Factors that Shaped the Invention and Development of Television in the UK Up to 1939

Factors that Shaped the Invention and Development of Television in the UK Up to 1939

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Factors that Shaped the Invention and Development of Television in the UK Up to 1939

In this essay I intend to discuss the factors that shaped the
invention and development of television in the UK up to 1939; these
include the social, cultural, political and scientific factors that
took place as well as the many technological changes. I will then
conclude by determining the most important aspects of its development.

Technological developments

The essence of the television began in the early nineteenth century
with the development of the telephone and the telegraph. These
communication devices can be seen as a more technical version to the
way Native American Indians communicated via their smoke signal
technique. The early telegraphs were large outdoor mechanical
structures that proved to be very expensive to produce. During the
1840’s there came a great discovery and this was of electromagnetism,
electric current was found to be of great use within wiring. It was
this discovery that inevitably led to the development of the ‘electric
telegraph’. The electric telegraph was a transmitter of messages and
signals through electric wiring and was transmitted via connections
throughout the world. One of its earliest forms of communication was
with the use of Morse code and this was greatly used within the
railway system; before this invention the railways found it difficult
to co-ordinate the transport thus creating many accidents on the rail

The telegraph and the telephone were then developed further
between 1842 and 1862 with the use of photography and this culmination
became ‘tel...

... middle of paper ...

...hat was an integral part of the
development of the television. Social and technological aspects have
been intertwined for a long period of our history and history is
always being re-thought as is technology.


Briggs (1995): ‘The Birth of Broadcasting’. Oxford University Press.

Cardiff, David & Scannell, P. (1991): ‘A Social History of British

Oxford Press, Basil Blackwell Ltd.

Chant, C. (1989): ‘Science, Technology and Everyday Life 1870-1950’.

Sinclair, I., Wilmslow & Cheshire (1995): ‘Birth of the Box-The Story
of Television’.

Sigma Press.

Winston, Brian (1998): ‘Media, Technology and Society’. Oxford Press.

Wyver, J. (1989): ‘The Moving Image: An International History of Film,

and Video’. Oxford Press, Basil Blackwell Ltd.

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