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Vladimir Zvorzkin  - Russian Father of The American Television
 
Zvorykin was born in Murom, Vladimir Province (Russian Empire) into the family of a wealthy merchant of the First Guild, a grain magnate, a banker and the owner of a river merchant fleet. Despite the fact thet Vladimir's future had been destined to be cloudless even without any education, the young man dedicated himself to engineering and graduated from the Saint Petersburg Technical Institute as a technology engineer, and later moved to Paris, to College de France, where he studied and worked on television, conducting first experiments with transferring images via radio waves.
 
From the very young age Vladimir took a keen interest in radio electronics, the cutting edge of technology at the time, so much that even the Revolution and the Russian Civil war could not stop him: when the Soviets captured most of Russia, he moved to Yekaterinburg, controlled by the White Army, where he worked in a company dealing with radio electronics.
 
This period of his career was by far the most tumultuous and dangerous - once he almost faced a firing squad, after being arrested for alleged treason, since he was preparing for foray into the Soviet-controlled territory, in the search for radio transmitter parts that were in tight supply. Fortunately, the arrival of general Kolchak an a new investigation saved his life...
 
During one of his business trips to the United States he read the news that Yekaterinburg had fallen to the Soviets, and there was nowhere for him to return to - Zvorykin had to stay in America. Here he met another famous immigrant, David Sarnov, the CEO of the legendary Radio Corporation of America, or, as it would come to be known worldwide, RCA. Having entered the company, Zvorykin developed the first kinescope and the first iconoscope - devices that made television possible. Later he created a color kinescope - that was the birth of modern, color, television.
 
Notably, Vladimir had not forgotten about his original motherland, and visited the Soviet Union on several occasions. Even more, RCA was contracted by the Soviet government to build the first television station in Moscow in 1938, and Zvorykin was the one managing the project. He also helped the USSR start mass-producing the first TVs, Model TK-1.
 
During WWII, Zvorykin made a great contribution to Victory, working on night vision devices and ultra-modern (for the time) televison-guided munitions. And at the end of the war, he created the first electron microscope, that revolutionized medical research.
 
During his long and fruitful career, Zvorykin patented more than 120 inventions in the field of radio electronics, for which in 1966 he was awarded the National Science medal by President Lyndon Johnson himself. And in 1977 he was entered into the National Scientific Hall of Fame.
 
Vladimir Zvorykin died on July 29, 1982 in Princeton, New Jersey, and his ashes were scattered over the Tunton Lake, not far from his summer house, where he used to rest and experiment.
 
 
Sources:
Борисов В. П. Владимир Козьмич Зворыкин. — Наука, 2002
Zworykin V. K., Hillier J., Snyder R. L. (1942)

 


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