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The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, which was founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was initially a patent trust owned by
General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Mult ...
(GE),
Westinghouse Westinghouse may refer to: Businesses Current companies *Westinghouse Licensing, the brand management division of ViacomCBS, and licensees: **Westinghouse Electric Company, providing nuclear power related services **Westinghouse Electronics, wh ...
,
AT&T Corporation AT&T Corporation, originally the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, is the subsidiary of AT&T Inc. that provides voice, video, data, and Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of i ...
and
United Fruit Company The United Fruit Company, now Chiquita Brands International, was an American corporation that traded in tropical fruit (primarily bananas) grown on Latin American plantations and sold in the United States and Europe. The company was formed in 1899 ...

United Fruit Company
. In 1932, RCA became an independent company after the partners were required to divest their ownership as part of the settlement of a government
antitrust Competition law is a law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is ...
suit. An innovative and progressive company, RCA was the dominant electronics and communications firm in the United States for over five decades. RCA was at the forefront of the mushrooming radio industry in the early 1920s, as a major manufacturer of
radio receiver radio in the 1940s. During the golden age of radio, 1925–1955, families gathered to listen to the home radio receiver in the evening In radio, radio communications, a radio receiver, also known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio, is ...

radio receiver
s, and the exclusive manufacturer of the first
superheterodyne A superheterodyne receiver, often shortened to superhet, is a type of radio receiver radio in the 1940s. During the golden age of radio, 1925–1955, families gathered to listen to the home radio receiver in the evening In radio, radio commun ...
sets. RCA also created the first nationwide American radio network, the
National Broadcasting Company The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of fr ...
(NBC). The company was also a pioneer in the introduction and development of
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Media (communication), medium used for transmitting moving images in grayscale, black-and-white or in color, and in two or 3D television, three dimensions and sound. The ...

television
, both black and white and especially
color television Color television is a television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and ...
. During this period, RCA was closely identified with the leadership of
David Sarnoff David Sarnoff (February 27, 1891 – December 12, 1971) was an American businessman and pioneer of American radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic wav ...
. He was general manager at the company's founding, became president in 1930, and remained active, as chairman of the board, until the end of 1969. During the 1970s, RCA's seemingly impregnable stature as a leader in technology and innovation began to weaken as it attempted to expand from its main focus of the development and marketing of consumer electronics and communications into a diversified multinational conglomerate. Additionally, the company began to face increasing competition in the US from international electronics firms such as
Sony , commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multi ...

Sony
,
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer t ...

Philips
and
Mitsubishi The is a group of autonomous Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat ...

Mitsubishi
. RCA suffered enormous financial losses in the mainframe computer industry and other failed projects such as the
CED videodisc The Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) is an analog video disc playback system developed by RCA, in which video and audio could be played back on a TV set A Sony Wega CRT television set A television set or television receiver, more common ...
. Though the company was rebounding by the mid 1980s, RCA never regained its former prestige and was reacquired by
General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Mult ...
in 1986; over the next few years, GE liquidated most of the corporation's assets. Today, RCA exists as a
brand name A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business Business is the activity of making one's living or making mon ...

brand name
only; the various RCA trademarks are currently owned by
Sony Music Entertainment Sony Music Entertainment (SME), also known as just Sony Music, is an American multinational music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultu ...
and
Technicolor Technicolor is a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating to 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades. It was the second major color process, after Britain's Kinemacolor (used between 1908 and 1914 ...
, which in turn license the RCA brand name and trademarks to several other companies, including
Voxx International Voxx International is an American consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( analog or digital) equipment intended for everyday use, typically in private homes. Consumer electronics include devices used f ...
, Curtis International, AVC Multimedia,
TCL Corporation TCL Technology (originally an abbreviation for Telephone Communication Limited) is a Chinese multinational electronics company headquartered in Huizhou, Guangdong Province. Founded as a state-owned enterprise A state-owned enterpris ...
and Express LUCK International, Ltd. for their various products.


Establishment by General Electric

RCA originated as a reorganization of the
Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America (commonly called American Marconi) was incorporated in 1899. It was established as a subsidiary of the British Marconi Company and held the U.S. and Cuban rights to Guglielmo Marconi's radio (then c ...
(commonly called "American Marconi"). In 1897, the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company, Limited, was founded in London to promote the radio (then known as "wireless telegraphy") inventions of
Guglielmo Marconi Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi (; 25 April 187420 July 1937) was an inventor and , known for his creation of a practical -based system. This led to Marconi being credited as the , and he shared the 1909 with "in ...

Guglielmo Marconi
. As part of worldwide expansion, in 1899 American Marconi was organized as a subsidiary company, holding the rights to use the Marconi patents in the United States and Cuba. In 1912 it took over the assets of the bankrupt
United Wireless Telegraph CompanyThe United Wireless Telegraph Company was the largest radio communications firm in the United States, from its late-1906 formation until its bankruptcy and takeover by Marconi interests in mid-1912. At the time of its demise, the company was operatin ...
, and from that point forward it became the dominant radio communications company in the United States. When the United States entered
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
in April 1917, the government took control of most civilian radio stations in order to use them for the war effort. Although the government planned to restore civilian ownership of the radio stations once the war ended, many
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh "Anchors Aweigh" is the fight song of the United States Naval Ac ...
officials hoped to retain a monopoly on radio communication even after the war. Contrary to instructions it had received, the Navy began purchasing large numbers of radio stations. When the war ended, Congress rejected the Navy’s efforts to have peacetime control of the radio industry and instructed that the Navy return the stations it had taken control of to the original owners. Due to national security considerations, the Navy was particularly concerned about returning high-powered international stations to American Marconi, since a majority of its stock was in foreign hands, and the British already largely controlled the international undersea cables. This concern was increased by the announcement in late 1918 of the formation of the Pan-American Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Company, a joint venture between American Marconi and the
Federal Telegraph CompanyThe Federal Telegraph Company was a United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U ...
, with plans to set up service between the United States and South America. The Navy had installed a high-powered
Alexanderson alternator An Alexanderson alternator is a alternator, rotating machine invented by Ernst Alexanderson in 1904 for the generation of high-frequency alternating current for use as a Transmitter, radio transmitter. It was one of the first devices capable of ge ...

