Flat Screen TV in 1958 (Jan, 1958)
I’m not sure this was real. It seems like if it really worked, we’d all have them. This is a Cnet article from 2004 about brand new flat CRTs and they are 16″ deep…
Update: This was real. It looks like it got abandoned more because of licensing and a standards battle than anything else. Here is a really interesting interview (pdf) done with the inventor from 1996.
AIKEN: “They finally agreed to a license. But, at the last minute, I guess at a Board of Directorsâ€™ Meeting for the final approval, somebody on the Board of Directorsâ€™ of RCA said, “Wait a minute, weâ€™ve forgotten something. How are we going to explain to our stockholders that we wasted millions of dollars on the wrong tube?” And there was silence. And that did it. They said, “No, we will not take a license.”
Thin Tube Foretells Wall TV and Sky View for Air Pilot
BECAUSE OF NEW TECHNIQUES in the field of electronics, airplane instrument panels and home television sets may soon have something in commonâ€”a rectangular picture tube less than three inches thick. The thin cathode-ray tube was invented by William Ross Aiken and developed in the Kaiser Aircraft and Electronics Corporation laboratories. Military uses for the new TV tube were developed for the Douglas Aircraft Company. For the aircraft pilot, the thin TV tube will serve as an electronic windshield, showing an artificial picture of the terrain and sky conditions about him. For the TV viewer at home, the new picture tube may result in new designs for sets, with screens mounted in any wall or hung like picture frames. The picture tube, only 2-5/8 inches thick, is made of two rectangular pieces of plate glass with about an inch of space between them. The edges are sealed with powdered-glass solder to hold the vacuum. The surface of the thin tube is the equivalent of a 21-inch conventional screen. In the thin tube, the electron beam is injected at the bottom of one side. Deflection plates along the bottom edge bend the beam upward between the front and back glass walls. The inside of the front wall is coated with a new transparent phosphor which is said to improve the contrast. The thin TV tube also is reported to have sharper focusing properties. A new method of printing electrode elements on the inside surfaces of the glass eliminates the need for assembled metal parts. Printed circuits are used in the tube controls. The thin tube will replace many of the instruments needed for blind flying of an airplane and can be operated by a small electronic computer. A similar control system was developed by Allen B. Dumont Laboratories, Inc., for Bell Helicopter Corp.
CATV Is Coming to Your Town (Jun, 1970)
The last sentence is the kicker: “Some experts are predictingâ€”for less than the cost of the family carâ€” a complete home communications terminal with access to computer libraries, two-way video, and hundreds of input channels. Cable TV could make it all come true. ”
Once just a way to get signals to distant places, cable TV is now growing fast even in big cities. Here’s why
CATV Is Coming to Your Town
One of these days soon, a salesman will ring your doorbell and offer a special service called cable TV. “Why bother?” you may ask. “I’m perfectly satisfied with the reception I’m getting now on my five [if you're average] channels.” True, you may be getting good TV reception. But CATV (Community Antenna TV) will offer you better reception, and more. Added up, here is what you will get:
â€¢ The five channels you would usually pull in with your antennaâ€” but much sharper and clearer.
â€¢ Three, maybe four, other stations from other cities. Two or three of them will probably duplicate much of the network programing you’re already getting. But one or two may be independents that you have no way of seeing, short of moving to the next town. That’s a total of nine channels off the air.
â€¢ Three local channelsâ€”continuously broadcasting time/weather, news/stock ticker, and local live broadcastsâ€”from town meetings to high-school ball games. That’s 12 channels so far.
â€¢ There’s more coming: pay TV on the cable. This is the most exciting home-entertainment prospect of all. Pay cable channels will cost extra.
Dawn of the Electronic Age (Jan, 1952)
Odd article written by Lee deForest the inventor of the Audion, a vacuum tube amplifier that ushered in the radio and electronics age. He discusses the origins and growth of electronics and what the future may bring, including dissing the transistor and living room walls that keep one warm by microwaves. He also has some firm opinions regarding the uses to which his invention has been put:
The microphone-amplifier-loudspeaker combination is having an enormous effect on our civilization. Not all of it is good! Consider to what heights of impudence and tyranny, and to what depths of moral depravity, has radio broadcasting and the loudspeaker attained in that recent monstrosity, Transit Radio, Inc. Almost incredible is the loathsome fact that already in 21 cities bus riders must listen to never-ending, blatant advertising and unwelcome jitterbug and bop music, “viciously repugnant to the spiritual and intellectual assumptions of American life,” as Prof. Charles Black of Columbia University wrote. This outrage is unquestionably the all-time low to which radio broadcasting can sink.
Dawn of the Electronic Age
By Lee deForest (“Father of Radio”)
WHEN VOCAL SOUND first became articulate the ancestor of man leaped suddenly from the dumb shackles of the brute. The first crude sign writing, whereby thoughts might be recorded, helped to bring scattered men and tribes into social units and establish contact with future generations through the permanency of the written word. For ages, ecclesiastics maintained a monopoly of reading and writing. Then came movable type and the printing press of Gutenberg. Reading and writing became common heritage. The postal service followed, fostering a moderate exchange of thought between people. Ancient Greeks developed a crude method of heliograph for military signaling. Then flags by day and fires by night conveyed information over wide distances. Later, the system of signaling by semaphore devised by Claude Choppe during the French Revolution blazed the path leading to the electric telegraph of Morse. Scarcely more than a century ago came the first telegraph, an instantaneous means for communicating over great land distances, followed by the submarine cable for spanning the oceans. Bell, experimenting with a new form of telegraphy, came upon the telephone, and as a result business and social life were; immeasurably increased in tempo. Late in the 19th century, wireless telegraphy entered the communications field, first as a means of spinning threads between ships and shores, and robbing the sea of its sinister silence; later as a practical means of transoceanic communication. Inspired by the classical formulas of Maxwell in England, Hertz in Germany in the 1880s discovered electromagnetic waves, proving them akin to light waves but of vastly longer wavelengths and lower frequencies.