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Full text of "The outlook for television"

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THE OUTLOOK FOR 
TELEVISION 



THE OUTLOOK FOR 

TELEVISION 



BY 

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 

Engineers 



INTRODUCTION BY 

JOHN HAYS HAMMOND, JR. 

President, Radio Engineering Company of New York, Inc. 

FOREWORD BY 

WILLIAM S. PALEY 
President, Columbia Broadcasting System 




HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 

NEW YORK AND LONDON 

1932 



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. 

FIRST EDITION 

E-G 



To 
HELEN and ARTHUR 



CONTENTS 

PREFACE ix 

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 

Epilogue 

The possible effect of television on various fields of 

human activity is discussed by 

BRUCE BARTON, advertising and publications 260 

vii 



viii CONTENTS 

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 

Appendix 

CALENDAR OF WIRELESS-RADIO-TELEVISION 266 
TELEVISION STATIONS IN UNITED STATES AND CANADA 288 

INDEX 291 



PREFACE 

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 earth. 

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 



x PREFACE 

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. 



INTRODUCTION 

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 
self. 

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 

xi 



xii INTRODUCTION 

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. 



FOREWORD 

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 
another. 

The possibilities are so varied and the implications so 
many-sided that it is impossible to forecast even a small por- 



xiv FOREWORD 

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 
greater freedom. 

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. 



PART I 
TELEVISION THE GREAT KALEIDOSCOPE 



CHAPTER ONE 
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 
education. 

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 

s 



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 
as electricity. 



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 
broadcasting. 

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 
of success. 

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 
many wires. 

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 
1907. 

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 
practical significance. 

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 
radio. 

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 
television systems. 



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 
television ?" 

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 
station." 

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 
reality. 

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 
vision." 

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 
so far. 

"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. 



CHAPTER Two 
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 

18 



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 
may have. 

"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 
No. 88. 

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 
matter. 

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 
television's eye. 

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 
the brain. 

"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 
vision." 

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 
eye. 

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. 



CHAPTER THREE 
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 

31 



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 

atmospheric electricity. 

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 
scientific imagination. 

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 

space. 

"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 
upon it. 

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 
tromagnetic wave." 

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 

bulb. 

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. 



PART II 
THE MARCH OF TELEVISION BEGINS 



TELEVISION 

(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 

45 



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. 



CHAPTER FOUR 
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 
at privacy. 

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 

47 



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 
waves. 

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 
send them." 

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 





VLADIMIR 
ZWORYKIN 
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 
electrically scanned. 




C. FRANCIS JENKINS 
Washington inventor 
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 
trical scanning. 



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 
everywhere. 

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 
is illuminated. 

"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 
second. 

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 
the screen. 

"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." 



CHAPTER FIVE 
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 
laboratories. 

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 
pace. 



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. 

65 



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 
talks. 

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 
movies. 

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 
and happiness." 

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 
remarks. 

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 
recognized. 

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 
community." 

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 
current. 

"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 
the portrait. 

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 
or squeal. 

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 
changed." 

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. 



PART III 
A NEW DECADE IN RADIO VISION 



OPPORTUNITIES 

. . . 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. 



78 



CHAPTER Six 
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 
wireless. 

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 
Atlantic! 

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. 

It is 



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 

79 



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, 
please." 

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 
a loudspeaker. 

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 
nature. 

"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 
by surgeons." 

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 
rays. 

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 
the room. 

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 
Berengaria. 

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 
far away?" 

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 
cloudy day. 

"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 
studio work." 

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 
other "props." 

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 
experimental stage. 

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 
and broadcast. 

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. 



CHAPTER SEVEN 
TELEVISION IN NATURAL HUES 

The divine power of the human eye enables man to dis 
tinguish colors. 

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 
screen productions. 

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 
human eye. 

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- 

01 



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 
screen. 

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 
television signal. 

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 
transmitting end. 

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 
transmitter. 

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 
enters. 

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 
cent screen. 

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 
beam. 

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 
tube. 

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 
deForest triode. 

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 
devices. 

"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. 



CHAPTEK EIGHT 
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 ! 

106 



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 
television mirror. 

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 
Mohawk Valley. 

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 
tures. 

"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 
observer. 

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 
extremely clear. 

