Past and future of TV Technology - from Mechanical sets to OLED TVs and 3D displays

At the end of the 19th century, people began thinking and dreaming of television. The word Television was first used in 1900 but it took more than 20 years for the first commercial sets to arrive. The first TVs were 'Mechanical Televisions' (or 'spinning Disc' tech). The picture was small, and the quality was poor, but the designs were something else:

Here's an interesting design from France (the Semivisor, 1929, photo credit from Musée des arts et métiers, Paris:

And here's a 3 one from GE (aptly name the Octagon, 1928):

During the thirties, they started to make Electronic CRT TVs (the same basic design as the CRT TV we used until we had LCD or Plasma). It took a bit of time, and the first electronic TV broadcast was made in July 1941. During World War II the US banned the production of TVs... and obviously things slowed down a bit. There were less than 7,000 sets total in the US before WWII!

Here's a GE TV from 1939:

And here's a Russian TV from 1938 (The TK1) :

Raytheon was making a round 12 TV back in 1949, which looks pretty good:

The first Color TV was the CBS Columbia, a Mechanical set, made in 1951:

The first Electronic color TV was the RCA CT-100, released in 1954, selling at 1,000$:

The Italians (who always know how to design things) have produced the Phonola In 1957:

Go to next page

Posted: Nov 02,2008 by Ron Mertens