to Java, Australia and back to point of
origin in less than a second.
1930 (July 20) Play, The Man with a Flower in his Mouth, tele
vised in London while dramatic critics watch.
1930 (July 30) Religious program in Nidaros Cathedral, Nor
way, in celebration of 900th anniversary of introduction
of Christianity in Norway rebroadcast in United States.
1930 (September 14) Provisional President Uriburu of the
Argentine Republic addresses American people by radio
from Buenos Aires.
1930 (December 6) Direct radio communication established with
China by opening of circuit between San Francisco and
286 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
1930 (December 14) Farnsworth informs Federal Radio Commis
sion he has succeeded in narrowing wave band required for
television to 6,000 cycles width.
1930 (December 25) Japan is heard in first American rebroad-
cast from the Orient with Premier Hamaguchi as the
1931 (January 1) Voice of Benito Mussolini, Italian Premier, is
heard in the United States for the first time in an interna
tional broadcast over short wave station in Rome.
1931 (January 11) Caesium photoelectric cells that "see red"
introduced by Bell Telephone Laboratories to clarify the
1931 (February 12) Pope Pius XI addresses the world in an
international broadcast inaugurating Vatican City station
HVJ. First time Pope's voice is heard in America.
1931 (March 31) Micro-rays (18 cm.) carry voices across the
English Channel between Dover and Calais.
1931 (April 26) Television station W2XCR goes on the air in
1931 (April 29) Representatives of new Spanish Republic broad
cast greetings to the United States from Madrid.
1931 (May 15) Program originating in Bangkok, Siam, sent by
short wave to United States and rebroadcast for pleasure
of Siam's King visiting in New York.
1931 (May 25) Argentine Independence Day celebration is re-
broadcast in United States.
1931 (June 3) English Derby televised for the first time by John
L. Baird at Epsom Downs.
1931 (June) Empire State Building, world's highest skyscraper,
is selected as the site for a television station that will use
1931 (July 21) Experimental television station W2XAB opened
in New York.
1931 (August 21) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is rebroadcast
in America by WJZ.
1931 (September 13) Mahatma Gandhi, "India's man of destiny,"
explains the political and economic plight of his country
to America in a rebroadcast from London.
1931 (September 24) Sanabria demonstrates television on 10-
foot screen at Radio-Electrical World's Fair in New York.
1931 (October) Professor Jacob Papish and Eugene Wainer of
Cornell University discover element No. 87 in mineral
samarskite. It is said to be similar to caesium and may
greatly increase sensitivity of photoelectric cells.
1931 (October 22) Television on 10-foot screen is shown at the
Broadway Theatre, New York, with 1,700 attending the
opening performance. A wire link is used to the televisor in
the Theatre Guild Playhouse.
1931 (October 27) Marconi experimenting on the Ligurian coast
near Genoa with 50 centimeter waves.
1931 (November) Television images from Chicago are picked up
at unemployment relief bazaar at Ottumwa, Iowa, 250 miles
1931 (November) Alexanderson sends television across his labora
tory on a beam of light instead of a radio wave or wire.
1931 (December 12) Thirtieth anniversary of first transatlantic
wireless signal is celebrated by a world-wide broadcast
featuring tributes to Marconi from fifteen nations and in
1931 (December 25) Hansel und Gretel is broadcast from the
Metropolitan Opera House as the first radio presentation
by that organization. Combined networks of WEAF and
WJZ are linked with the microphones.
1932 (February) Delegates and radio observers at World Dis
armament conference at Geneva are heard in rebroadcasts
1932 (February 22) World-wide tributes to Washington on Bi
centennial of his birth are heard in America including ad
dress by President Paul Doumer of France at American
Club in Paris.
1932 (March) Radio broadcasting facilities mobilized to aid
search for kidnapped Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., and to flash
bulletins to the anxious public.