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 
lamp. 

"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 
image. 

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. 



fit 




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 
thusiastic greeting. 

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 
tertainment. 

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 
electric strain. 

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 



vision's voice. 



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 
the image. 

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 
vised. 

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 
broadcasting. 

"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 
wave propagation. 

"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 
sional. 

"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 
the scene. 

"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 
progress." 



CHAPTER NINE 
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 

127 



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 
airport. 

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 

space. 

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 
work. 

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 
transmission. 

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 
aristocratic foyers." 

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 
chain. 

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 
500,000 watts. 

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 
recreation. 

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 
wide audience. 

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 
audience. 

"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 
dramatic action. 

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 
retarded. 

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 
modern phonograph. 

"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." 



CHAPTER TEN 
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 
disk survive? 



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 
tainment." 

Why? Because the radio pioneers blazed a splendid trail 
in broadcasting. In a brief span of years they have estab- 

145 



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 
once. 

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 
paratus required. 

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 
the lens. 

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 
neon bulb. 

"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. 



PART IV 
THE CALENDAR TURNS AGAIN 



CHAPTER ELEVEN 
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 
Eternal City. 

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. 

159 



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 
"definition." 

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 
scanning system. 

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 
distinctly improved. 

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 
disk. 

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 
reads : 

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 
radio art. 

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 
area. 

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 
prepared. 

"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 
itself." 

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 
photo-cells. 

"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 
broadcasts. 

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 
"televisioner." 

"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. 



CHAPTER TWELVE 
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 
theless mysterious. 

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 
important asset. 

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 
electric iron. 

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 
impractical. 

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 
radio beams. 

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 
casting stations. 

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 
distances. 

"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 
without interference. 

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 
ranges." 

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 
erratic. 

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 
effects. 

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 
follows : 



184 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION 

(1) Point-to-point communication up to 300 miles be 
tween mountains. 

(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 
channels. 

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 
voltages. 

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 
broadcast reception. 

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 
frequencies. 

"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 
these waves." 

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." 



CHAPTER THIRTEEN 
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. 

192 



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 
job." 

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 
people realize. 

"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 
sible situation." 



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, 
satisfactory manner. 

"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 
sion-phone booth. 



FOUR POWERFUL EYES 
Station W2XBS atop the New 
Amsterdam Theater, installed to ex 
periment with television in the New 
York area. 




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 
protect. 

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 
kilocycles. 

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 
receiver. 

"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 
impossible. 

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 

gypsy. 

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 
complete picture. 

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 

channel. 

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 
vidually. 

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. 

Yellow-green cheerful. 

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 
same idea! 

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 
war. 

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 
in tune. 

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 
ground curtain. 



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 
played. 

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 
numerous possibilities. 

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 
television receiver. 

"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 
lenses. 

"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 
utilized. 

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 
transmitter. 

"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. 



PABT V 
A GLIMPSE AHEAD 



TELEVISION'S FUTURE 

Editorial 
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- 

219 



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 ? 



CHAPTER FOURTEEN 
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 
terrestrial space. 

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. 

221 



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 
of television. 

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 
technical engineer. 

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 
asked. 

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 
casting. 

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 
pioneer broadcaster. 

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 
and showmanship. 

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 
own story. 

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 
gram: 

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 
Tokyo: 

"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 
events. 

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 
plant. 

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 
hand. 

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 
background." 

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 
broadcast. 

"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 
sissippi. 

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 
cisco. 

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 
tance. 

"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 
histrionic wares. 

"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 
tions. 

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 
the sea. 

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 
station house. 

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 
experimental condition. 

"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 
small. 

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 
Hudson. 

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 ! 



CHAPTER FIFTEEN 
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 

251 



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 
Point. 

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 
kaleidoscope. 



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 
newsreel. 

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 
flying field. 

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 
two continents. 

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 
runway. 

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 
of time. 

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. 



EPILOGUE 

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 
priations. 

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 

260 



EPILOGUE 261 

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 
conquests. 

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 
aural radio. 

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 
radio music. 

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- 



EPILOGUE 268 

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 
are met. 

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 
replace. 

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 
discounted. 

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 



EPILOGUE 265 

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 
its range? 

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. 



APPENDIX 
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 
light objects. 

