RCA and the name David
Sarnoff seem to be showing up a lot lately, at least in the venues I travel for technical reading. I
don't see particular dates mentioned that make this the anniversary of anything related. Ironically,
this mention of the two names together adds to the phenomenon. The October 2013 edition of IEEE's
Spectrum magazine has a nice spread titled, "Electronic Treasures of the David Sarnoff Collection." RCA, the Radio Corporation
of America, was founded in 1919 in Princeton, New Jersey (home base of Mr. Einstein, amongst other notables).
David Sarnoff, chairman of RCA, was the son of a Jewish immigrant. Although neither a scientist nor
an inventor himself, Sarnoff established a record of ambition and business savvy from a young age -
although he was an accomplished telegraph operator (participated in the rescue efforts of the Titanic).
Overseeing innovations like commercial B&W and color television, radio broadcasting systems, special
purpose vacuum tubes, electron microscopes, and even the liquid crystal display (LCD), and notably the
breakthrough decision to integrate a radio and a phonograph into the same chassis resulted in Sarnoff's
deserved reputation as a skilled business leader. For some really cool photos of some of the equipment
from the David Sarnoff Library, visit the
Spectrum website. Unfortunately, the museum was closed in 2009, but fortunately
College of New Jersey inherited more than 6,000 items. There is a very interesting
account of David Sarnoff's military career which began evidently with a commission as a Lt. Colonel
and ended as a Brigadier General.
Posted October 16, 2013