1932 (March) Jenkins describes new television principle. Images
said to be 3,600 times brighter than heretofore, appear on a
sensitized emulsion of "an animated lantern slide." Incom
ing signals quickly change the surface from opaque to clear,
equivalent to light and shade, thereby "painting" an ever-
changing pattern, corresponding to the scene at the trans
1932 (March 13) German Presidential election returns, Paul Von
Hindenburg versus Adolph Hitler are rebroadcast in United
1932 (April 7) Marconi announces successful tests with ultra-
short waves and reports that he expects soon to be able to
THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION
see his family in New York while he speaks with them by
TELEVISION STATIONS IN UNITED STATES
Silver Spring, Md.
Jenkins Television Corp.
New York, N. Y.
DeForest Radio Company
Passaic, N. J.
Western Television Corp.
Chicago Federation of Labor
National Broadcasting Co.
New York, N. Y.
RCA Victor Company
Camden, N. J.
General Electric Co.
S. Schenectady, N. Y.
Westinghouse E. & M. Co.
E. Pittsburgh, Pa.
Chicago Daily News
Radio Pictures, Inc.
Long Island City, N. Y,
Don Lee, Inc.
Garden City, Calif.
United Research Corp.
Long Island City, N. Y.
W. Lafayette, Ind.
Atlantic Broadcasting Corp.
New York, N. Y.
W1XAV 1000 Shortwave & Television Lab
W2XR 500 Radio Pictures, Inc.
W9XD 500 The Journal Company
W3XAD 2000 RCA Victor Company, Inc.
W2XBT 750 National Broadcasting Co.
WlXG 30 Shortwave & Television Co.
W2XR 1000 Radio Pictures
W2XF 5000 National Broadcasting Co.
W6XAO 1000 Don Lee, Inc.
Long Island City, N.Y
Camden, N. J.
Long Island City, N. Y.
New York, N. Y.
Los Angeles, Calif.
500 The Journal Company Milwaukee, Wis.
2000 RCA Victor Company, Inc. Camden, N. J.
750 National Broadcasting Co. Portable
30 Shortwave & Television Co. Portable
1000 Radio Pictures Long Island City, N. Y.
5000 National Broadcasting Co. New York, N. Y.
500 The Journal Company Milwaukee, Wis.
2000 RCA Victor Company, Inc. Camden, N. J.
750 National Broadcasting Co. Portable
30 Shortwave & Television Co. Portable
1000 Radio Pictures Long Island City, N. Y.
5000 National Broadcasting Co. New York, N. Y.
CANADIAN TELEVISION STATIONS
Owner City Kilocycles
Rogers Majestic Corp., Ltd. Toronto, Ont. 2004-2100
LaPresse Publishing Co. Montreal, Que. 2004-2100
Canadian Marconi Company Mount Royal, Que. 2100-2200
Radio Service Engineers Vancouver, B. C. 2750-2850
A. R. MacKenzie Saskatoon, Sask. 2850-2950
J. A. Ogilvy's Limited Montreal, Que. 2850-2950
Dr. J. L. P. Landry Mont Joli, Que. 2850-2950
Advertising, by television, 227-229
Aircraft, applications of television
to, 125, 244-245
Hammond's television "eye" for,
Alexanderson, Dr. E. F. W., de
scribes his television system, 58-
future of television as seen by,
62-64, 88-89, 122-126
image sent to Australia by, 106-
images sent to Germany by, 202
images transmitted on light beam
one-act play televised by, 87-90
television demonstrated on theater
screen by, 118-122
television research directed by, 12
Amstutz, N. S., picture transmis
sion by, 7
Ardenne, Manfred von, television
Argon tubes, use in television, 96-
Aylesworth, M. H., television possi
bilities discussed by, 140-141,
Bain, Alexander, picture transmis
sion experimenter, 5-6
Baird, Hollis, contribution to tele
electrical and mechanical scan
ning compared by, 104-105
ultra-short waves discussed by,
uses of television foreseen by, 196-
Baird, John L., career of, 82-84
contributions to television, 12
defines television, 73