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 
electric machine. 

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 
static condenser. 

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- 



APPENDIX 267 

sponsible for relationship between electricity and mag 
netism. 

1825 Georg Simon Ohm propounds the law named for him 
Ohm's Law. 

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 
cylinder. 

1857 Geissler produces a vacuum tube. 

1858 (Aug. 16) First transatlantic cable is opened with ex 
change of greetings between President Buchanan and Queen 
Victoria. 

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 
denser. 

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 
(Irish). 

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 
minimizing interference. 

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.) 



APPENDIX 269 

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 
induction. 

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 
machine. 

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 
Huntress. 

1899 Elster and Geitel discover that various elements possess 
photoelectric properties. 

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 
for assistance. 

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 
miles. 

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 
distance telephony. 

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 

at Lapanne. 

1901 (January 1) The bark Medora is reported by wireless to 

be waterlogged on Ratel Bank and assistance is sent. 



APPENDIX 271 

1901 (February 11) Wireless communication across 196 miles is 
established between Niton station, Isle of Wight, and the 
Lizard station. 

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 
wireless telegraphy. 

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 
den. 

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 
netic waves. 

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 
being 24850. 

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 
finder research. 

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 
trolytic detectors. 

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. 



APPENDIX 273 

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 
the radiophone. 

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 
sengers. 

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 
port, Conn. 

1910 A. Ekstrom of Sweden discovers that he can "scan" an 
object directly by use of a strong beam of light behind a 
scanning disk. 

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 
opened. 

1910 (June 24) United States government approves act requiring 

radio equipment and operators on certain passenger carry 
ing vessels. 

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 

lengths. 



274 THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION 

1912 United Wireless Company is absorbed by the American Mar 
coni Co. 

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, 
Va. 

1912 Edwin H. Armstrong develops a regenerative vacuum tube 
circuit while experimenting at Hartley Laboratory, Columbia 
University. 

1912 Marconi patents "the timed spark system" by which ex 
ceedingly long waves can be employed (14,000 meters and 
longer). 

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 
senger ships. 

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. 



APPENDIX 275 

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- 

erton-Elvise. 
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 
and operators. 

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 
dyne circuit. 

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 
radio beams. 

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 
of duty. 

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 

Lafayette station. 
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. 



APPENDIX 277 

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 
cial organizations. 

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 
later. 

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 
tube transmitters. 

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- 
Grande, Argentina. 

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 
election returns. 

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. 



APPENDIX 279 

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 

super-regenerative circuits. 
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 

and Germany. 
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- 

Symphony Orchestra. 

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 

rebroadcast program. 



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 
ception. 

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 
waves." 

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. 



APPENDIX 281 

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 

from London. 
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 
wide networks. 
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- 
broadcast. 

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 
ference. 

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 
photoradio system. 

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 
propagation. 

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- 
nelly theory. 

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 

Radio Bill. 
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. 



APPENDIX 283 

1927 (January 1) Initial coast-to-coast hook-up using a 4,000- 
mile network to broadcast football game in Bowl of Roses, 
California. 

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 
London Times. 

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 
at Glasgow. 

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 
tories. 

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 
miles away. 

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 
tories. 

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 
other. 

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 
Atlantic. 

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 
wide broadcast. 



APPENDIX 285 

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" 
in London. 

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 
New York. 

1930 The pentode and supercontrol tubes for broadcast reception 
are introduced. 

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 
United States. 

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 
Shanghai. 



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 
speaker. 

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 
images. 

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 
New York. 

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 
quasi-optical waves. 

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 



APPENDIX 287 

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 
away. 

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 
sular possessions. 

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 
from Switzerland. 

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 
mitter. 

1932 (March 13) German Presidential election returns, Paul Von 
Hindenburg versus Adolph Hitler are rebroadcast in United 
States. 

1932 (April 7) Marconi announces successful tests with ultra- 
short waves and reports that he expects soon to be able to 



288 



THE OUTLOOK FOR TELEVISION 



see his family in New York while he speaks with them by 
radiophone. 

TELEVISION STATIONS IN UNITED STATES 



Call 
Letters 


Power 
(Watts) 


Company 


Location 






2000-2100 kc. 




W3XK 


5000 


Jenkins Laboratories 


Silver Spring, Md. 


