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C. Francis Jenkins, Pioneer of Film and Television$
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Donald G. Godfrey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038280

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038280.001.0001

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Television: Seeing by Electricity

Television: Seeing by Electricity

(p.121) 9 Television: Seeing by Electricity
C. Francis Jenkins, Pioneer of Film and Television

Donald G. Godfrey

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on C. Francis Jenkins' television inventions, including the electronic television. Historians consider Jenkins as the American inventor of mechanical television and often portray him as something of a failure because by the early 1930s, his ideas were purchased by competitive corporate powers and then overtaken with the far-better Farnsworth and Zworykin electronic scanning techniques. However, Jenkins' fundamental contributions in television cannot be simply ignored. This chapter begins with an overview of Jenkins' experimental television, followed by a discussion of his various ideas such as the “telectroscope” and optical electrical television. It then takes a look at the Jenkins Laboratories, Discrola Inc., and the Radio Pictures Corporation. It also recounts Jenkins' demonstration of how radio movies could be transmitted and received before concluding with an assessment of Jenkins' collaboration with the American Radio Relay League in television-related initiatives.

Keywords:   television inventions, C. Francis Jenkins, electronic television, experimental television, telectroscope, Jenkins Laboratories, radio movies, radio, American Radio Relay League

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