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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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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

American Visionary

American Visionary

(p.169) 12 American Visionary
C. Francis Jenkins, Pioneer of Film and Television

Donald G. Godfrey

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses C. Francis Jenkins' life and work, calling him a visionary for his breakthrough inventions in film and television. In a world of dramatic change in motion pictures and television, Jenkins was a pioneer. In film, he sold his controversial Phantoscope projector patent, which led to large-screen movie projection. In television, he bridged mechanical with electronic technology, later experiments related to fiberoptics, and electro-optical receivers. He was the only inventor who participated in the birth of both motion-picture photography and television. Over the period of 1894 through 1933, Jenkins filed nearly 300 patents, several granted after his death. This chapter provides an overview of Jenkins' youth, focusing on how his agrarian upbringing created within him an independent will, an untiring work ethic, and strong character. It then describes Jenkins' traits as a man, his legacy as an inventor, his career as entrepreneur and businessperson, and his works as an author. It also reflects on the relationship between Jenkins' approach of the late 1920s and modern technology.

Keywords:   inventions, C. Francis Jenkins, film, television, motion pictures, Phantoscope, fiberoptics, motion-picture photography, patents, modern technology

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