Alexanderson alternator
, built by General Electric (GE), at the American Marconi transmitter site in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It proved to be superior for transatlantic transmissions to the Spark-gap transmitters that had been traditionally used by the Marconi companies. Marconi officials were so impressed by the capabilities of the Alexanderson alternators that they began making preparations to adopt them as their standard transmitters for international communication. A tentative plan made with General Electric proposed that over a two-year period the Marconi companies would purchase most of GE's alternator production. However, the U.S. Navy objected to the plan, fearing British domination in international radio communications and the national security concerns this raised.''History of Radio to 1926''
by Gleason L. Archer, 1938, pages 159–167, 180.
The Navy, claiming support from President Wilson, looked for an alternative that would result in an "all-American" company taking over the American Marconi assets. In April 1919 two naval officers, Admiral H. G. Bullard and Commander S. C. Hooper, met with GE president,
Owen D. Young
Owen D. Young
and requested he suspend the pending alternator sales to the Marconi companies. This move would leave General Electric without a buyer for its transmitters, so the officers proposed that GE purchase American Marconi, and use the assets to form its own radio communications subsidiary. Young consented to this proposal, which, effective November 20, 1919, transformed American Marconi into the Radio Corporation of America. The decision to form the new company was promoted as a patriotic gesture. The corporate officers were required to be citizens of the United States and a majority of the company stock needed to be held by U.S. citizens. When it was founded RCA was the largest radio communications firm in the United States. Owen Young became the chairman of the board of the new company and former American Marconi vice president and general manager E. J. Nally become RCA's first president. Most of the former American Marconi staff continued to work for RCA. Nally was succeeded by Major General
James G. Harbord Lieutenant general (United States), Lieutenant General James Guthrie Harbord (March 21, 1866 – August 20, 1947) was a senior Officer (armed forces), officer of the United States Army and President and Chairman of the Board of RCA. Biography ...
, who served as RCA president from 1922-30. Harbord replaced Owen Young as chairman of the board on January 3, 1930. David Sarnoff who was RCA’s founding general manager became its third president. RCA worked closely with the federal government and felt it deserved to maintain its predominant role in U.S. radio communications. At the company's recommendation, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Rear Admiral Bullard "to attend the stockholders' and director's meetings... in order that he may present and discuss informally the Government's views and interests". The radio industry had been making technical advances, particularly in the area of vacuum tube technology and GE needed access to additional patents before its new subsidiary could be fully competitive. During this time American Marconi had been steadily falling behind others in the industry. The two companies entered into negotiations which resulted in a series of mutually beneficial cross-licensing agreements between the themselves and various other companies in the industry. On July 1, 1920, an agreement was made with the
American Telephone & Telegraph Company AT&T Corporation, originally the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, is the subsidiary of AT&T, AT&T Inc. that provides voice, video, data, and Internet telecommunications and professional services to businesses, consumers, and government ...
(AT&T), which purchased 500,000 shares of RCA, although it would divest these shares in early 1923. The
United Fruit Company The United Fruit Company, now Chiquita Brands International, was an American corporation that traded in tropical fruit (primarily bananas) grown on Latin American plantations and sold in the United States and Europe. The company was formed in 1899 ...

United Fruit Company
held a small portfolio of radio patents and signed two agreements in 1921. GE's traditional electric company rival, the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Corporation, had also purchased rights to some critical patents, including one for heterodyne receiving originally issued to
Reginald Fessenden Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (October 6, 1866 – July 22, 1932) was a Canadian-born inventor, who did a majority of his work in the United States and also claimed U.S. citizenship through his American-born father. During his life he received hundre ...
, plus
regenerative circuit File:Regenerartive Receiver-S7300056.JPG, 250px, Rear view of the above radio, showing the simplicity of the regenerative design. The tickler coil is visible inside the tuning coil and is turned by a shaft from the front panel; this type of adjust ...
and
superheterodyne receiver A superheterodyne receiver, often shortened to superhet, is a type of radio receiver radio in the 1940s. During the golden age of radio, 1925–1955, families gathered to listen to the home radio receiver in the evening In radio, radio commu ...
patents issued to
Edwin Armstrong Edwin Howard Armstrong (December 18, 1890 – February 1, 1954) was an American electrical engineer and inventor, who developed FM (frequency modulation) radio and the superheterodyne receiver system. He held 42 patents and received numerous award ...
. Westinghouse used this position to negotiate a cross-licensing agreement, effective July 1, 1921, that included a concession that 40% of RCA's equipment purchases would be from Westinghouse. Following these transactions, GE owned 30.1% of RCA's stock, Westinghouse 20.6%, AT&T 10.3%, and United Fruit 4.1%, with the remaining 34.9% owned by individual shareholders. In 1930, RCA agreed to occupy the yet-to-be-constructed landmark building of the
Rockefeller Center Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adje ...

