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Tube: The Invention of Television (1996)

af David E. Fisher, Marshall Jon Fisher

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
772266,876 (4)1
"An engrossing, in-depth look at the history of the medium". Publishers Weekly"An informative, entertaining account of the box, its earliest broadcasts, and the ambitions that drove the people who created it". BooklistTube tells the stories behind the invention of television and the intense competition to bring it to market. Devilish character sketches and compelling anecdotes capture the brilliance, vision, and frustration of its colorful inventors.… (mere)
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Engelsk (1)  Piratisk (1)  Alle sprog (2)
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It must be über cool to be an inventor—the work taps what a person can give in ingenuity, creativity, a vision for the future, discovery, and potential for fortunes. On the other hand, invention is accomplished under competitive conditions in which financial stakes are tremendous and pressures severe. Patent battles can go on for years and years. An insecure way of life with sometimes debilitating consequences, as we learn in Tube: The Invention of Television.

Authors David E. Fisher and Marshall Jon Fisher relate the story of how TV sets (not programs) came to be. They take care to explain the technical aspects of how TVs were developed and make it interesting at the same time. I’m not a technical guy but I enjoyed and felt enlightened by their explanations.

The book also reminds us that significant inventions impact the language of the times. With TV there was considerable talk about what to call the people who would stare at the TV screen. Candidates included looker, looker-in, perceptor, audiobserver, lookener, audoseer, invider, telegazer, teleseer, televist, telspector, opticauris, visual, and adivist. The Times use of “viewer” was what caught on, and thankfully so. Who wants to be an opticauris? And imagine if “couch potato” had been the term of choice from the outset. Would TV have become so popular?

Appropriately for a medium bringing the adventures of heroes and villains into our living rooms, at one time or another most every actor in the drama of inventing TV seemed a protagonist or antagonist. The most notable in America were the inventor Philo Farnsworth, Radio Corporation of America (RCA) boss David Sarnoff, and Vladimir Cosmo Zworykin, a physicist from Russia who came to America and ended up heading the RCA lab. Farnsworth was so precocious that after convincing a bank to give him financial backing he had to have one of his associates act as his legal guardian in order to execute the paperwork. More than anyone, it seems, the actions of these men proved decisive to television’s development and commercial potential.

Tube also is a tale of instances of corporate skullduggery beyond legitimate competitive striving as well as occasional indifference to human suffering. The ungovernable caprices of governments played an important role too.

In the end, it changed the world, though not necessarily as TV’s inventors envisioned. RCA’s Zworykin observed, late in life: “I hate what they’ve done to my child [i.e. TV]. I would never let my own children watch it.” It doesn’t take much ingenuity to guess why. ( )
  dypaloh | Sep 22, 2018 |
Television
  Budzul | Jun 1, 2008 |
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"An engrossing, in-depth look at the history of the medium". Publishers Weekly"An informative, entertaining account of the box, its earliest broadcasts, and the ambitions that drove the people who created it". BooklistTube tells the stories behind the invention of television and the intense competition to bring it to market. Devilish character sketches and compelling anecdotes capture the brilliance, vision, and frustration of its colorful inventors.

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