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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Radio-Vision: 1925

Radio-Vision: 1925

More on Dr. Jenkins here and here.

1925. "Motion pictures by radio are very near, predicts C. Francis Jenkins, who has designed this small radio-vision receiving set for use in the home. It is only a few inches square and is attached to the regular radio receiving set. A miniature motion picture screen is placed on the wall of your home, as shown in this photo. The first of this machine to be made. The photo was taken in Mr. Jenkins's laboratory at Washington, D.C." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

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Radio is an AMRAD 3500

The radio in the picture is an circa 1922 AMRAD 3500 battery radio and the box likely contains the power supply/battery eliminator.

The sinister effects of television

Already their eyes are starting to glaze over.

One channel...

and nothing on.

C. Francis was a nervous wreck

Just look how he's gnawed his nails to nothing. Will he get on "American Inventors Got Talent" or not?

Q: What's in the box?

A: Apparently nothing, nothing that would make it work anyway. This display might be considered a kind of form study prototype. The working models that Jenkins eventually marketed looked nothing like it and were directly viewed rather than projected.

Scanning disk - a dead end

He was right that television would be produced soon (it was another 10 years), but it sure didn't use this technology.

Farnsworth and Sarnoff were the American rivals who both worked very long hours to make TV a reality. Both of them saw that the mechanical scanning method would never produce pictures with high enough resolution to be practical. So they learned the art of making big glass vacuum tubes and putting strange electrodes in them. That eventually worked.

Display technology

Uses front projection, same as my TV, though at a somewhat lower resolution.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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