Rockefeller Center
complex,
30 Rockefeller Plaza 30 Rockefeller Plaza is a skyscraper A skyscraper is a large continuously habitable building having multiple floors. Modern sources currently define skyscrapers as being at least 100 metres or 150 metres in height, though there is no univer ...

30 Rockefeller Plaza
, which in 1933 became known as the RCA Building (later renamed the GE Building, now the Comcast Building). This lease was critical for enabling the massive project to proceed as a commercially viable venture—David Rockefeller cited RCA's action as being responsible for "the salvation of the project".


Radio development


International and marine communication

At the time RCA was founded in 1919 all radio and telegraphic communications between China and the US, including official communications, were run through either German radio or British cables. The U.S. Navy wanted RCA to seek a
concession Concession may refer to: * Concession (contract) (sometimes called a concession agreement), a contractual right to carry on a certain kind of business or activity in an area, such as to explore or develop its natural resources or to operate a "conc ...
in China, however the company was reluctant to do so because their other concessions were already operating at a loss. With RCA's agreement the
transmitter In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particle ...
was completed in 1928, but when another American interest signed a similar agreement with China in 1932 RCA claimed
breach of contract Breach of contract is a legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of ...
in '' Radio Corporation of America v China''. RCA's primary business objectives at its founding were to provide equipment and services for seagoing vessels, and "worldwide wireless" communication in competition with the undersea cables. To provide the international service, the company soon undertook a massive project to build a "Radio Central" communications hub at Rocky Point, Long Island, New York, designed to achieve "the realization of the vision of communication engineers to transmit messages to all points of the world from a single centrally located source". Construction began in July 1920, and the site was dedicated on November 5, 1921, after two of the antenna spokes had been completed, and two of the 200-kilowatt alternators installed. The debut transmissions received replies from stations in 17 countries. Although the initial installation would remain in operation, the additional antenna spokes and alternator installations would not be completed, due to a major discovery about radio signal propagation. While investigating transmitter "harmonics" – unwanted additional radio signals produced at higher frequencies than a station's normal transmission frequency – Westinghouse's
Frank Conrad Frank Conrad (May 4, 1874 – December 10, 1941) was an electrical engineer, best known for radio development, including his work as a pioneer broadcaster. He worked for the Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Company in East Pittsburgh, Pe ...
unexpectedly found that in some cases the harmonics could be heard farther than the primary signal, something previously thought impossible, as high-frequency
shortwave Shortwave radio is radio transmission using shortwave (SW) radio frequencies. There is no official definition of the band, but the range always includes all of the High frequency, high frequency band (HF), which extends from 3 to 30 MHz (100 ...

shortwave
signals, which had poor groundwave coverage, were thought to have a very limited transmission range. In 1924, Conrad demonstrated to Sarnoff that a low-powered shortwave station in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania could be readily received in London by a simple receiver using a curtain rod as an antenna, matching, at a small fraction of the cost, the performance of the massive alternator transmitters. In 1926 Dr. Harold H. Beverage further reported that a shortwave signal, transmitted on a 15-meter wavelength (approximately 20 MHz), was received in South America more readily during the daytime than the 200-kilowatt alternator transmissions. The Alexanderson alternators, control of which had led to RCA's formation, were now considered obsolete, and international communication would be primarily conducted using
vacuum tube A vacuum tube, electron tube, valve (British usage), or tube (North America), is a device that controls electric current An electric current is a stream of charged particles, such as electrons or ions, moving through an electrical conductor o ...
transmitters operating on shortwave bands. RCA would continue to operate international telecommunications services for the remainder of its existence, through its subsidiary RCA Communications, Inc., and later the RCA Global Communications Company. International shortwave was in turn largely supplanted by communications satellites, especially for distributing network radio and television programming. In 1975, the company formed
RCA American Communications SES Americom was a major commercial communications satellite, satellite operator of North American Geosynchronous satellite, geosynchronous satellites based in the United States. The company started as RCA Americom in 1975 before being bought by ...
, which operated its Satcom series of geostationary communications satellites.


Broadcasting

The introduction of organized radio broadcasting in the early 1920s resulted in a dramatic reorientation and expansion of RCA's business activities. The development of vacuum tube radio transmitters made audio transmissions practical, in contrast with the earlier transmitters which were limited to sending the dits-and-dahs of
Morse code Morse code is a method used in telecommunication to Character encoding, encode Written language, text characters as standardized sequences of two different signal durations, called ''dots'' and ''dashes'', or ''dits'' and ''dahs''. Morse code ...
. Since at least 1916, when he was still at American Marconi, David Sarnoff had proposed establishing broadcasting stations, but his memos to management promoting the idea for sales of a "Radio Music Box" had not been followed up at the time. Starting around 1920 a small number of broadcasting stations began operating, and soon interest in the innovation was spreading nationwide. In the summer of 1921, a Madison Square Garden employee, Julius Hopp, devised a plan to raise charitable funds by broadcasting, from ringside, the July 2, 1921 Dempsey-Carpentier heavyweight championship fight to be held in Jersey City, New Jersey. Hopp recruited theaters and halls as listening locations that would charge admission fees to be used as charitable donations. He also contacted RCA's J. Andrew White, the acting president of the National Amateur Wireless Association (NAWA), an organization originally formed by American Marconi which had been inherited by RCA. White agreed to recruit the NAWA membership for volunteers to provide assistance at the listening sites, and also enlisted David Sarnoff for financial and technical support. RCA was authorized to set up a temporary longwave radio station, located in Hoboken a short distance from the match site, and operating under the call letters WJY. For the broadcast White and Sarnoff telephoned commentary from ringside, which was typed up and then read over the air by J. Owen Smith. The demonstration was a technical success, with a claimed audience of 300,000 listeners throughout the northeast."Voice-Broadcasting the Stirring Progress of the 'Battle of the Century' "
''The Wireless Age'', August 1921, pages 11–21.
RCA quickly moved to expand its broadcasting activities. In the fall of 1921, it set up its first full-time broadcasting station, WDY, at the Roselle Park, New Jersey company plant. By 1923 RCA was operating three stations—WJZ (now WABC) and WJY in New York City, and WRC (now
WTEM WTEM (980 AM) is a commercial sports Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group ...
) in Washington, D.C. A restriction imposed by AT&T's interpretation of the patent cross-licensing agreements required that the RCA stations remain commercial free, and they were financed by profits from radio equipment sales.


