television invention

Television Invention – History Past to Present with Timeline

(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

The television is likely an outstanding invention of the 20th Century. However, the invention of televios has not come in a day. In this article, I am going to talk about television invention.

Television invention

It has to turn into some of the frequent methods people view the bigger world past them, in addition to being among the finest methods for people to flee from the world with television invention.

In the 1880s a German inventor created simplistic shifting photos utilizing a filtered light considered by means of a spinning disk, laying the foundations for the modern tv through a continuous process of television invention.

During the 1920s numerous scientists started experimenting with sending nonetheless photos utilizing radio waves. However, it was in 1928 that General Electric first mixed the concept of a tool that would present shifting photos with the technology to wirelessly broadcast them as a part of television invention.

During the 30s and 40s, the technology was steadily improved upon. In America, the first regular broadcasts started in 1939 although it was not till after the Second World War that the tv as standard dwelling equipment started to actually take off. After 1945 tv gross sales in America skyrocketed. The first color broadcast was made in 1954.

Throughout the remainder of the world, tv got here years later, and it wasn’t till the late 1960s {that a} tv was commonplace in homes all through the West. By the 1970s, tv had turned into the dominant media pressure it’s immediately, with 24-hour programming, mass promoting, and syndicated exhibits and television invention.

In the 1980s satellite TV shrunk the world, making dwell feeds from different nations and time zones possible. The new millennium introduced the appearance of digital tv, which is the way forward on the basis of television invention and its development.

Lets find below the timeline of television invention

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Television invention timeline

Timeline Event
1831 Joseph Henry’s and Michael Faraday’s work with electromagnetism jumpstarts the era of electronic communication.
1862 Abbe Giovanna Caselli invents his Pantelegraph and becomes the first person to transmit a still image over wires.
1873 Scientist Willoughby Smith experiments with selenium and light, revealing the possibility for inventors to transform images into electronic signals.

Boston civil servant George Carey was thinking about complete television systems and in 1877 he put forward drawings for what he called a selenium camera that would allow people to see by electricity.

Eugen Goldstein coins the term “cathode rays” to describe the light emitted when an electric current was forced through a vacuum tube.

The Late 1870s Scientists and engineers like Valeria Correa Vaz de Paiva, Louis Figuier, and Constantin Senlecq were suggesting alternative designs for telectroscopes.

Inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison theorize about telephone devices that transmit image as well as sound.

Bell’s photophone used light to transmit sound and he wanted to advance his device for image sending.

George Carey builds a rudimentary system with light-sensitive cells.

1881 Sheldon Bidwell experiments with his telephotography that was similar to Bell’s photophone.
1884 Paul Nipkow sends images over wires using a rotating metal disk technology calling it the electric telescope with 18 lines of resolution.

At the World’s Fair in Paris, the First International Congress of Electricity was held. That is where Russian Constantin Perskyi made the first known use of the word “television.”

Soon after 1900, the momentum shifted from ideas and discussions to the physical development of television systems. Two major paths in the development of a television system were pursued by inventors.


Lee De Forest invents the Audion vacuum tube that proves essential to electronics. The Audion was the first tube with the ability to amplify signals.

Boris Rosing combines Nipkow’s disk and a cathode ray tube and builds the first working mechanical TV system.

1907 Campbell Swinton and Boris Rosing suggest using cathode ray tubes to transmit images. Independent of each other, they both develop electronic scanning methods of reproducing images.
1911 Campbell Swinton develops his idea of 1908 and presents details of a theoretical but complete electrical solution to electronically-scanned television. The paper (Jan 1912) is today widely accepted to have contributed to the development of electronic television in the UK, the USA and elsewhere.
1922 Formation of the British Broadcasting Company
1923 Vladimir Zworykin patents his iconoscope a TV camera tube based on Campbell Swinton’s ideas. The iconoscope, which he called an electric eye, becomes the cornerstone for further television development. Zworkin later develops the kinescope for picture display (aka the receiver).

American Charles Jenkins and John Baird from Scotland each demonstrate the mechanical transmissions of images over wire circuits.

John Baird becomes the first person to transmit moving silhouette images using a mechanical system based on Nipkow’s disk.

Charles Jenkin built his Radiovisor and in 1931 and sold it as a kit for consumers to put together.

Vladimir Zworykin patents a color television system.

1926-30 John Baird operates a television system with 30 lines of resolution system running at five frames per second.

Bell Telephone and the U.S. Department of Commerce conducted the first long-distance use of television that took place between Washington, D.C., and New York City on April 7. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover commented, “Today we have, in a sense, the transmission of sight for the first time in the world’s history. Human genius has now destroyed the impediment of distance in (this) new respect, and in a manner hitherto unknown.”

