Multimedia Object: Podcast episode ID: CBB292308610

Doron Galili, “Seeing by Electricity: The Emergence of Television, 1878-1939” (Duke UP, 2020) (2020)


With the burst of new technologies in the 1870s, many inventors and visionaries believed that the transmission of moving images was just around the corner. As Doron Galili details in his book Seeing by Electricity: The Emergence of Television, 1878-1939 (Duke University Press, 2020), the half-century of speculations that followed did much to shape the development of broadcast television well before it emerged in the 1930s. Galili notes that much of this occurred within the context of contemporary technologies such as the cinema and the telephone, both of which pointed to the inherent possibilities of such an invention yet embodied very different ideas about image and communications. Seeking to conceptualize moving image technology, people often used the eye as a metaphor or model for how it might operate or the role that it would serve. Though the emergence of the cinema industry in the United States did much to shape the context in which television would develop in the United States, Galili shows how differing theories of visual media and society in the Soviet Union, Germany, and Italy offered alternate models that influenced how the new technology was received in their respective countries.

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Authors & Contributors
Rieger, Bernhard
Adams, Mark B.
Weiss, Sheila Faith
Allen, Garland E.
Halliday, Sam
Cahan, David L.
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Journal of Social History
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Comparative Studies in Society and History
Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History
Cambridge University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Bardwell Press
University of Alabama Press
Princeton University Press
Oxford University Press
Technology and culture
Electricity; magnetism
Broadcasting, radio and television
Cross-national comparison
Cross-national interaction
Melville, Herman
Hawthorne, Nathaniel
Clemens, Samuel Langhorne
James, Henry
Helmholtz, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von
Tesla, Nikola
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
United States
Soviet Union
Great Britain
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Anthropologie, Menschliche Erblehre und Eugenik
Maxim Gorky Medical Genetics Institute (USSR)
Eugenics Record Office, Cold Spring Harbor, New York
Ford Motor Company

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