describes his system, 55-57
English derby televised by, 202-
experiments with human eye in
Baird, John L. (Continued)
images sent to S.S. Berengaria
play televised by, 148-150
television technique discussed by,
transatlantic television test by, 79-
vaudeville demonstration by, 108
Bakewell, F. C., picture transmis
sion process of, 6
Barkhausen, Dr. Heinrich, develops
Barkhausen tube, 186-187
Barton, Bruce, discusses television's
relation to print, 242-243, 260
Bell Telephone Laboratories, Ives
describes television process of,
observations of television by, 19-
outdoor television camera demon
strated by, 85-87
television improvements by, 159-
television in color demonstrated
two-way television on wire demon
strated by, 111-118
Washington-New York television
test by, 65-73
Berengaria, S.S., picks up televi
sion images at sea, 84-85
Beverage, Harold H., experiments
with ultra-short waves, 184-186
Booths, developed for television
Braun tube, compared to cathode
ray tube, 104
Broadcasting, early developments
pioneer entertainers in, 210
television's relation to, 238-241
world-wide influence of, 208-209
Bureau of Standards, method to
eliminate television "ghosts,"
Byrd, Rear Admiral R. E., dis
cusses television's possibilities
in exploration, 260-261
Caesium, use in photoelectric cells,
7, 22, 159-163
Caldwell, O. H., discusses ultra-
short waves, 188-189
Camera, outdoor device for tele
See also Television camera
Carty, General J. J., participates in
television test, 68-69
Cathode ray tube, Farnsworth's ap
plication of, 150-153
first use in television, 55
types of, 101-102
Zworykin's use of, 97-104
Cell. See Photoelectric cell
Chamberlain, A. B., discusses art of
television make-up, 169-172
Color television, correlated with
Ives discusses, 95-96
new tubes improve, 159-163
Commercial possibilities in televi
Conto, Armando, develops film de
vice for television, 172-174
Crater tube. See Neon lamp
Crookes, Sir William, discovers
cathode rays, 100
Crosley, Powel, comments on tele
Cutten, Dr. George B., television in
education discussed by, 261-262
Dauvellier, Alexandre, experimenter
in television, 55
Definition, by Baird, 73
by Kennelly, 13-14
deForest, Dr. Lee, comments on
television, 110, 195, 222-223
future of television discussed by,
three-element tube invented by, 8
Drama, television demonstration of,
Edison, Thomas Alva, "Edison
effect" discovered by, 40-41
"Edison effect," discovery of, 40-41
Education, Cutten discusses tele
vision in, 261-262
television possibilities in, 245-248,
Einstein, Dr. Albert, theory of
radio transmission, 35-38
Ekstrom, early observations of
Electrical eye. See Photoelectric cell
Electrical scanning, advantages of,
Farnsworth's experiments in, 150-
Zworykin's application of, 97-104
Electromagnetic waves, theories of,
Electronics. See Electrons
Electrons, action in cathode ray
tube, 97-105, 151-153
function in television, 19-29, 31-41
Element No. 87, possibilities for use
in photoelectric cell, 22
Elster and Geitel, discover metals
possess photoelectric properties,
Empire State Building, as television
station site, 198-199
English Derby, televised for first
Ether, theories of, 34-41
Exploration, Byrd discusses televi
sion in, 260-261
possibilities of television in, 245,
Eye, applied to television circuit, 81-
relation to television, 19-30, 73-74
Faraday, Michael, observations of
electromagnetic waves, 36-37
Farnsworth, Philo T., contributions
to television, 12
experiments in electrical scanning,
Federal Radio Commission, report
