Corrections or additions?
This article was prepared for the November 21, 2001 edition of
U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Between the Lines
Having the 50th anniversary of color television on our
cover last week and the Sikh religion this week reminded us of the
adage: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Our coverage of the Sikhs was admittedly prompted by September 11,
and the notion that we all need to understand each other a little
better. Thanksgiving week, when we all "gather together,"
as the hymn proclaims, seems like a good time for such reflection.
Though Sikhs might appear unusual in the midst of our button-down
corporate culture, we realized that in their work ethic they were
no different than millions of other Americans who have gone through
the melting pot.
In the early 20th century some people may have been a little wary
of the young David Sarnoff, a high school dropout working to support
his Russian immigrant family. In the early 21st century we should
encourage and appreciate the hard work of our the newest immigrants.
On behalf of the David Sarnoff Library, I would like
to thank you and your writer, Kathleen McGinn Spring, for the
cover story on the history of the invention of color television (U.S.
1, November 14). We had a full and appreciative audience of over 250
people in Sarnoff Corporation’s auditorium on November 15, thanks
in part to the article. Those who missed the illustrated history and
demonstration of RCA’s first color television receiving converted
HDTV signals from NJN are invited to attend the reception for and
dedication of the IEEE Milestone for the invention of
electronic color television at the RCA Laboratories on Thursday,
29, at 4 p.m. Please contact Alice Archer at 609-734-2636, or E-mail:
New Jersey has been the Innovation Garden State at least since Edison
started spinning off ventures in Menlo Park. The state’s 20th century
history is filled with the technologies we take for granted, from
electronic television and antibiotics to the transistor and liquid
crystal displays. It is in everyone’s best interest to promote that
history, for the sake of education, state pride, tourism, and the
business acumen that arises from understanding the causes of our
and commercial failures and successes.
Alexander B. Magoun
Director, David Sarnoff Library
got crossed. At one point the development of monochrome television
was erroneously juxtaposed with color television. The correct
"In 1929 Zworykin told Sarnoff he could develop electronic
TV in two years. The cost to RCA by 1949 was some $10 million in R&D,
manufacture, service, and programming."
Also the story incorrectly identified the inventor of the electron
microscope: It was James Hillier. "Zworykin hired Hillier and
provided protection from RCA’s bean counters in stimulating creation
of what could be called the medical electronics industry," says
Magoun. Hillier won numerous awards for his efforts to successfully
commercialize what had previously been a laboratory curiosity,
the 1960 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, sometimes
known as "America’s Nobel Prize."
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