Vladimir K. Zworykin
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.