W2XCR 


5000 


Jenkins Television Corp. 


New York, N. Y. 


W2XAP 


250 





Portable 


W2XCD 


5000 


DeForest Radio Company 


Passaic, N. J. 


W9XAO 


500 


Western Television Corp. 


Chicago, 111. 


W9XAA 


1000 


Chicago Federation of Labor 


Chicago, 111. 






2100-2200 kc. 




W3XAK 


5000 


National Broadcasting Co. 


Portable 


W2XBS 


5000 


tt <( 


New York, N. Y. 


W3XAD 


500 


RCA Victor Company 


Camden, N. J. 


W2XCW 


20,000 


General Electric Co. 


S. Schenectady, N. Y. 


W8XAV 


20,000 


Westinghouse E. & M. Co. 


E. Pittsburgh, Pa. 


W9XAP 


2500 


Chicago Daily News 


Chicago, 111. 


W2XR 


500 


Radio Pictures, Inc. 


Long Island City, N. Y, 


W6XS 


500 


Don Lee, Inc. 


Garden City, Calif. 






2750-2850 kc. 




W2XBO 


500 


United Research Corp. 


Long Island City, N. Y. 


W9XG 


1500 


Purdue University 


W. Lafayette, Ind. 


W2XAB 


500 


Atlantic Broadcasting Corp. 


New York, N. Y. 



2850-2950 kc. 

W1XAV 1000 Shortwave & Television Lab 
oratories, Inc. 
W2XR 500 Radio Pictures, Inc. 

43,000-46,000 kc. 

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. 



Boston, Mass. 

Long Island City, N.Y 



Milwaukee, Wis. 

Camden, N. J. 

Portable 

Portable 

Long Island City, N. Y. 

New York, N. Y. 

Los Angeles, Calif. 



APPENDIX 

48,500-50,300 kc. 



289 



W9XD 


500 The Journal Company Milwaukee, Wis. 


W3XAD 


2000 RCA Victor Company, Inc. Camden, N. J. 


W2XBT 


750 National Broadcasting Co. Portable 


WlXG 


30 Shortwave & Television Co. Portable 


W2XR 


1000 Radio Pictures Long Island City, N. Y. 


W2XF 


5000 National Broadcasting Co. New York, N. Y. 




60,000-80,000 kc. 


W9XD 


500 The Journal Company Milwaukee, Wis. 


W3XAD 


2000 RCA Victor Company, Inc. Camden, N. J. 


W2XBT 


750 National Broadcasting Co. Portable 


WlXG 


30 Shortwave & Television Co. Portable 


W2XR 


1000 Radio Pictures Long Island City, N. Y. 


W2XF 


5000 National Broadcasting Co. New York, N. Y. 




CANADIAN TELEVISION STATIONS 


Call 


Owner City Kilocycles 


VE9RM 


Rogers Majestic Corp., Ltd. Toronto, Ont. 2004-2100 


VE9EC 


LaPresse Publishing Co. Montreal, Que. 2004-2100 


VE9DS 


Canadian Marconi Company Mount Royal, Que. 2100-2200 


VE9BZ 


Radio Service Engineers Vancouver, B. C. 2750-2850 


VE9AR 


A. R. MacKenzie Saskatoon, Sask. 2850-2950 


VE9AF 


J. A. Ogilvy's Limited Montreal, Que. 2850-2950 


VE9ED 


Dr. J. L. P. Landry Mont Joli, Que. 2850-2950 



INDEX 



Advertising, by television, 227-229 
Aircraft, applications of television 

to, 125, 244-245 
Hammond's television "eye" for, 

127-134 

Alexanderson, Dr. E. F. W., de 
scribes his television system, 58- 
62 
future of television as seen by, 

62-64, 88-89, 122-126 
image sent to Australia by, 106- 

108 

images sent to Germany by, 202 
images transmitted on light beam 

by, 212-214 

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 

experimenter, 65 
Argon tubes, use in television, 96- 

97 

Aylesworth, M. H., television possi 
bilities discussed by, 140-141, 
199-201, 240-241 

