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Television Invention Timeline

The key dates and events in the development of television
Sound waves and motion pictures
Famous inventors and scientists such as Edison and Marconi
ohn Logie Baird & the Baird Television Development Company
Television in the UK and the US

Television Invention Timeline

  • Interesting Information via the Television Invention Timeline - History and Chronology at a glance, for children and kids
  • Chronology of Key Names, Key Dates, Key People and Key Events in the Television Invention Timeline
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:Count Alessandro Volta produces static electricity by friction



:Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg creates the Eidophusikon which uses moving pictures to represent natural phenomena



:Luigi Galvani develops a theory of 'animal electricity' later called, 'Galvanic Electricity'



:Robert Barker opens the first 'Panorama', a prototype of future cinemas



:Thomas Young formulates the wave theory of light



:Thomas Wedgewood produces silhouettes by use of siver nitrate but is unable to fix the images



:Dr. William Hyde Wollaston invents the 'Camera Lucida' which projects the virtual image of an object onto a screen.



:Humfrey Davy produces the first electric arc light



:Peter Mark Roget discovers ability of retina to retain image for 1/20 - 1/5 of a second and invents the 'Thaumatrope'



:Charles Wheatstone experiments with acoustics and designs a microphone



Michael Faraday passes electricity through vacuum tube



Joseph Plateau invents a toy called the Phantascope which shows a series of staged drawings which are displayed on a spinning disc creating an illusion of motion is created. This is considered the first motion picture device

Simon Von Stampfer invents the stroboscope

:Charles Wheatstone invents a non-photographic 'stereoscopic viewing device'



William George Horner patents the 'Daedelum'

Pierre Desvignes experiments with the Daedelum and produces the 'Zoetrope' consisting of a drum with equally spaced vertical slits (peepholes) down the side and a series of images on strip of paper showing a figure or object in graduating stages of motion - the beginning of the cinema



:Alexander Bain patents the 'Pantelegraph' which is an electrical method for transmitting images over a distance.



:Frederick Bakewell improves the Pantelegraph by using revolving drums covered with tin-foil for transmitting and receiving recorded pictures



Thomas Du Mont patents the 'camera zootropica' which reproduces the phases of movement in 12 successive images



:Oliver Wendell Holmes invents the 'stereoscope viewer'



Joseph May and Willoughby Smith discover photoconductivity which transforms images into electrical signals.



:Alexander Graham Bell invents the "telephone"



:The pantelegraph is invented by Abbe Giovanna Caselli which transmits a still image over wire



:Scientists May and Smith experiment with the photoconductivity of selenium and light and transforming images into electronic signals



Ayrton and Perry of England experiment with electric picture systems

Thomas Alva Edison invents the wax stencil mimeograph duplicator

Intelligible speech transmitted by Alexander Graham Bell using a magnetic microphone



George R Carey of Boston, USA invented a "selenium camera" which was a device that would allow people to "see by electricity." Other similar devices at the time were called telectroscopes.

Eugen Goldstein experiments with cathode rays and used the term to describe the light emitted when an electric current was forced through a vacuum tube



Sheldon Bidwell experiments with telephotography

Paul Nipkow patents the "electric telescope."



Thomas Edison demonstrates the carbon filament light bulb



1880: Denis Redmond builds the télescopie électrique (Electric Telescope) and transmits an image electrically

Alexander Bell and Sumner Tainter experiment with the photophone seeking to use this device for image sending

Maurice Leblanc pioneers the principles for color television

Denis Redmond publishes the first book about television called 'La Telescopie Electrique' (The Electric Telescope).



Sheldon Bidwell experiments with telephotography inventing the 'Scanning Phototelegraph'



Paul Nipkow invents the "electric telescope", a scanning disk

Thomas Edison discovers the 'Edison Effect' the basis for the electron tube



One of the earliest examples of remote control was developed by Nikola Tesla



Charles Francis Jenkins patents the phantascope, one of the first practical motion picture projection machines



Louis and Auguste Lumière patent the cinematograph capable of projecting moving pictures and on December 28 show the first motion pictures at the Grand Cafe on the Boulevard Des Capucines



Louis and Auguste Lumière patent the cinematograph capable of projecting moving pictures and on December 28 show the first motion pictures at the Grand Cafe on the Boulevard Des Capucines

April 23: Thomas Edison shows the first motion pictures in the USA in Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York

September 2: Guglielmo Marconi granted the worlds first radio patent



Heinrich Rudolph Hertz produces radio waves

K.F. Braun invents the cathode-ray tube

Thomas Edison continues experiments with motion pictures



Thomas Edison and William Kennedy Laurie Dickson patent the Kinetoscope

Julius Elster and Hans Friedrich Geitel successfully transmit static or luminous imagery



Congress of Electricity held at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris

Constantin Perskyi made the first known use of the word "television."

Scientists were looking at two methods - Mechanical television and Electronic television



Lee de Forest invented the "Audion" vacuum tube with the ablity to amplify signals

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

Reginald Fessenden invents wireless telephony, a means for radio waves to carry signals a significant distance.



1907: Campbell Swinton and Boris Rosing suggest using cathode ray tubes to transmit images via Electronic television

Charles Jenkins and Scotsman John Baird experiment with the mechanical television model

Philo Farnsworth experiment with the the electronic television model.