on television status, 168-169
Films, as used in television, 172-174
Fleming, John Ambrose, invents
two-element valve, 9
Freeman, the Right Rev. James E.,
discusses television possibilities
in religion, 263
"Ghosts," in television, 48-49, 163-
method to exterminate, 164-165
Gifford, Walter S., comments on
television, 67, 112-113
Goldsmith, Dr. Alfred N., looks
ahead to 1940, 145-148
Gray, Dr. Frank, television camera
described by, 86-87
two-way television discussed by,
Griffith, D. W., participates in
transcontinental television test,
Hammond, John Hays, Jr., contri
bution to research, 12
invents television "eye" for air
Harbord, Major General James G.,
television application to war
discussed by, 263-264
Harper's Weekly, prediction of tele
vision in 1900, 221
Hart, R. M., receives transatlantic
television image, 79-81
Heaviside surface, influence on tele
ultra-short waves affected by, 182-
Hertz, Heinrich, experiments with
wireless waves, 8
Hoover, Herbert C., comments on
participates in television test, 65-
Howe, Mrs. Mia, televised across
Hull, Ross A., television survey by,
Images, converting radio signals
electrical scanning of, 97-105
first to cross Atlantic, 79-81
how formed in television, 18-30,
how influenced by transmission,
in color, 91-97
in double form or "ghosts," 48-49,
mechanical scanning of, 58-62, 70-
73, 104-105, 113-116
Images ( Continued)
picked up by S.S. Berengaria, 84-
projected on theater screen, 118-
sent to Australia and back, 106-
technique of tuning for, 148-150
transmitted on light beam, 212-
Infra-red rays, use in television, 75,
International relations, television's
influence on, 225-226, 229-230,
International Telephone & Tele
graph Company, ultra-short
waves demonstration across
English Channel, 177-180
Inventors in television, 10-13, 47-49,
Ives, Dr. Herbert E., Bell Tele
phone Laboratories' television
described by, 70-73
color television explained by, 95-
contributions to television, 12
two-way television discussed by,
Jenkins, C. Francis, analyzes tele
early work in radio-vision, 11-12
lantern-slide scanning of, 214-216
Jewett, Dr. Frank B., comments on
television status, 109-110
Karolus, Dr. August, contribution
to television, 12-13
light valve invented by, 120-121
Karplus, E., characteristics of
ultra-short waves observed by,
Kennelly, Arthur E., defines tele
Kinescope, Zworykin introduces, 97-
Knudsen, Hans, sends pictures by
Korn, Arthur, picture transmission
Lafount, Harold A., comments on
television progress, 194-195
Lantern-slide scanning, as intro
duced by Jenkins, 214-216
Light, as handled in two-way tele
images transmitted on beam of,
relation to television, 18-30, 58-
Lindbergh flight, as it might have
been televised, 254-259
Lindenblad, Dr. N. E., experiments
with ultra-short waves, 184-
Make-up, technique in television,
Manson, Ray H., comments on tele
Marconi, Guglielmo, comments on
wireless-vision, 14-15, 49-50
paves way for television, 15-17
Maxwell, James Clerk, editorial on
ether theory of, 36-37
theory of radio waves, 8
Mechanical scanning, advantages of,
See also Scanning; Scanning disk
Metals, possessing photoelectric
Microphone, how television camera
Micro-rays. See Ultra-short waves
Milhaly, Denoys von, experimenter
in television, 55
Mills, John, explains television proc
Motion pictures, television's rela
tion to, 230-234
Music, television's relation to, 234-
National Advisory Council on Ra
dio in Education, reports on
value of television in educa
Neon lamp, compared with argon
function in television, 24-27, 153-