Bain, Alexander, picture transmis 
sion experimenter, 5-6 
Baird, Hollis, contribution to tele 
vision, 13 

electrical and mechanical scan 
ning compared by, 104-105 

ultra-short waves discussed by, 
190 

uses of television foreseen by, 196- 

197 
Baird, John L., career of, 82-84 

contributions to television, 12 

defines television, 73 

describes his system, 55-57 

English derby televised by, 202- 
204 

experiments with human eye in 
television, 81-82 



Baird, John L. (Continued) 
images sent to S.S. Berengaria 

by, 84-85 

play televised by, 148-150 
television technique discussed by, 

73-75 
transatlantic television test by, 79- 

81 

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, 
70-73 
observations of television by, 19- 

29 

outdoor television camera demon 
strated by, 85-87 
television improvements by, 159- 

163 
television in color demonstrated 

by, 91-97 

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 

speakers, 111 
Braun tube, compared to cathode 

ray tube, 104 
Broadcasting, early developments 

in, 135-138 

pioneer entertainers in, 210 
television's relation to, 238-241 
world-wide influence of, 208-209 
Bureau of Standards, method to 
eliminate television "ghosts," 
164-165 
291 



292 



INDEX 



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 
vision, 85-87 
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 

music, 204-206 
Ives discusses, 95-96 
new tubes improve, 159-163 

Commercial possibilities in televi 
sion, 221-259 

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 
vision, 195 

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 
television, 4 
deForest, Dr. Lee, comments on 

television, 110, 195, 222-223 
future of television discussed by, 

262-263 

three-element tube invented by, 8 
Drama, television demonstration of, 
87-90 

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, 

251-259 
Einstein, Dr. Albert, theory of 

radio transmission, 35-38 
Ekstrom, early observations of 

scanning, 10 

Electrical eye. See Photoelectric cell 
Electrical scanning, advantages of, 

97-105 
Farnsworth's experiments in, 150- 

153 

Zworykin's application of, 97-104 
Electromagnetic waves, theories of, 

34-41 

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, 

7 
Empire State Building, as television 

station site, 198-199 
English Derby, televised for first 

time, 202-204 
Ether, theories of, 34-41 
Exploration, Byrd discusses televi 
sion in, 260-261 
possibilities of television in, 245, 

260-261 
Eye, applied to television circuit, 81- 

82 
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, 

150-153 
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 



INDEX 



293 



"Ghosts," in television, 48-49, 163- 

165 

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, 

114 
Griffith, D. W., participates in 

transcontinental television test, 

109 

Hammond, John Hays, Jr., contri 
bution to research, 12 
invents television "eye" for air 
craft, 127-134 

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 
vision, 163-165 

ultra-short waves affected by, 182- 
183 

Hertz, Heinrich, experiments with 
wireless waves, 8 

Hoover, Herbert C., comments on 

television, 69-70 

participates in television test, 65- 
70 

Howe, Mrs. Mia, televised across 
Atlantic, 79-81 

Hull, Ross A., television survey by, 
197 

Images, converting radio signals 

into, 113-116 

electrical scanning of, 97-105 
first to cross Atlantic, 79-81 
how formed in television, 18-30, 

74-75 
how influenced by transmission, 

47-49 

in color, 91-97 
in double form or "ghosts," 48-49, 

163-165 
mechanical scanning of, 58-62, 70- 

73, 104-105, 113-116 



Images ( Continued) 
picked up by S.S. Berengaria, 84- 

85 
projected on theater screen, 118- 

126 
sent to Australia and back, 106- 

108 

technique of tuning for, 148-150 
transmitted on light beam, 212- 

214 
Infra-red rays, use in television, 75, 

83-84 

International relations, television's 
influence on, 225-226, 229-230, 
251-253 

International Telephone & Tele 
graph Company, ultra-short 
waves demonstration across 
English Channel, 177-180 
Inventors in television, 10-13, 47-49, 

55 

Ives, Dr. Herbert E., Bell Tele 
phone Laboratories' television 
described by, 70-73 
color television explained by, 95- 

97 

contributions to television, 12 
two-way television discussed by, 
116-118 

Jenkins, C. Francis, analyzes tele 
vision, 52-54 

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, 

187-189 

Kennelly, Arthur E., defines tele 
vision, 13-14 
Kinescope, Zworykin introduces, 97- 

