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You are in : About us > History > Chronology > 1930-1960

Thomson multimedia timeline (1930-1960)


1930 - Sarnoff was named RCA's third President. RCA showed television pictures on a six-foot screen at an RKO theater in New York. The 60-line images were transmitted from experimental station W2XBS. CFTH strengthened its radiology business creating Companie Générale de Radiologie (CGR).

1931 - Electric lamps were up for restructuring. CFTH approach Philips to form Fabriques Réunies de Lampes Electriques (FRLE). Thus, CFTH purchase of 80% of the equity of wireless manufacturer Ducretet. The most significant is by merging with Alsthom, Alsacienne de Construction Mécanique. Thomas Edison died; electric lights throughout the U.S. were turned off for one minute in honor of the inventor.

1932 - First NBC experimental TV broadcasted with live talent. RCA tied to General Electric and Westinghouse, becoming a self-contained company.

1933 - RCA Victor and NBC moved into Radio City at Rockefeller Center.

1936 - Nationalization hit Hotchkiss as it had hit Brandt and the other French arms producers. Henri Guitton and Serge Berline developed the magnetron. CFTH bought Etablissements Kraemer. Thomson-Houston expanded into professional radio broadcast equipment. Television field tests began in New York City.

1937 - Professor Elihu Thomson died in Massachusetts at the age of 83. CSF presented its first television prototype.

1938 - Auguste Detoeuf took over as Chairman of Thomson but left voluntarily in December 1940 to head the Comité d'Organisation de la Construction Electrique. CFTH took the control of CGR (Companie Générale de Radiologie).

1939 - Sarnoff introduced RCA television at the New York World's Fair.

1940 - Bloomington plant, Indiana, acquired from Showers Brothers Furniture Company.

1944 - Sarnoff coordinated communications during the "D-Day" invasion at Normandy, and is promoted to the reserve rank of brigadier general.

1945 - RCA Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey demonstrated improved black-and-white and mechanical color TV systems.

1946 - Following World War II, television was re-introduced by RCA on September 17.

1947 - Post-war television table-model 630TS offered for $375.

1948 - RCA purchased the Farnsworth Radio and Television plant in Marion, Indiana.

1949 - Jean Polonsky supplied a television transmitter using triode and tetrode tubes to Radio Télévision Française (RTF).

1950 - Charles Beurtheret of Thomson-Houston in France, developed the Vapotron, an innovative anode cooled by water vaporization.

1951 - Epsztain patented a microwave oscillator tube called the Carcinotron.

1952 - Paul Richard took over the helm of Hotchkiss and merged with its rival Delahaye and gained control of the entire French market for the jeep. RCA opens a television and radio plant in Mexico City.

1953 - CSF's engineers were behind the unique Eurovision broadcast of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. RCA electronic compatible color TV selected as the NTSC standard.

1954 - NBC broadcasted the first national color television program - the Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena. The first RCA consumer color televisions were produced in March in Bloomington. The first 54 cm sets came off the production line at Nanteuil (France) and so, at the end of the Fifties, CFTH had conquered one-eighth of the market for television sets.

1956 - Henri de France developed the Secam process. Hotchkiss and Brandt were merged.

1957 Georges Glasser was appointed chairman of Alsthom. SFRE merged with CSF and diversified.

1958 A team of engineers directed by Guy Le Parquier produced the Cyrano on-board radar for the Mirage III. The British firm Pathé-Marconi leased its television, wireless and record player business to Thomson, together with the famous Pathé-Marconi brand. Thomson handed over to Pathé-Marconi, its record business under the well-known lyrebird label.

1959 CFTH became a leader in France. "Bonanza", the most popular TV show of the 1960's, premiers in color on NBC.


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