National Broadcasting Company

Beginning in 1922, AT&T became heavily involved in radio broadcasting, and soon became the new industry's most important participant. From the beginning, AT&T's policy was to finance stations by commercial sponsorship of the programs. The company also created the first radio network, centered on its New York City station WEAF (now
WFAN WFAN (660 AM, also known as "Sports Radio 66 AM and 101.9 FM" or "The FAN") is a commercial radio station , Sweden , Norway Radio broadcasting is transmission of audio signal, audio (sound), sometimes with related metadata, by radio waves in ...
), using its long-distance telephone lines to interconnect stations. This allowed them to economize by having multiple stations carry the same program. RCA and its partners soon faced an economic crisis, as the costs of providing programming threatened to exceed the funds available from equipment profits. The problem was resolved in 1926 when AT&T unexpectedly decided to exit the radio broadcasting field. RCA purchased, for $1,000,000, AT&Ts two radio stations, WEAF and WCAP in Washington, D.C., as well as its network operations. These assets formed the basis for the creation of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), with ownership divided between RCA (50%), General Electric (30%), and Westinghouse (20%) until 1930, when RCA assumed 100% ownership. This purchase also included the right to begin commercial operations. NBC formed two radio networks that eventually expanded nationwide: the NBC-Red Network, with flagship station WEAF, and NBC-Blue, centered on WJZ. Although NBC was originally promoted as expecting to just break even economically, it soon became extremely profitable, which would be an important factor in helping RCA survive the economic pressures of the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning . The timing of the Great Depression varied around the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the l ...
that began in late 1929. Concerned that NBC's control of two national radio networks gave it too much power over the industry, in 1941 the
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in different jurisdictions. In ...
(FCC) promulgated a rule designed to force NBC to divest one of them. This order was upheld by the U.S Supreme Court, and on October 12, 1943, the NBC-Blue network was sold to candy magnate for $8,000,000, and renamed "The Blue Network, Inc." In 1946 the name was changed to the
American Broadcasting Company The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), co ...
(ABC). The "Red" network retained the NBC name and remained under RCA ownership until 1986. For two decades the NBC radio network's roster of stars provided ratings consistently surpassing those of its main competitor, the
Columbia Broadcasting System CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) is an American commercial broadcast television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and whit ...

Columbia Broadcasting System
(CBS). But in 1948, as the transition from radio to television was beginning, NBC's leadership came under attack due to what became known as the "Paley raids", named after the president of CBS, William S. Paley. After World War II the tax rate for annual incomes above $70,000 was 77%, while capital gains were taxed at 25%. Paley worked out an accounting technique whereby individual performers could set up corporations that allowed their earnings to be taxed at the significantly lower rate. Instead of NBC responding with a similar package, Sarnoff decided that this accounting method was legally and ethically wrong. NBC's performers did not agree, and most of the top stars, including
Amos and Andy ''Amos 'n' Andy'' is an American radio and television sitcom A sitcom, Clipping (morphology), clipping for situational comedy (situation comedy in the U.S.), is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who (mostly) carry over f ...
,
Jack Benny Benjamin Kubelsky (February 14, 1894 – December 26, 1974), known professionally as Jack Benny, was an American entertainer, who evolved from a modest success playing violin on the circuit to one of the leading entertainers of the twentieth c ...
,
Red Skelton Richard Red Skelton (July 18, 1913September 17, 1997) was an American entertainer best known for his national old-time radio, radio and television shows between 1937 and 1971, especially as host of the television program ''The Red Skelton Show''. ...

Red Skelton
,
Edgar Bergen Edgar John Bergen (born Edgar John Berggren; February 16, 1903 – September 30, 1978) was an American actor, comedian, vaudevillian and radio performer, best known for his proficiency in ventriloquism Ventriloquism, or ventriloquy, i ...
,
Burns and Allen Burns and Allen was an American comedy duo A double act (also known as a comedy duo) is a form of comedy originating in the British music hall tradition, and American vaudeville, in which two comedians perform together as a single act. Pairing ...
,
Ed Wynn Isaiah Edwin Leopold (November 9, 1886 – June 19, 1966), better known as Ed Wynn, was an American actor and comedian, noted for his ''Perfect Fool'' comedy character, his pioneering radio show of the 1930s, and his later career as a dramatic ...
,
Fred Waring Fredrick Malcolm Waring Sr. (June 9, 1900 – July 29, 1984) was a musician, bandleader, and radio and television personality, sometimes referred to as "America's Singing Master" and "The Man Who Taught America How to Sing". He was also a promoter, ...
,
Al Jolson Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson; c. 1885 – October 23, 1950) was an American singer, comedian, and actor. Jolson was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer" at the peak of his career and has been referred to by modern critics as "the king of bla ...

