1928: First Regularly Scheduled TV Service
Innovation: First Regularly Scheduled TV Service
Location: W3XK in Wheaton Maryland
By: Charles Franklin Kettering and Thomas Midgley Jr
Charles Francis Jenkins first published the idea of creating a television program by wirelessly transmitting picture and sound in 1913, however, the first transmission did not occur until 1923. After acquiring the patent on transmitting pictures over wireless signals in 1925, Jenkins founded the Jenkins Television Company. Using this company, Jenkins then received license to become the first regularly scheduled television service via the broadcast station, W3XK. The company transmitted shows 5 nights a week until 1932 when the company was liquidated and work on electromechanical television stopped as the new parent company, RCA, decided to focus on the electronic counterpart. While the company did indeed fail, the creation of a television transmission station allowed for a surge in the creation and design for televisions pushing them to become more of a household item.
In 1948 (post WW2), there were 4 major television networks providing regional service – DuMont, NBC, CBS and ABC. In 1951 these networks began to be available coast-to-coast in the U.S. This surge in competition brought sound (similar to radio) with moving images into American households. The ramifications of this are visible now, as information and imagery can be transmitted in seconds to millions of households. In 2012 it is estimated that over 1.4 billion televisions in use.