Vladimir Zworykin (1889-1982)

Electronic engineer, inventor and pioneer of modern television.

In 1919, having studied at the St Petersburg Institute of Technology and served in the Russian army during the First World War, Zworykin emigrated to the United States.

In 1929 he produced the Kinescope, a cathode-ray tube that projects images onto a fluorescent screen. The Kinescope mechanism formed the basis for all conventional television sets and computer monitors. Zworykin also invented the Iconoscope electric camera tube which, although eventually replaced, was used in early television cameras.

At the time some researchers in the field favoured the electronic system for televisions whilst others promoted a mechanical model. Zworykin's all-electronic television system demonstrated its superiority over the mechanical system. In 1929 he was appointed director of research at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) where he continued to develop his system.

As a result of his work Zworykin, who also invented an infrared image tube and helped to develop the first electron microscope, is considered by many to be the true father of television.