100 
Knudsen, Hans, sends pictures by 

wireless, 10 
Korn, Arthur, picture transmission 

by, 7 

Lafount, Harold A., comments on 
television progress, 194-195 



294 



INDEX 



Lantern-slide scanning, as intro 
duced by Jenkins, 214-216 

Light, as handled in two-way tele 
vision, 111-116 
images transmitted on beam of, 

212-214 

relation to television, 18-30, 58- 
62 

Lindbergh flight, as it might have 
been televised, 254-259 

Lindenblad, Dr. N. E., experiments 
with ultra-short waves, 184- 
186 

Make-up, technique in television, 
149-150, 169-172 

Manson, Ray H., comments on tele 
vision, 196 

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, 

104-105 
See also Scanning; Scanning disk 

Metals, possessing photoelectric 
properties, 7 

Microphone, how television camera 
supplements, 85-87 

Micro-rays. See Ultra-short waves 

Milhaly, Denoys von, experimenter 
in television, 55 

Mills, John, explains television proc 
ess, 19-29 

Motion pictures, television's rela 
tion to, 230-234 

Music, television's relation to, 234- 
236 

National Advisory Council on Ra 
dio in Education, reports on 
value of television in educa 
tion, 246-247 

Neon lamp, compared with argon 

lamp, 96-97 
function in television, 24-27, 153- 

156 
improvements in, 161-163 

News events, television application 
to, 251-259 



New York Evening Post, comment 

on televising English Derby, 

202-203 
New York Times, Maxwell's ether 

theory (editorial), 36-37 
television's future (editorial) 219- 

220 
television's progress (editorial) 

45-46 
Nipkow, Paul, invents television 

scanning disk, 10-11 
Noctovisor, development of, 83-84 

Olpin, A. R., work in television re 
search, 159-163 

Opera, television's influence on, 235- 
236 

Optical nerve, television extension 
of, 18-30 

Paley, William S., outlines television 

status, 194 

Parkin, Sir George R., comments on 
Marconi transoceanic demon 
stration, 15-17 

Patterson, E. P., color music dis 
cussed by, 204-206 
Persistence of vision, in television, 

27-30 

Photoelectric, derivation of word, 4 
metals possessing properties, 7 
See also Photoelectric cell 
Photoelectric cell, as television eye, 

4-5 
Bell Telephone Laboratories' use 

of, 70-73 

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, 

114-116 

two-way television use of, 111-118 
Photoradio, Ranger's system, 8-10, 

50-52 

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 



INDEX 



295 



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- 

245 

Politics, Roosevelt discusses televi 
sion in, 264-265 
television as an influence in, 125- 

126, 236-238, 264-265 
Potassium, use in photoelectric 

cell, 7 
Print, television's relation to, 241- 

244 

Programs, examples of W2XAB, 
210-212, 227-228 

Quasi-optical waves. See Ultra- 
short waves. 

Radio, Einstein's theory of, 35-38 
Marconi's early experiments in, 

14-17 

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, 
182-186 
statement on status of television, 

165-166 

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 
nium, 6 
Religion, television's influence on, 

263 
Retina, action of television upon, 

27-30, 73-74 

Rockefeller Center. See Radio City 
Roosevelt, Colonel Theodore, dis 
cusses television's influence on 
politics, 264-265 

Rosing, Boris, experiments in tele 
vision, 55 



Rothafel, Samuel L. (Roxy), dis 
cusses television's relation to 
stage and screen, 265 

Sanabria, Ulisses A., contribution to 

television, 13 

demonstrates his system, 206-207 
observation of television "ghosts," 

164-165 

Sarnoff, David, Radio City possibil 
ities discussed by, 138-139 
television problems outlined by, 

193-194 

television's relation to motion pic 
tures discussed by, 233-234 
Scanning, Alexanderson's analysis 

of, 58-62 
Baird's explanation of, 29-30, 55- 

67 
electrical method of, 97-105, 150- 

153 
in two-way television system, 113- 

116 

Ives explanation of, 70-73 
lantern-slide method of, 214-216 
mechanical method of, 58-62, 104- 

