Lee de Forest: King of Radio, Television, and Film

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Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 17, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 568 pages
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The life-long inventor, Lee de Forest invented the three-element vacuum tube used between 1906 and 1916 as a detector, amplifier, and oscillator of radio waves. Beginning in 1918 he began to develop a light valve, a device for writing and reading sound using light patterns. While he received many patents for his process, he was initially ignored by the film industry. In order to promote and demonstrate his process he made several hundred sound short films, he rented space for their showing; he sold the tickets and did the publicity to gain audiences for his invention. Lee de Forest officially brought sound to film in 1919. Lee De Forest: King of Radio, Television, and Film is about both invention and early film making; de Forest as the scientist and producer, director, and writer of the content. This book tells the story of de Forest’s contribution in changing the history of film through the incorporation of sound. The text includes primary source historical material, U.S. patents and richly-illustrated photos of Lee de Forest’s experiments. Readers will greatly benefit from an understanding of the transition from silent to audio motion pictures, the impact this had on the scientific community and the popular culture, as well as the economics of the entertainment industry.
 

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Contents

Born to Invent
1
The Race for Wireless
41
The Meaning of the Audion
85
California Days
125
Radios Arrival
167
Phonofilm The Promise
203
Phonofilm The Realization
253
Phonofilm The Rejection
305
Phonofilm The Lawyers
349
Lesson and Legacy
389
End Notes
429
Bibliography
473
Archives and Acknowledgements
477
Appendix Notes
483
About the Author
552
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Mike Adams has been a radio personality and a film maker. Currently he is a professor of radio, television, and film at San Jose State University, where he has been a department chair and an associate dean. As a researcher and writer of broadcast and early technology history, he created two award-winning documentaries for PBS, "Radio Collector," and "Broadcasting's Forgotten Father." He has had published numerous articles and three books, the most recent of which is Charles Herrold, Inventor of Radio Broadcasting. More information about the author and his work can be found at www.mikeadams.org and www.leedeforest.org

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