Al Jolson
,
Groucho Marx Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx (; October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) was an American comedian, actor, writer, stage, film, radio, and television star. He is generally considered to have been a master of quick wit and one of America's greatest come ...

Groucho Marx
and
Frank Sinatra Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor who is generally viewed as one of the greatest musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, havi ...

Frank Sinatra
moved from NBC to CBS. As a result, CBS boasted of having sixteen of the twenty top-rated programs in 1949. The consequences would carry over to television, where CBS maintained its newfound dominance for decades. Paley had personally worked to woo the performers, while Sarnoff professed his indifference to the defections, stating at an annual meeting that "Leadership built over the years on a foundation of solid service cannot be snatched overnight by buying a few high-priced comedians. Leadership is not a laughing matter."


Radio receivers

RCA acted as the sales agent for a small line of Westinghouse and GE branded receivers and parts used by home constructors, originally for a limited market of
amateur radio Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of radio frequency radio spectrum, spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emerge ...
enthusiasts. By 1922, the rise of broadcasting had dramatically increased the demand for radio equipment by the general public, and this development was reflected in the title of RCA's June 1, 1922 catalog, "Radio Enters the Home". RCA began selling receivers under the "Radiola" name, marketing equipment produced by GE and Westinghouse under the production agreement that allocated a 60%–40% ratio in output between the two companies. Although the patent cross-licensing agreements had been intended to give the participants domination of equipment sales, the tremendous growth of the market led to fierce competition, and in 1925 RCA fell behind
Atwater Kent Arthur Atwater Kent Sr. (December 3, 1873 – March 4, 1949) was an American inventor and prominent radio manufacturer based in Philadelphia. In 1921, he patented the modern form of the automobile ignition coil. Biography Arthur Kent was born ...
as the leader in receiver sales. RCA was particularly hamstrung by the need to coordinate its sales within the limits of the GE/Westinghouse production quotas, and often had difficulty keeping up with industry trends. However, it made a key advance in early 1924 when it began to sell the first superheterodyne receivers, whose high level of performance increased the brand's reputation and popularity. RCA was the exclusive manufacturer of superheterodyne radio sets until 1930. Until late 1927, all RCA receivers ran on batteries, but at that point plug-in AC sets were introduced, which provided another boost in sales.


Vacuum tubes

RCA inherited American Marconi's status as a major producer of vacuum tubes, which were branded Radiotron in the United States. Especially after the rise of broadcasting, they were a major profit source for the company. RCA's strong patent position meant that the company effectively set the selling prices for vacuum tubes in the U.S., which were significantly higher than in Europe, where
Lee de Forest #REDIRECT Lee de Forest#REDIRECT Lee de Forest Lee de Forest (August 26, 1873 – June 30, 1961) was an American inventor and early pioneer in radio and in the development of sound-on-film recording used for motion pictures. He had over 180 patent ...

Lee de Forest
had allowed a key patent issued to him to lapse. RCA was responsible for creating a series of innovative products, ranging from octal base metal tubes co-developed with
General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Mult ...
before World War II, to miniaturized
Nuvistor upNuvistor with U.S. dime for scale The nuvistor is a type of vacuum tube A vacuum tube, an electron tube, valve (British usage) or tube (North America), is a device that controls electric current flow in a high vacuum between electrodes ...
tubes used in the tuners of the New Vista series of television receivers. The Nuvistor tubes were a last major vacuum tube innovation, along with General Electric's
Compactron Compactrons are a type of vacuum tube, thermionic valve, or vacuum tube, which contain multiple electrode structures packed into a single enclosure. They were designed to compete with early transistor electronics and were used in televisions, radios ...
, and were meant to compete with the newly introduced transistor. By 1975, RCA had completely switched from tubes to solid-state devices in their television sets, except for the
cathode ray tube A cathode-ray tube (CRT) is a vacuum tube containing one or more electron guns, the beams of which are manipulated to display images on a phosphorescent screen. The images may represent electrical waveforms (oscilloscope), pictures (televisi ...

cathode ray tube
(CRT) picture tube itself.


Phonographs and records

The rapid rise of radio broadcasting during the early 1920s, which provided unlimited free entertainment in the home, had a detrimental effect on the American phonograph record industry. The
Victor Talking Machine Company The Victor Talking Machine Company was an American recording company and manufacturer headquartered in . It was the largest and most prestigious firm of its kind in the world, perhaps best known for its use of the famous "" trademark and the p ...
in
Camden, New Jersey Camden is a City (New Jersey), city in and the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey, in the United States. Camden is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a populati ...
was then the world's largest manufacturer of both
records A record, recording or records may refer to: An item or collection of data Computing * Record (computer science), a data structure ** Record, or row (database), a set of fields in a database related to one entity ** Boot sector or boot record, rec ...
and
phonograph A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone (as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name in the UK since 1910) or since the 1940s called a record player, is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound I ...

phonograph
s, including its popular showcase "Victrola" line. RCA purchased the Victor Company in January, 1929; this acquisition became known as the RCA Victor division, and included ownership of Victor's Japanese subsidiary, the
Victor Company of Japan The , usually referred to as JVC or the Japan Victor Company, was a Japanese Multinational corporation, international professional and consumer electronics corporation based in Yokohama. Founded in 1927, the company is best known for introducin ...

