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Moving On

C. Francis Jenkins began working in television. He published an article in the September 27, 1913 issue of Moving Picture News entitled "Motion Pictures by Wireless - Wonderful possibilities of Motion Picture Progress," but it wasn't until ten years later that he transmitted the earliest moving silhouette images for an audience. Jenkins developed a mechanism for viewing distant scenes by radio, or—as we now know it—television.

In June of 1925, Jenkins publicly demonstrated the synchronized wireless transmission of television images. He filed for a patent on March 13, 1922, and was granted U.S. patent No. 1,544,156 for Transmitting Pictures over Wireless on June 30, 1925.

Jenkins' business endeavors included Charles Jenkins Laboratories and Jenkins Television Corporation. The latter was founded in 1928, the very same year the first commercial television license in the U.S. was granted to the Laboratories. Jenkins Television Corporation opened W3XK, the first television broadcasting station in the United States. The station was first broadcast on July 2 from the Jenkins Laboratories in Washington, D.C. Initially, due to narrow bandwidth (10kHz), W3XK was only capable of sending silhouette images. That was soon remedied—the station was allowed to move its carrier frequency to 4.95 MHz with a bandwidth of 100 kHz and a power of 5,000 Watts—so that real black-and-white images could be transmitted.

In 1931, Lee de Forest, a 20th century inventor who was responsible for creating the vacuum tube and motion picture sound, acquired Jenkins Television Corporation.