• Steven Heller

What Is This New Fangled Tee Vee?

Many people made something having to do with TV. Arguably the Nazis were the first to introduce television programs. Oy. (You can see their earliest shows in the documentary here.) Yet in 1884 (that’s right) Paul Nipkow, a German engineer developed a rotating-disc technology to transmit pictures over wire. He discovered television’s scanning principle, but others contributed to TV’s development.1926 marked an actual broadcast from Scotland. 1937 saw the founding of the BBC, credited as the first TV service. In 1939, President Roosevelt’s speech opening the New York World’s Fair: World of Tomorrow, was the earliest United States broadcast, which launched the TV era and the promise of jobs in a new American industry, as this 1939 advertisement promises.


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →

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