Victor Company of Japan
(JVC), formed in 1927 and controlling interest in The Gramophone Company Ltd. (later
EMI Records EMI Records Ltd. is a British record label owned by Universal Music Group Universal Music Group B.V. (often abbreviated as UMG) is a global Music industry, music corporation that is majority owned by the French media conglomerate Vivendi ...

EMI Records
) in
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
. With the purchase of Victor, RCA acquired the western hemisphere rights to the famous
Nipper Nipper (1884 – September 1895) was a dog The domestic dog (''Canis familiaris'' or ''Canis lupus familiaris'') is a domesticated form of wolf. The dog descended from an ancient, extinct wolf, with the modern grey wolf being the dog's ne ...

Nipper
/"
His Master's Voice His Master's Voice (HMV) was the name of a major British record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct f ...

His Master's Voice
" trademark. RCA Victor popularized combined radio receiver-phonographs, and also created
RCA Photophone :''This article is for the sound-on-film technology. For the telecommunication device invented by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter, see Photophone A diagram from one of Bell's 1880 papers The photophone is a telecommunications ...
, a movie
sound-on-film Sound-on-film is a class of sound film A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film A silent film is a film with no synchronized Sound recording and repr ...
system that competed with William Fox's sound-on-film Movietone and
Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB) is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California ...
'
sound-on-discSound-on-disc is a class of sound film A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film A silent film is a film with no synchronized Sound recording and reproduct ...
Vitaphone File:First-nighters posing for the camera outside the Warners' Theater before the premiere of "Don Juan" with John Barrymore, - NARA - 535750.jpg, 300px, Premiere of ''Don Juan (1926 film), Don Juan'' in New York City Vitaphone was a sound film ...
. Though early announcements of the RCA and Victor merger stressed that the two firms were linking on equal terms to form a joint new company, it soon became obvious that RCA initially had little true interest in the phonograph record business; in the acquisition of Victor, RCA was primarily interested in the record company's superior distribution and sales capabilities through Victor's large established network of authorized dealers and extensive, efficient manufacturing facilities in
Camden, New Jersey Camden is a City (New Jersey), city in and the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey, in the United States. Camden is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a populati ...
. Immediately following the purchase of Victor, RCA began planning the manufacture of radio sets and components on Victor's Camden assembly lines, while decreasing the production of Victrolas and records. The entire phonograph record industry in America nearly foundered following the
stock market crash of 1929 The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Great Crash, was a major American stock market crash that occurred in the autumn of 1929. It started in September and ended late in October, when share prices on the New York Stock Exchange T ...
and subsequent
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning . The timing of the Great Depression varied around the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the l ...
; During the nadir of the record business in the early 1930s, the manufacture of phonographs and records had all but ceased; extant older phonographs were now obsolete. RCA Victor began selling the first all-electric Victrola in 1930 and in 1931 and the company attempted to revitalize record sales with the introduction of 33⅓ revolutions-per-minute (rpm) long play records, which were a commercial failure during the Great Depression, partly because the Victrolas with two speed turntables required to play them were exorbitantly expensive, and also because the audio performance of the new records was generally poor; the new format used the same groove size as existing 78 rpm records, and it would require the smaller-radius stylus of the later microgroove systems to achieve acceptable slower-speed performance. Additionally, the new long play records were pressed in a pliable vinyl based material called Victrolac, which wore out rapidly due to the extremely heavy tonearms then in use. After the debacle of its long play record, RCA Victor's next attempt at a restorative was the Duo Jr.; introduced in 1934, the Duo Jr. was an inexpensive, small, basic electric turntable designed to be plugged into radio sets. The Duo Jr. was sold at cost, but was practically given away with the purchase of a certain number of Victor records. The Duo Jr.'s rock bottom price helped to overcome the national apathy toward the phonograph and record sales gradually began to recover. Around 1935, RCA began marketing the modernistic RCA Victor M Special, a polished aluminum portable record player designed by
John Vassos John Vassos (October 23, 1898 – December 6, 1985, born John Plato Vassacopoulos) whose career as an American industrial designer and artist helped define the shape of radio, television, broadcasting equipment, and computers for the RCA, Radio C ...
that has become an icon of 1930s American industrial design. In 1949, RCA Victor released the first 45 rpm "single" records, as a response to
Columbia Records Columbia Records is an American record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other seller ...

Columbia Records
successful introduction of its microgroove 33⅓ rpm " LP" format in 1948. RCA Victor adopted Columbia's 33⅓ rpm LP records in 1950, and in 1951, Columbia adopted RCA Victor's 45 rpm records.


Motion pictures

RCA also made investments in the movie industry, but they performed poorly. In April 1928 RCA Photophone, Inc., was organized by a group of companies including RCA to develop sound-movie technology. In the fall of 1927, RCA had purchased stock in Film Booking Office (FBO), and on October 25, 1928, with the help of Joseph P. Kennedy, the Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation (RKO) studio was formed by merging FBO with Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation (KAO), a company whose holdings included motion picture theaters. The theaters in which RKO had an interest provided a potential market for the RCA Photophone sound systems. RCA ownership of RKO stock expanded from approximately 25% in 1930 to approximately 61% in 1932. However, the RKO studio encountered severe financial problems, going into receivership from early 1933 to 1940. RCA sold its holdings in order to raise funds for its basic operations.


