The TVs of Tomorrow: How RCA’s Flat-Screen Dreams Led to the First LCDs

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

In 1968 a team of scientists and engineers from RCA announced the creation of a new form of electronic display that relied upon an obscure set of materials known as liquid crystals. At a time when televisions utilized bulky cathode ray tubes to produce an image, these researchers demonstrated how liquid crystals could electronically control the passage of light. One day, they predicted, liquid crystal displays would find a home in clocks, calculators—and maybe even a television that could hang on the wall.

Half a century later, RCA’s dreams have become a reality, and liquid crystals are the basis of a multibillion-dollar global industry. Yet the company responsible for producing the first LCDs was unable to capitalize upon its invention. In The TVs of Tomorrow, Benjamin Gross explains this contradiction by examining the history of flat-panel display research at RCA from the perspective of the chemists, physicists, electrical engineers, and technicians at the company’s central laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey.

Drawing upon laboratory notebooks, internal reports, and interviews with key participants, Gross reconstructs the development of the LCD and situates it alongside other efforts to create a thin, lightweight replacement for the television picture tube. He shows how RCA researchers mobilized their technical expertise to secure support for their projects. He also highlights the challenges associated with the commercialization of liquid crystals at RCA and Optel—the RCA spin-off that ultimately manufactured the first LCD wristwatch. The TVs of Tomorrow is a detailed portrait of American innovation during the Cold War, which confirms that success in the electronics industry hinges upon input from both the laboratory and the boardroom.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Benjamin Gross is the vice president for research and scholarship at the Linda Hall Library. Before moving to Kansas City, he was a research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation and consulting curator of the Sarnoff Collection at the College of New Jersey.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Mar 22, 2018
Read more
Collapse
Pages
288
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780226540740
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Business & Economics / Industries / Media & Communications
History / General
History / United States / 20th Century
Technology & Engineering / History
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
ColdFusion's New Thinking About Technology and Science


What can history’s greatest breakthroughs in science and technology teach us about the future?


New Thinking: As each new stage technology builds on the previous innovations of the last, advancements begin to increase at an exponential rate. Now, more than ever, it’s important to see how we got here. What hidden stories lie behind much of the technology we use today? What drove those who invented it to do so? What were those special moments that changed the world forever? New Thinking is the story of human innovation, the story of us―through war and peace, it is humanity at our most innovative.


Disruptive technology and innovation: From the stories behind the steam engine revolution to the electric world of Tesla, to the first computers, to the invention of the internet and artificial intelligence, this book explores the hidden history of technology, discovering the secrets that have shaped our world. New Thinking brings you the stories of the men and women who thought in a new way to bring our world to where it is today.


In New Thinking: From Einstein to Artificial Intelligence, The Technology and Science That Built Our World you will delight in learning and appreciating:

• How a technology can spawn a new technology, and how they influence each other
• How our modern world came to be
• Our incredible modern world and potential for the future


If you've read books such as The Third Industrial Revolution, They Made America, or How We Got to Now, you're going to love New Thinking

©2020 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.