105 

outdoor scenes, 85-87 
Scanning disk, Baird's descrfption 

of, 55-57 

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 
sion, 6-7 
Smith, Willoughby, investigation of 

selenium, 6 
Sports, television possibilities In, 

227, 232-234 

Static, effect on television, 166-168 
Steinmetz, Charles Proteus, theory 

of radio waves, 35, 38-40 
Stoletow, makes photoelectric cell, 

7 

Super-regenerator, use in ultra- 
short wave reception, 188-189 

Telecast. See Television. 
Telephony, relation to television, 20- 

22 
television's influence on, 226 



296 



INDEX 



Telephony ( Continued) 

two-way television demonstration, 

111-118 

Televise. See Television 
Television, advertising by, 227-229 

aircraft applications of, 125, 244- 
245 

Alexanderson describes his sys 
tem, 68-62 

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, 
73-75, 82-84 

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- 
85 

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, 
222-223, 262-263 

derivation of the word, 3-4 

educational possibilities of, 245- 
248, 261-262 

electrical scanning in, 97-105 

English Derby televised, 202-204 

experiment with human eye in, 81- 
82 

explorers' use of, 245-248, 260- 
261 

"eye" for airplanes, 127-134 

Farnsworth's experiments in, 150- 
153 

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, 

127-134 

Hoover comments on, 69-70 
Hoover participates in test, 65- 

70 

how a person is televised, 111-112 
human eye's relation to, 19-30 
images transmitted on light beam, 

212-214 

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, 

214-216 

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, 

29-30 

Mills' explanation of, 19-29 
motion-picture's relation to, 230- 

234, 265 

music's relation to, 234-236 
names suggested for audience, 

174-175 

neon lamp in, 24-30, 153-156 
news events handled by, 251-259 
obstacles foreseen, 222-224 
opera possibilities in, 236 
outdoor camera demonstration, 

85-87 
Paley discusses possibilities of, 

194 

police application of, 244-245 
political possibilities in, 125-126, 

236-238, 264-265 
possibilities in exploration, 245, 

260-261 

print's relation to, 241-244, 260 
process simply described, 166-168 
progress observed by R C A, 165- 

166 

Radio City's plans for, 134-144 
religion as influenced by, 263 



INDEX 



297 



Television ( Continued) 
roster of stations, 288-289 
Sarnoff discusses problems in, 

193-194 

scanning-disk invented for, 10-11 
Schenectady-Australia test of, 

106-108 
scientific status of, 108-111, 192- 

198 
sound broadcasting relation to, 

238-241 
sporting events sent by, 227, 232- 

234 

technique of tuning, 148-150 
telephony's relation to, 20-22, 226 
theater's relation to, 138-144, 230- 

234, 265 
theater-screen demonstration of, 

118-122 
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- 

34 

vaudeville by, 108 
war uses of, 133-134, 244, 263-264 
Washington-New York test of, 65- 

73 
what Hammond foresees in, 127- 

134 
world-wide performance of, 251- 

259 

W2XAB's programs, 210-212 
W2XCR's premiere, 166-168 
Zworykin's system of, 97-104 
Television camera, art of focusing, 

169-172 

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- 
122 



Theater ( Continued) 

television's relation to, 138-144, 

230-234 
Thomson, Elihu, predicts televising 

sun's eclipse, 201 
Time, sent by television, 226-227 
Transatlantic, photoradio demon 
stration, 52 
television test, 79-81 

Ultra-short waves, applications of, 

183-184 

Baird's observations of, 190 
characteristics of, 187-191 
images sent on light beam, 212- 

214 
possibilities outlined by Caldwell, 

189-190 
test across English Channel, 177- 

180 

tests in New York, 183-186 
use in Hawaii, 180-181, 190-191 
use in television, 176-191 
Warner discusses possibilities, 

181-182 

Vacuum tube, DeForest's invention, 

8 

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, 
234-235 

Wade, Clem F., report on television 

progress, 194 
War, Harbord foresees television 

in, 263-264 
use of television in, 133-134, 244, 

263-264 
Warner, Kenneth B., ultra-short 

wave possibilities discussed by, 

181-182 
W2XAB, experiments in television 

make-up, 168-173 
programs televised by, 210-212, 

227-228 
W2XCR, premiere performance of, 

166-168 

Zworykin, Vladimir, contribution 

to television, 12 

Kinescope introduced by, 97-100 
progress by, 201