Separation from General Electric

Following years of industry complaints that the cross-licensing agreements between RCA, GE and Westinghouse had in effect created spheres-of-influence for the participating companies, resulting in illegal monopolies, in May 1930 the U.S. Department of Justice brought antitrust charges against the three companies. After a long period of negotiation, in 1932 the Justice Department accepted a consent agreement which removed the restrictions established by the cross-licensing agreements, and also provided that RCA would become a fully independent company. As a result, GE and Westinghouse gave up their ownership interests in RCA, while RCA was allowed to keep its factories. In order to give RCA a chance to establish itself, GE and Westinghouse were required to refrain from competing in the radio business for the next two and one-half years.


Television

RCA began television development in early 1929, after an overly optimistic Vladimir K. Zworykin convinced Sarnoff that a commercial version of his prototype system could be produced in a relatively short time for $100,000. Following what would actually be many years of additional research and millions of dollars, RCA demonstrated an all-electronic black-and-white television system at the
1939 New York World's Fair The 1939–40 New York World's Fair was a world's fair A world's fair is a large international exhibition designed to showcase achievements of nations. These exhibitions vary in character and are held in different parts of the world at ...
. RCA began regular experimental television broadcasting from the NBC studios to the New York metropolitan area on April 30, 1939 via station W2XBS, channel 1 (which evolved into
WNBC WNBC, virtual channel 4 (ultra high frequency, UHF digital terrestrial television, digital channel 35), is the flagship (broadcasting), flagship station of the NBC television network, city of license, licensed to New York City, New York, New Y ...
channel 4) from the new Empire State Building transmitter on top of the structure. Around this time, RCA began selling its first television set models, including the TRK-5 and TRK-9, in various New York stores. However, the FCC had not approved the start of commercial television operations, because technical standards had not yet been finalized. Concerned that RCA's broadcasts were an attempt to flood the market with sets that would force it to adopt RCA's current technology, the FCC stepped in to limit its broadcasts. Following the adoption of
National Television System Committee The abbreviation NTSC can refer to the National Television System Committee,National Television System Committee (1951–1953), [Report and Reports of Panel No. 11, 11-A, 12-19, with Some supplementary references cited in the Reports, and the Pet ...
(NTSC) recommended standards, the FCC authorized the start of commercial television broadcasts on July 1, 1941. The entry of the United States into World War II a few months later greatly slowed its deployment, but RCA resumed selling television receivers almost immediately after the war ended in 1945. In 1950, the FCC adopted a standard for
color television Color television is a television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and ...
that had been promoted by CBS, but the effort soon failed, primarily because the color broadcasts could not be received by existing black-and-white sets. As the result of a major research push, RCA engineers developed a method of "compatible" color transmissions that, through the use of interlacing, simultaneously broadcast color and black-and-white images, which could be picked up by both color and existing black-and-white sets. In 1953, RCA's all-electronic color television technology was adopted as the standard for the United States. At that time, Sarnoff predicted annual color television sales would reach 1.78 million in 1956, but the receivers were expensive and difficult to adjust, and there was initially a lack of color programming, so sales lagged badly and the actual 1956 total would only be 120,000. RCA's ownership of NBC proved to be a major benefit, as that network was instructed to promote its color program offerings; even so, it was not until 1968 that color television sales in the United States surpassed those of black-and-white sets. While lauding the technical prowess of his RCA engineers who had developed color television, David Sarnoff, in marked contrast to William Paley, president of CBS, did not disguise his dislike for popular television programs. His authorized biography even boasted that "no one has yet caught him in communion with one of the upper dozen or so top-rated programs" and "The popular programs, to put the matter bluntly, have very little appeal for him." RCA professional video cameras and studio gear, particularly of the RCA TK-40, TK-40/41 series, became standard equipment at many American television network affiliates, as RCA CT-100 ("RCA Merrill" to dealers) television sets introduced color television to the public.


Diversification

In 1941, a few months before the United States entered World War II, the cornerstone was laid for a research and development facility in
Princeton, New Jersey Princeton is a municipality with a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, off ...
called RCA Laboratories. Led for many years by Elmer Engstrom, it was used to develop many innovations, including
color television Color television is a television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and ...
, the
electron microscope An electron microscope is a microscope that uses a beam of accelerated electrons as a source of illumination. As the wavelength of an electron can be up to 100,000 times shorter than that of visible light photons, electron microscopes have a high ...

electron microscope
,
CMOS Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS, pronounced "see-moss"), also known as complementary-symmetry metal–oxide–semiconductor (COS-MOS), is a type of metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor The metal–oxide–sem ...
-based technology,
heterojunctionA heterojunction is an interface between two Layer (electronics), layers or regions of dissimilar semiconductors. These semiconducting materials have unequal band gaps as opposed to a homojunction. It is often advantageous to engineer the electronic ...

heterojunction
physics, optoelectronic emitting devices,
liquid crystal display A liquid-crystal display (LCD) is a flat-panel display A flat-panel display (FPD) is an electronic display device s, LED display and Vacuum fluorescent display, VF display, top to bottom. A display device is an output device for presentation ...
s (LCDs),
videocassette recorder Not all video tape recorders use a cassette to contain the videotape. Early models of consumer video tape recorders (Video tape recorder">VTRs), and most professional broadcast analog videotape machines (e.g. Type C videotape, 1-inch Type C ...
s, direct broadcast television, direct broadcast satellite systems and
high-definition television High-definition television (HD or HDTV) describes a television system providing a substantially higher image resolution Image resolution is the detail an holds. The term applies to s, film images, and other types of images. Higher resolution m ...
. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, RCA plants switched to war production. In September 1942, work began on a secret project for the U.S. Navy called Madame X. The Bloomington, Indiana, plant was one of the first of five RCA plants to produce Madame X. Madame X was a VT fuse, which is a
proximity fuse 300px, Proximity fuze MK53 removed from shell, circa 1950s A proximity fuze (or fuse) is a fuze that detonates an explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that ca ...
used to electronically detonate a projectile's payload when it was in range of its target, as opposed to relying on a direct hit. James V. Forrestal, former secretary of the Navy said, "The proximity fuse had helped blaze the trail to Japan. Without the protection this ingenious device has given the surface ships of the fleet, our westward push could not have been so swift and the cost in men and ships would have been immeasurably greater." During World War II, RCA was involved in
radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, Marine radar, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor ...

