Television: an international history of the formative years

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IET Digital Library

This title is available electronically through the IET Digital Library

  • Author:

  • Year: 1998

  • Format: Hardback

  • Product Code: PBHT0220

  • ISBN: 978-0-85296-914-4

  • Pagination: 656pp.

  • Stock Status: In stock

£35.75 Member price

£55.00 Full price


Scope: From the first notions of 'seeing by electricity' in 1878 through the period to Baird's demonstration of television in 1926 and up to 1940, when war brought the advance of the technology to a temporary halt, the development of TV gathered about it a tremendous history. In this meticulous and deeply researched book, Burns presents a balanced, thorough history of television to 1940, considering the factors technical, financial and social which influenced and led to the establishment of many of the world's high-definition TV broadcasting services.

Highly illustrated throughout, this is a major book in the study of history of science, technology and media.

Book review

"...the story of television is not that of a single inventor, it is a star studded epic...Burns guides us through this epic in a book of similar proportions...An excellent book" British Vintage Wireless Society, Autumn 2001, Vol. 26, No. 3
"Definitive is not a word to be used lightly & , but this magisterial study of television's development up to 1940 richly deserves the term" Technology & Culture, 1999

Book readership

Historians of science, technology and media/communications; electrical and electronic engineers; media studies.



Book contents

1: Images and society; 2: Images by wire, picture telegraphy; 3: Seeing by electricity, the earliest notions; 4: Persistence of vision and moving images; 5: Distant vision; 6: A possible way forward; 7: Developments of importance to television; 8: The breakthrough, J L Baird and television; 9: The approaches of a lone inventor and a chief engineer; 10: Excellence in low-definition engineering; 

11: German and French developments; 12: Some low-definition TV broadcasting services; 13: Large-screen TV; 14: Between low and high-definition TV ; 15: Early electronic camera tubes and the work of Farnsworth; 16: Zworykin and the kinetoscope; 17: RCA, Sarnoff and TV; 18 RCA and all-electric TV; 19: EMI, Shoenberg and TV; 20: Progress in the UK and abroad; The London station and foreign developments; 22: TV in the US; 23: The world's first regular, public, high-definition service; Appendices; Index

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