Fun Facts on RCA

The person who claimed to be the inventor of the television is Russian Vladimir Zworykin. In 1929 David Sarnoff founder of RCA asked him to develop TV for commercial use. It took 20 years and $50 million. Before his death at 92 he said the technique was wonderful and beyond his expectations. However, he said he would never let his children watch any of the horrible programs! Nipper is the name of the RCA dog! He was a fox terrier. RCA was founded as the Radio Corporation of America. It was an electronics company from 1919 to 1986. The company brought the program transcription discs to the world in 1930. Sales were difficult because of the depression.

The trademark is owned by the French conglomerate Thomson SA through RCA Trademark Management. The trademark is used by Sony Music Entertainment and Thomson SA, which licenses other companies too. In 1939, RCA demonstrated an all electronic television system at the New York World’s Fair and developed the USA’s first ever television test pattern. Before RCA all companies involved with radio in the U.S. were merged to facilitate the war effort. All production of radio equipment was for the military.

RCA started as a publicly owned company by AT&T and GE. By 1926 the company had grasped the market on commercial radio. Then they purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company the world’s largest manufacturer of phonographs including the “Victrola.” It then became RCA-Victor. Then the company got New World Rights! They got the famous Nipper Trademark. They added sound to film. Then in 1949 the company developed and released the first 45 rpm record to the public. RCA declined with the death of David Sarnoff. It was one of the eight major computer companies through the 60’s but abandoned them in the 70’s.

When Sarnoff and Zworykin visited Farnsworth’s laboratory the Mormon inventor scoffed at selling the company and Farnsworth’s services for a pithily $100,000. So Sarnoff turned and said,” Well there is nothing here we need anyway!” The record industry was good for RCA with stars like Elvis Presley popping out records. In fact RCA grossed over $66 million and sold 8,000,000 records after Elvis died in just 6 days! The RCA television was featured on the show Bonanza. The term “cutting a record” comes from the process of the diamond or sapphire tipped stylus cutting the vibrational grooves into the master disc at the beginning of manufacturing.

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