National Museum of Broadcasting

To Preserve the Birthplace of the Broadcasting Industry

Electronic Television

Television Begins

Zworykin demonstrates television receiverConcurrent with the start of radio broadcasting, a young Russian immigrant named Vladimir Zworykin was developing a system of transmitting sound and pictures—television. Early conceptions of television focused on a mechanical scanning system with motors and large rotating disks. This type of television generally produced a picture only about one inch square. It was heavy, bulky equipment and certainly not practical for home use. Zworykin, a Swissvale resident and co-worker of Conrad’s at Westinghouse, developed an electronic scanning television system using his inventions, the iconoscope and kinescope, the forerunners of today’s television camera and picture tubes. In 1929, Zworykin demonstrated his all-electronic television system here in Pittsburgh, a full 10 years before it was introduced to the public at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

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