Jenkins, Charles Francis

Jenkins, Charles Francis
b. 1867 USA
d. 1934 USA
American pioneer of motion pictures and television.
During the early years of the motion picture industry, Jenkins made many innovations, including the development in 1894 of his own projector, the "Phantoscope", which was widely used for a number of years. In the same year he also suggested the possibility of electrically transmitting pictures over a distance, an interest that led to a lifetime of experimentation. As a result of his engineering contributions to the practical realization of moving pictures, in 1915 the National Motion Picture Board of Trade asked him to chair a committee charged with establishing technical standards for the industry. This in turn led to his proposing the creation of a professional society for those engineers in the industry, and the following year the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (later to become the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) was formed, with Jenkins as its first President. Soon after this he began experiments with mechanical television, using both the Nipkow hole-spiral disc and a low-definition system of his own, based on rotating bevelled glass discs (his so-called "prismatic rings") and alkali-metal photocells. In the 1920s he gave many demonstrations of mechanical television, including a cable transmission of a crude silhouette of President Harding from Washington, DC, to Philadelphia in 1923 and a radio broadcast from Washington in 1928. The following year he formed the Jenkins Television Company to make television transmitters and receivers, but it soon went into debt and was acquired by the de Forest Company, from whom RCA later purchased the patents.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
First President, Society of Motion Picture Engineers 1916.
1923, "Radio photographs, radio movies and radio vision", Transactions of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers 16:78.
1923, "Recent progress in the transmission of motion pictures by radio", Transactions of
the Society of Motion Picture Engineers 17:81.
1925, "Radio movies", Transactions of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers 21:7. 1930, "Television systems", Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers 15:445. 1925. Vision by Radio.
Further Reading
J.H.Udelson, 1982, The Great Television Race: A History of the American Television Industry, 1925–41 : University of Alabama Press.
R.W.Hubbell, 1946, 4,000 Years of Television, London: G.Harrap \& Sons.
1926. "The Jenkins system", Wireless World 18: 642 (contains a specific account of Jenkins's work).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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