improvements in, 161-163
News events, television application
New York Evening Post, comment
on televising English Derby,
New York Times, Maxwell's ether
theory (editorial), 36-37
television's future (editorial) 219-
television's progress (editorial)
Nipkow, Paul, invents television
scanning disk, 10-11
Noctovisor, development of, 83-84
Olpin, A. R., work in television re
Opera, television's influence on, 235-
Optical nerve, television extension
Paley, William S., outlines television
Parkin, Sir George R., comments on
Marconi transoceanic demon
Patterson, E. P., color music dis
cussed by, 204-206
Persistence of vision, in television,
Photoelectric, derivation of word, 4
metals possessing properties, 7
See also Photoelectric cell
Photoelectric cell, as television eye,
Bell Telephone Laboratories' use
caesium type of, 159-163
color television use of, 91-97
how it functions, 19-30
metals used in, 7, 22
Stoletow's work with, 7
television booth's arrangement of,
two-way television use of, 111-118
Photoradio, Ranger's system, 8-10,
transatlantic demonstration, 52
Picture transmission, Amstutz sends
a half-tone, 7
Bain's experiments, 5-6
BakewelPs process, 6
Jenkins' experiments in, 11-12
Korn's early attempt at, 7
pioneers in, 7
Picture transmission (Continued)
Ranger's system, 8-10, 60-52
selenium used in, 6-7
transatlantic demonstration of, 52
Picturegram. See Photoradio
Police, television possibilities, 244-
Politics, Roosevelt discusses televi
sion in, 264-265
television as an influence in, 125-
126, 236-238, 264-265
Potassium, use in photoelectric
Print, television's relation to, 241-
Programs, examples of W2XAB,
Quasi-optical waves. See Ultra-
Radio, Einstein's theory of, 35-38
Marconi's early experiments in,
Maxwell theory of waves, 8, 36-37
pictures sent by, 8-10, 50-52
relation to television, 31-41
Steinmetz theory of, 35, 38-40
Radio City, plans for, 134-144
Radio Corporation of America, ob
servations of ultra-short waves,
statement on status of television,
Radio waves, Einstein and Stein
metz theories of, 35-40
Hertz produces and detects, 8
Maxwell theory of, 8, 36-38
Ranger, Capt. Richard, photoradio
system of, 8-10, 50-52
Reis, Philip, observations of sele
Religion, television's influence on,
Retina, action of television upon,
Rockefeller Center. See Radio City
Roosevelt, Colonel Theodore, dis
cusses television's influence on
Rosing, Boris, experiments in tele
Rothafel, Samuel L. (Roxy), dis
cusses television's relation to
stage and screen, 265
Sanabria, Ulisses A., contribution to
demonstrates his system, 206-207
observation of television "ghosts,"
Sarnoff, David, Radio City possibil
ities discussed by, 138-139
television problems outlined by,
television's relation to motion pic
tures discussed by, 233-234
Scanning, Alexanderson's analysis
Baird's explanation of, 29-30, 55-
electrical method of, 97-105, 150-
in two-way television system, 113-
Ives explanation of, 70-73
lantern-slide method of, 214-216
mechanical method of, 58-62, 104-
outdoor scenes, 85-87
Scanning disk, Baird's descrfption
function of, 24-30
invention of, 10-11
Ives describes action of, 70-73
neon lamp's relation to, 153-156
use with outdoor camera, 86
Selenium, use in picture transmis
Smith, Willoughby, investigation of
Sports, television possibilities In,
Static, effect on television, 166-168
Steinmetz, Charles Proteus, theory
of radio waves, 35, 38-40
Stoletow, makes photoelectric cell,
Super-regenerator, use in ultra-
short wave reception, 188-189
Telecast. See Television.
