Vladimir K. Zworykin
Vladimir Zworykin was born in 1889. He was raised in Russia and educated both there and in France.
In 1911, he went to work for one of his instructors, Boris Rozing who gave him his first experience with
television using a Nipkow disk camera and a Braun tube receiver. With the Revolution and World War I, he
served in the Russian Army Signal Corps. After the war, he immigrated to the United States and went to
work for Westinghouse. Later in 1929, he went with RCA, reporting directly to David Sarnoff.
In his years there, David Sarnoff the President, gave him a free hand in its television research activities.
There were at times as may as 45 engineers assigned to various tasks, even during the depth of the
depression. David Sarnoff provided further support by buying all television related patents. RCA paid out as
much as $50,000 here and $100,000 there, just as they had done earlier with radio related patents. This
certainly made the path a bit easier for Mr. Zworykin and his group.
During this period, Mr. Zworykin and the others made significant progress on all fronts, but their work and
accomplishments received very limited publicity. This was because David Sarnoff was always very concerned
that by publicizing television, home radio sales might be affected. These sales after all, were what was
paying for the television research.