Jenkins - Radiovision
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Logie Baird did towards the development and promotion of mechanical
television in Britain, Charles Jenkins did for mechanical television in
North America. Charles Jenkins, an inventor from Dayton, Ohio, invented
a mechanical television system called radiovision and claimed to have transmitted
the earliest moving silhouette images on June 14, 1923. Charles Jenkins
publicly performed his first transmission, from Anacosta, Virginia to Washington
in June of 1925. As far back as 1894, Jenkins had been promoting mechanical
television when he published an article in the "Electrical Engineer", describing
a method of electrically transmitting pictures. In 1920 at a meeting of
the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, Jenkins introduced his prismatic
rings, a device that replaced the shutter on a film projector and an important
invention that Charles Jenkins would later use in his radiovision system.
Radiovisors were mechanical scanning-drum
radiovision devices manufactured by the Jenkins Television Corporation,
founded in 1928 the company sold several thousand sets to the public that
cost between $85 and $135. The radiovisor was a multitube radio set that
had a special attachment for receiving pictures, a cloudy 40 to 48 line
image projected onto a six-inch square mirror. Jenkins preferred the names
radiovisor and radiovision over television.
Charles Jenkins also opened and operated
North America's first television station, W3XK in Wheaton, Maryland. The
short-wave radio station began transmitting across the Eastern U.S. in
1928, regularly scheduled telecasts of radiomovies produced by Jenkins
It was said that watching a radiomovie
required the viewer to constantly re-tune in the broadcast, but at the
time watching the blurry moving image was considered an exciting miracle.
/ Mechanical Television Systems
In 1926, New York Times radio editor
Orrin Dunlap called the new medium "an inventor's will-o'- the-wisp." A
year earlier, a Scot, John Logie Baird, and an American, Charles Jenkins,
generated the first live pictures by pairing (or synchronizing) primitive
mechanical scanning discs at transmitter and receiver ends.
John Logie Baird is remembered as
the inventor of mechanical television, radar and fiber optics.
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