Philo Farnsworth, files for a patent on the first completely electronic television system, which he called the Image Dissector.


The first demonstration of color television by John Logie Baird. His system was adopted by Peter Goldmark of CBS for the US frame-sequential color system, subsequently used for the Apollo lunar missions

The Federal Radio Commission issues the first television station license (W3XK) to Charles Jenkins.


Vladimir Zworykin demonstrates the first practical electronic system for both the transmission and reception of images using his new kinescope tube.

John Baird opens the first TV studio; however, the image quality is poor.


Charles Jenkins broadcasts the first TV commercial.

The Baird television service is extended to simultaneous sound and vision, with the opening of the BBC’s radio transmitter at Brookmans Park


HMV (to merge with Columbia in April 1931 to become Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI)) emerge as a player in systems for British television with a demonstration of their 150-line Opto-mechanically-scanned film scanner and display.

First television Outside Broadcast (OB). Baird televises action at the finish line of the National Derby.


First BBC television service starts using the Baird 30-line TV system – based on optomechanical scanning and using the existing radio transmitters


The first commercially made electronic televisions with cathode ray tubes were manufactured by Telefunken in Germany in 1934

Iowa State University (W9XK) starts broadcasting twice-weekly television programs in cooperation with the radio station WSUI.

EMI successfully demonstrates a practical working fully-electronic camera system to BBC and Post Office personnel

The Marconi-EMI Company is formed with the aim of providing the camera and studio processing systems (EMI) and radio communications systems (Marconi) for future needs in television


Publication of the Report of the Selsdon Committee. The primary recommendation is for the provision of a ‘high definition’ television service with a picture of not less than 240-lines refreshed 25 times a second.

Alexandra Palace is selected as the site for the London Station (incorporating studios and transmitter tower) for the new BBC television service

Close down of the BBC’s 30-line service in preparation for high definition broadcasting


About 200 television sets are in use worldwide.

Coaxial cable—a pure copper or copper-coated wire surrounded by insulation and aluminum covering—is introduced. These cables were and are used to transmit television, telephone, and data signals.

The first experimental coaxial cable lines were laid by AT&T between New York and Philadelphia in 1936. The first regular installation connected Minneapolis and Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in 1941.

The original L1 coaxial cable system could carry 480 telephone conversations or one television program. By the 1970s, L5 systems could carry 132,000 calls or more than 200 television programs.


CBS begins its TV development.

The BBC begins high-definition broadcasts in London.

Brothers and Stanford researchers Russell and Sigurd Varian introduce the Klystron. A Klystron is a high-frequency amplifier for generating microwaves. It is considered the technology that makes UHF-TV possible because it gives the ability to generate the high power required in this spectrum.

First televising of Last Night of the Proms (in part, using only two cameras)


The first live coverage of the Derby at Epsom with three electronic cameras

The first live transmission of a play from a London Theatre. ‘When we are married’, performed at St Martin’s

First live coverage of the Lord Mayor’s Show. The broadcast used the new Super EMItron camera tube.

First live television of coverage of a Test Match – from Lord’s, England vs Australia

First live television coverage from an FA Cup Final – Wembley, London – Preston North End vs Huddersfield Town


Vladimir Zworykin and RCA conduct experimental broadcasts from the Empire State Building.

Television was demonstrated at the New York World’s Fair and the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition.

First live coverage of a golf match from Coombe Hill Golf Club

RCA’s David Sarnoff used his company’s exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair as a showcase for the first presidential speech (by Franklin D. Roosevelt) on television and to introduce RCA’s new line of television receivers, some of which had to be coupled with a radio if you wanted to hear the sound.

The Dumont company starts making TV sets.

EMI makes the first 405-line telerecording using a Mechau projector in reverse. The system was used by the BBC to record the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953

The BBC Television Service closes down as a precaution as war is declared with Germany on 1 Sep 1939. The BBC radio broadcasting continues unaffected.

1940 Peter Goldmark invents 343 lines of the resolution color television system.

The FCC releases the NTSC standard for black and white TV.

John Logie Baird gives a closed-circuit demonstration of a 600-line stereoscopic color electronic camera and display.

1943 Vladimir Zworykin develops a better camera tube called the Orthicon. The Orthicon has enough light sensitivity to record outdoor events at night.

Peter Goldmark, working for CBS, demonstrated his color television system to the FCC. His system produced color pictures by having a red-blue-green wheel spin in front of a cathode ray tube.