1909 Nobel Prize awarded to Karl Ferdinand Braun and Guglielmo Marconi for the development of radio



The Radio Act of 1912 limits broadcasting on radio stations to the 360m wavelength, which jams signals.



Vladimir Kosma Zworykin patents his iconscope television transmission tube leading the way for further advancement in the television



1924 - 1925: American Charles Jenkins and John Baird from Scotland, each demonstrate the mechanical transmissions of images over wire circuits. Photo Left: Jenkin's Radiovisor Model 100 circa 1931, sold as a kit. Baird becomes the first person to transmit moving silhouette images using a mechanical system based on Nipkow's disk. Vladimir Zworykin patents a color television system.

l "Broadcast Listeners" Year Book forecasts 'The Wireless Musical Cinema' within two to three years.



Vladimir Kosma Zworykin patents the first television color tube

October 30: The first moving image was transmitted (the famous grainy image of a ventriloquists dummy's head)



April 9: Bell Laboratories and the Department of Commerce held the 1st long-distance transmission of a live picture and voice simultaneously.

Philo Farnsworth patents the Image Dissector, the first complete electronic television system and transmits the first all-electronic television image

John Logie Baird set up the Baird Television Development Company Ltd making the first television programmes for the BBC



Television is introduced in the United States

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

John Logie Baird beams a television image from England to the United States

The first television set is sold. The Daven television cost $75.

RCA begins work on large-screen television.



Television is introduced in the United Kingdom and Germany

John Logie Baird opens the first TV studio

CBS was founded by William S. Paley



1930: Charles Jenkins broadcasts the first TV commercial

RCA demonstrate large screen television in New York

Ulysses A Sanabria gives a Cinema-television demonstration in Chicago

July 28: First UK public demonstration of large screen television given by John Logie Baird at the London Coliseum



January 4 John Logie Baird demonstrates ‘zone television’, showing full-length figures and a cricket lesson by Herbert Strudwick.

April 24: Lee De Forest files a US patent for a method of recording pictures, film or events

Television is introduced in France and the USSR

By the end of 1931 there are nearly 40,000 television sets in the United States



June: John Logie Baird transmits pictures of the Derby horse race at Epsom to a large-screen television display at the Metropole Cinema in London

November 8: John Logie Baird introduces a programme which is televised from Broadcasting House, London to the Arena Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark (600 miles away)



The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was established by the Communications Act of 1934



The  firstexperimental" coaxial cable lines were laid by AT&T between New York and Philadelphia

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) debuts the world's first television service with three hours of programming a day.

August: Television at the Berlin Olympics. Television broadcasts from the Berlin Olympic Games are seen by 150,000 people in public television rooms in Berlin



February 4:  First UK public demonstration of large-screen colour television at London’s Dominion theatre by John Logie Baird and is transmitted from the Baird studio at Crystal Palace in South London



January: Direct projection television with a 15ft x 12ft screen is installed at the 1,190-seat Marble Arch Pavilion by Baird Company.

Television was demonstrated by RCA at the New York World's Fair and the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition

Fritz Fischer patents the Eidophor

Baird Television Ltd goes into liquidation and is re-formed as Cinema-Television but without John Logie Baird on the board.

Television is introduced in Japan and Italy



1940: Peter Goldmark invents a 343 lines of resolution color television.



John Logie Baird, now working on his own,  demonstrates a 600 line HDTV colour system for television



1943: Vladimir Zworykin develops a camera tube called the Orthicon



January 15:  Patent is granted for the Eidophor television projection system.



June 14: John Logie Baird dies of pneumonia



Peter Goldmark, working for CBS, demonstrated his mechanical color television system to the FCC - the first to introduce a broadcasting color television system



1948: Cable television is introduced in Pennsylvania

Louis W. Parker patents a low-cost television receiver

One million homes in the United States have television sets



August: In a document entitled 'Television and the Cinema', prepared for the Beveridge Committee on the future of broadcasting, the BBC states that 'the place of television is in the home'



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

Vladimir Zworykin develops the Vidicon

Phonevision, the first pay-per-view television service, becomes available



Color television introduced in the U.S.

Philips experiments and produces projection television



Television is introduced in Canada



Robert Adler invents Zenith Space Commander which is the first practical remote control



AT&T launches Telstar, the first satellite to carry TV broadcasts and television broadcasts are relayed around the World.



Color television introduced in the U.S.



July 20: TV transmission from the moon watched by 600 million people



50% of  home TVs are color television sets.



Giant screen projection television is first marketed.



Sony introduce Betamax, the first home video cassette recorder.



CNN, the first all-news network, is launched by Ted Turner



NHK demonstrate HDTV with 1,125 lines of resolution.

The Supreme Court rules to allow television cameras in the courtroom.



Dolby surround sound for home televisionsets is introduced.



Super VHS is introduced



98% of U.S. households have at least one television set.

The first commercial Direct broadcast satellite DBS service, Sky Television plc (now BSkyB), was launched in the UK



There are 900 million television sets in use around the world

201 million television sets are in the United States.



Television signals in both analog and digital formats

The US switch-off of all analogue terrestrial TV broadcasts is scheduled to begin NO LATER THAN February 17, 2009

The UK switch-off of all analogue terrestrial TV broadcasts is scheduled to begin in 2008. The last regions will be switched off in 2012

A UK Digital Terrestrial replacement, called Freeview, enables analogue television sets to receive prrogrammes

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