Telephony, relation to television, 20-
television's influence on, 226
Telephony ( Continued)
two-way television demonstration,
Televise. See Television
Television, advertising by, 227-229
aircraft applications of, 125, 244-
Alexanderson describes his sys
Alexanderson predicts future of,
62-64, 88-89, 122-126
Aylesworth outlines possibilities
of, 140-141, 199-201, 240-241
Baird defines, 73
Baird describes his system, 55-57
Baird's method of approach to,
Bell Telephone Laboratories' color
method in, 91-97
Bell Telephone Laboratories' dem
onstration between Washington
and New York, 65-73
Bell Telephone Laboratories dem
onstrate outdoor camera, 85-87
Bell Telephone Laboratories' im
provements in, 159-163
Bell Telephone Laboratories' two-
way system of, 111-118
Berengaria intercepts images, 84-
cathode-ray tubes in, 97-105
color in, 91-97
color-music in, 204-206
commercial destiny of, 221-259
contemporary inventors in, 10-13
definition of, 4, 73
DeForest comments on, 110, 195,
derivation of the word, 3-4
educational possibilities of, 245-
electrical scanning in, 97-105
English Derby televised, 202-204
experiment with human eye in, 81-
explorers' use of, 245-248, 260-
"eye" for airplanes, 127-134
Farnsworth's experiments in, 150-
films used in, 172-174
first one-act play by, 87-90
first transatlantic test of, 79-81
first vaudeville act by, 66
Television ( Continued)
"ghosts" in, 48-49, 163-165
Gifford's comments on, 67
Goldsmith looks ahead to, 145-148
Hammond's "eye" for aircraft,
Hoover comments on, 69-70
Hoover participates in test, 65-
how a person is televised, 111-112
human eye's relation to, 19-30
images transmitted on light beam,
incentives for experimenters, 124
international relations influenced
by, 225-226, 229-230
Ives describes Bell Laboratories'
process of, 70-73
Jenkins' analysis of, 52-54
Jenkins' lantern-slide method of,
Jenkins' prediction of, 11-12
Kennelly's definition of, 13-14
lantern-slide scanning in, 214-216
limitations of, 197, 199-201
make-up in, 150-153, 168-173
Marconi's comments on, 14-17
mechanical scanning process in,
Mills' explanation of, 19-29
motion-picture's relation to, 230-
music's relation to, 234-236
names suggested for audience,
neon lamp in, 24-30, 153-156
news events handled by, 251-259
obstacles foreseen, 222-224
opera possibilities in, 236
outdoor camera demonstration,
Paley discusses possibilities of,
police application of, 244-245
political possibilities in, 125-126,
possibilities in exploration, 245,
print's relation to, 241-244, 260
process simply described, 166-168
progress observed by R C A, 165-
Radio City's plans for, 134-144
religion as influenced by, 263
Television ( Continued)
roster of stations, 288-289
Sarnoff discusses problems in,
scanning-disk invented for, 10-11
Schenectady-Australia test of,
scientific status of, 108-111, 192-
sound broadcasting relation to,
sporting events sent by, 227, 232-
technique of tuning, 148-150
telephony's relation to, 20-22, 226
theater's relation to, 138-144, 230-
theater-screen demonstration of,
The New York Times' editorial
on progress of, 45-46, 219-220
time sent by, 226-227
transatlantic test of, 79-81
ultra-short waves in, 177-191
vacuum tube's function in, 8, 31-
vaudeville by, 108
war uses of, 133-134, 244, 263-264
Washington-New York test of, 65-
what Hammond foresees in, 127-
world-wide performance of, 251-
W2XAB's programs, 210-212
W2XCR's premiere, 166-168
Zworykin's system of, 97-104
Television camera, art of focusing,
Dr. Frank Gray discusses, 86-87
supplements microphone, 85-87
See also Camera
Television "eye," Hammond's de
velopment of, 127-134
See also Photoelectric cell
Television projector, developed for
theater use, 118-122
Theater, Rothafel discusses tele
vision's relation to, 265
Sarnoff discusses television's rela
tion to, 230-234
television demonstrated in, 118-
Theater ( Continued)
television's relation to, 138-144,
Thomson, Elihu, predicts televising
sun's eclipse, 201
Time, sent by television, 226-227
Transatlantic, photoradio demon
television test, 79-81
Ultra-short waves, applications of,
Baird's observations of, 190
characteristics of, 187-191
images sent on light beam, 212-
possibilities outlined by Caldwell,
test across English Channel, 177-
tests in New York, 183-186
use in Hawaii, 180-181, 190-191
use in television, 176-191
Warner discusses possibilities,
Vacuum tube, DeForest's invention,
Edison's contribution to, 40-41
Fleming's invention, 8
function in television, 8, 31-41
Van Hoogstraten, Willem, discusses
television's relation to music,
Wade, Clem F., report on television
War, Harbord foresees television
use of television in, 133-134, 244,
Warner, Kenneth B., ultra-short
wave possibilities discussed by,
W2XAB, experiments in television
programs televised by, 210-212,
W2XCR, premiere performance of,
Zworykin, Vladimir, contribution
to television, 12
Kinescope introduced by, 97-100
progress by, 201