Pioneers of Cable Television: The Pennsylvania Founders of an Industry

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McFarland, Jul 21, 2005 - Performing Arts - 231 pages
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Although there are different opinions about where cable television actually began, a great deal of the ingenuity that developed cable into today's multibillion dollar industry came from Pennsylvania. In this state, with its mountainous geography, the need for an unusual means of obtaining a television signal gave birth to the community antenna television system that was the forerunner of the cable we know today. This volume traces the history of cable television through biographical sketches of those who were instrumental in bringing this technology to rural Pennsylvania. Enumerating technical as well as financial obstacles, each chapter focuses on the life of a cable pioneer. The contributions of such men as John Walson, Bob Tarleton, George Gardner and Ralph Roberts are discussed and their relationships to each other examined. Information drawn from interviews with these men or people who knew them brings history to life. Topics include the roots of cable television, problems of early cable systems and the advent of HBO and its consequences. An appendix offers a commemorative history of the Pennsylvania Cable Network, a joint project of several men discussed herein.
 

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Contents

John Walson
9
Bob Tarlton
25
Martin Malarkey
41
Milton Shapp
62
Joe and Irene Gans
85
George Gardner
104
George Barco
126
John Rigas
147
9 Ordinary Joes
164
Ralph Roberts
178
The Pennsylvania Cable Network by Don Sarvey
189
Notes
203
Bibliography
215
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Brian Lockman is the president and chief executive officer of Pennsylvania Cable Network in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Don Sarvey is a an independent writer and a communications consultant for Editorial Enterprises, Inc., based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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