Can You Top this?

Gee Wiz my kid does good work! Look at that animation to the right

This page is dedicated
to our members
who have done
the biggest, the longest,
the tallest, the first,
the best, the worst, etc.
Anything television
or cable related. 
(you've got the idea)
 Send your submissions to: Top This

Your company name and message - here.



#1 Submitted by: Mark Schubin
I have a bunch of "firsts," including, I think, coining the term "home run" for direct cabling. And here are some longevity stats for me:

Monthly column in Videography (never missed an issue) since April 1976. Other than the name "Videography," I am the ONLY think that has not changed at the publication since its inception.

- Technological consultant to "Live From Lincoln Center" since January 1976 (and, even before then, I worked on the experiments, which began in 1973). I am the only person to have worked on every "Live From Lincoln Center" show (though the executive producer sometimes forgets the show when he was out of town). Can you top this?
#2 Submitted by Larry Bloomfield
I don't believe there is anyone who did geosynchronous satellite communications before I did. I was with project Syncom, the world's first. I was involved in the launch of Syncoms I, II & III. Syncom I destroyed itself when the apogee rocket was fired, but Syncoms II & III were very successful. I was a test conductor and was responsible for measuring the range to the satellites and the rate it changed. We had an accuracy of +or- 8 feet at 22,300 miles. (+or- 2.44 meters at 35 900 km). I was one of the engineers who was involved in the first telephone conversation between two heads of state via a geosynchronous satellite, President John F. Kennedy and Al Hajji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the first Prime Minister of Nigeria. Both were assassinated while in office - I had nothing to do with either of those events.
We were permitted to make phone calls via the two satellites after our test periods were concluded each day. After meeting Carollee Verassi in Florence, Italy, I called her any number of times. Something must have worked! I'm probably the very first person to court his wife via geosynchronous satellite telephone calls. We're married 38 years now with two sons and eight grandchildren, so be careful what you say on a satellite phone call - it could have long-lasting effect.
I was also the producer and director of the first radio program to go over a geosynchronous satellite from the studio of our shipboard radio station to the Armed Forces Radio Network and their affiliates.

Syncom I

I played a minor roll in bring the 1966 Olympics from Japan back to the United States. Can you top this? 
#3 Submitted by: Robert N. Vendeland
First Technical Infomercial: The Test Pattern dominated (since it was the only thing on the air) every morning on WEWS Cleveland. It was in 1949 when Pioneer Radio Supply, and some of its suppliers, substituted yours truly once a week(15 minutes) for 13 weeks during test pattern time. Neal Bear Corporation, West Richfield, OH, was an aggressive manufacturer's representative organization which provided many of the other sponsors for this first, all commercial program.

TV technicians used the test pattern to adjust TV sets and were thus a captive audience for demonstrations of Hickok tube testers, oscilloscopes and sweep generators. Diddle sticks, contact cleaner and other stuff was also demonstrated. I put in my claim for this first. This is my recollection, but my wife, girlfriend at the time, pointed out that she believes I was on TV at the end of 1951, or at the latest, 1952.

And you thought my only claim to fame was getting this OITP thing going!  Can you top this?
#4 Submitted by: Chuck Pharis
Most television facilities replace their cameras every seven to fifteen years. Where do many of these warriors of the "ready two -- take three" aspect of our business go? I have a television camera collection that has now gone over 100!!!!!!   A new record!   I mean, I broke my OWN record!!!!!!!  Almost all the cameras I have, are on my website. The last 20 or so, will be there in a few weeks.

Please check out my Historical TV Equipment web site. I have put thousands, well, hundreds of hours working on it. Many of them still work. You may remember my display at the end of the main concourse at the Las Vegas Convention Center during NAB 2002. I'm the guy who had the working TK-1C (Indian-head Monoscope Test Pattern generator).

Donated Vintage TV equipment, either working or not, will be accepted. I'll pay for postage, or will ever come and get it! Visitors to Southern California are welcome to come see my museum, but please e-mail me for an appointment.   I had to build a special building just to house my treasures.

There has to be a "Can you top THIS" in this story somewhere??????

# 5 Submitted by: Joan Polley

My dad Gene Polley, a Monochrome Mogul in the Order of the Iron Test Pattern, while working for Zenith, invented the very first remote control. Dad has been quoted as saying: "The flushed toilet may have been the most civilized invention ever devised, but the remote control is the next most important. It's almost as important as sex!" The first TV remote was called "Lazy Bones." It had a cord that ran across the room to the viewer from the set, but all it did was change channels. Dad had and developed the idea for the wireless remote control. The original wireless remote was not much more than a flashlight, with four photocells in each corner of the TV cabinet. By shining the flashlight on the particular photocell, you could turn the TV on or off, mute it and change channels.

If you don't think the remote control is isn't significant, just go count the number of remote controls you have in your house. There is no question that dad's invention gave birth to the couch potato.
Can you top this?

# 6 Submitted by: James A. Mendrala

The oldest Television Engineering Society in the United States is undoubtedly the Society of Television Engineers (STE). They held their very first meeting on July 8, 1940, In Los Angeles, CA, one week after its inception by Fred Wolcott, technical director of Gilfillan Brothers, and Irwin Stanton of RCA.
On of their earliest presidents, Harry Lubcke, was also a president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) and gave the name to their coveted: The Emmy! STE was very involved in the first NTSC, helping to set the very early standards of television. That work continued up to the acceptance of those Standards by the FCC, which became effective April 30, 1941. Elsewhere, their history notes their involvement in making television a part of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
Visit their website at:
# 7 Submitted by: Ed Grogan
We all know that NTSC has a number of different meanings.  In 1998 John Sprung issued a call for alternate meanings for ATSC.  I was the first to coin  "Anything That Satisfies Congress"
Can you top this?

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