This mechanical means of producing a color picture was used in 1949 to broadcast medical procedures from Pennsylvania and Atlantic City hospitals. In Atlantic City, viewers could come to the convention center to see broadcasts of operations. Reports from the time noted that the realism of seeing surgery in color caused more than a few viewers to faint.

Although Goldmark’s mechanical system was eventually replaced by an electronic system, he is recognized as the first to introduce a broadcasting color television system.

The BBC Television Service from Alexandra Palace restarts after the Second World War

Televising the Victory Parade in London.

The first televised outside broadcast of the Lord Mayor’s Show procession.


Televising of the marriage of HRH Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, R.N. (the ceremony being sound only)

First public broadcast of recorded television in Britain with the replay of a tape-recorded film version of the ceremony at the Cenotaph


Cable television is introduced in Pennsylvania as a means of bringing television to rural areas.

A patent was granted to Louis W. Parker for a low-cost television receiver.

One million homes in the United States have television sets.

29 July – 14 August: Olympic Games in London, televised to an estimated 80,000 receivers in London and the Home Counties, with over 68 hours of coverage (about 5 hours per day)

For the first time, the BBC operates three mobile units for the Olympics (two at Wembley Stadium and one at White City Stadium). A record of 8 hours continuous television, White City Athletics, Olympic Boxing from the Empire Hall, hockey from the Wembley stadium, an Olympic Newsreel and a full-length play – A.A. Milne’sThe Dover Road’.


EMI Research designs build and demonstrate a 1001-line television system. The Post Office and the BBC maintain the 405-line system but continue to monitor developments.

The BBC installs its first ‘zoom’ lens on a television camera


The FCC approves the first color television standard which is replaced by a second in 1953.

Vladimir Zworykin developed a better camera tube called the Vidicon.

The European Broadcasting Union is formed


The first national live television broadcast in the U.S. took place on September 4, 1951, when President Harry Truman’s speech at the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco was transmitted over AT&T’s transcontinental cable and microwave radio relay system to broadcast stations in local markets.

The first live coast-to-coast commercial television broadcast in the U.S. took place on November 18, 1951, during the premiere of CBS’s See It Now, which showed a split-screen view of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.


Ampex introduces the first practical videotape system of broadcast quality.

Robert Adler invents the first practical remote control called the Zenith Space Commander. It was preceded by wired remotes and units that failed in sunlight.


In 1958, the CBC completed the longest television network in the world, from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia.

1960 The first split-screen broadcast occurs during the debates between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.

The All-Channel Receiver Act requires that UHF tuners (channels 14 to 83) be included in all sets.

A joint international collaboration between AT&T, Bell Labs, NASA, British General Post Office, the French National Post, Telegraph, and Telecom Office results in the development and launch of Telstar, the first satellite to carry TV broadcasts—broadcasts are now internationally relayed.

1967 Most TV broadcasts are in color.
1969 On July 20, 600 million people watch the first TV transmission is made from the moon.
1970s The development of cable television and satellite television in the 1970s allowed for more channels and encouraged companies to target programming toward specific audiences. It also enabled the rise of subscription television channels, such as Home Box Office (HBO) and Showtime in the U.S., and Sky Television in the U.K.
1972 Half the TVs in homes are color sets.
1973 Giant screen projection TV is first marketed.
1976 Sony introduces Betamax, the first home video cassette recorder.
1978 PBS becomes the first station to switch to an all-satellite delivery of programs.
1981 NHK demonstrates HDTV with 1,125 lines of resolution.
1982 Dolby Surround Sound for home sets is introduced.
1983 Direct Broadcast Satellite begins service in Indianapolis, Indiana.
1984 Stereo TV broadcasts are approved.
1986 Super VHS is introduced.
1990s in the US, DBS services such as PrimeStar and DirecTV had been reducing the popularity of TVRO systems since the early 1990s.
1993 Closed captioning is required on all sets.

The FCC approves ATSC’s HDTV standard.

A billion TV sets worldwide.

1996 EchoStar introduced Digital Sky Highway (Dish Network) using the EchoStar 1 satellite

2000s By the late 2000s, CRT display technology was largely supplanted worldwide by flat-panel displays such as LCD.

The video-sharing site YouTube was launched in early 2005

Apple’s iTunes service also began offering select television programs and series in 2005, available for download after direct payment.

2007 Netflix, a website originally created for DVD rentals and sales, began providing streaming content in 2007.
2010 Smart TVs took over the television market after 2010 and continue to partner with new providers to bring streaming video to even more users.

Flat-panel television, especially LCD, has become the dominant form of television since the early 2010s.


Learn more about African-American-inventors.


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