radar
and radio development in support of the war effort, and ranked 43rd among United States corporations in the value of wartime military production contracts. During and after the war, RCA set up several new divisions for defense, space exploration and other activities. The RCA Service Corporation provided large numbers of staff for the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line. RCA units won five Army–Navy "E" Awards for Excellence in production. Also during the war, ties between RCA and JVC were severed. In 1955, RCA sold its Estate large appliance operations to
Whirlpool Corporation Image:HK Causeway Bay Leighton Road Whirlpool Showroom a.jpg, 200px, Showroom in Hong Kong The Whirlpool Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, headquartered in Benton ...
. As part of the transaction, Whirlpool was given the right to market "RCA Whirlpool" appliances through the mid-1960s. RCA Made equipment for repairing radios, such as oscilloscopes. RCA Graphic Systems Division (GSD) was an early supplier of electronics designed for the printing and publishing industries. It contracted with German company
Rudolf Hell Rudolf Hell (19 December 1901 – 11 March 2002) was a German inventor. He was born in Eggmühl, Germany. From 1919 to 1923 he studied electrical engineering in Munich. He worked there from 1923 to 1929 as assistant of Prof. Max Dieckmann, w ...
to market adaptations of the Digiset photocomposition system as the Videocomp, and a Laser Color Scanner. The Videocomp was supported by a Spectra computer that ran the Page-1 and, later the Page-II and FileComp composition systems. RCA later sold the Videocomp rights to Information International Inc. RCA became a major proponent of the eight-track tape cartridge, which it launched in 1965. The eight-track cartridge initially had a huge and profitable impact on the consumer marketplace. Sales of the 8-track tape format declined when consumers increasingly favored the 4-track compact cassette tape format developed by
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer t ...

Philips
.


RCA Communication Systems

RCA Communication Systems is a brand of radio communications equipment, including
two-way radio A two-way radio is a that can both transmit and receive s (a ), unlike a receiver which only receives content. It is an audio (sound) , a and in one unit, used for bidirectional person-to-person voice communication with other users with ...
s. The RCA brand is used under license.


Computers

RCA was one of a number of companies in the 1960s that entered the mainframe computer field in order to challenge the market leader
International Business Machines International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the C ...

International Business Machines
(IBM). Although at this time computers were almost universally used for routine data processing and scientific research, in 1964 Sarnoff, who prided himself as a visionary, predicted that "The computer will become the hub of a vast network of remote data stations and information banks feeding into the machine at a transmission rate of a billion or more bits of information a second ... Eventually, a global communications network handling voice, data and facsimile will instantly link man to machine—or machine to machine—by land, air, underwater, and space circuits. he computerwill affect man's ways of thinking, his means of education, his relationship to his physical and social environment, and it will alter his ways of living. ...  efore the end of this century, these forceswill coalesce into what unquestionably will become the greatest adventure of the human mind." RCA marketed a Spectra 70 computer line that was hardware, but not software, compatible with IBM's
System/360 The IBM System/360 (S/360) is a family of mainframe computer systems that was announced by IBM on April 7, 1964, and delivered between 1965 and 1978. It was the first family of computers designed to cover the complete range of applications, f ...
series. It also produced the RCA Series, which competed against the
IBM System/370 The IBM System/370 (S/370) is a model range of IBM mainframe computers announced on June 30, 1970 as the successors to the IBM System/360, System/360 family. The series mostly maintains backward compatibility with the S/360, allowing an easy ...
. This technology was leased to the
English Electric N.º UIC: 9094 110 1449-3 (Takargo Rail) The English Electric Company Limited (EE) was a British industrial manufacturer formed after the Armistice of 11 November 1918, armistice of World War I by amalgamating five businesses which, during th ...
company, which used it for their System 4 series, which were essentially RCA Spectra 70 clones. RCA's TSOS operating system was the first mainframe, demand paging, virtual memory operating system on the market. By 1971, despite a significant investment, RCA had only a 4% market share, and it was estimated that it would cost around $500 million over the next five years to remain competitive with the IBM/370 series. On September 17, 1971, the RCA Board of Directors announced its decision to close its computer systems division (RCA-CSD), which would be written off as a $490 million company loss.
Sperry Rand Sperry Corporation was a major American equipment and electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomi ...
's UNIVAC division took over the RCA computer division in January, 1972.


Later years

On January 1, 1965, Robert Sarnoff succeeded his father as RCA's president, although the elder Sarnoff remained in control as chairman of the board. The younger Sarnoff sought to modernize RCA's image with the introduction in 1968 of a new, futuristic-looking (at the time) logo (the letters 'RCA' in block, modernized form), replacing the original lightning bolt logo, and the virtual retirement of both the Victor and Nipper/His Master's Voice trademarks. The RCA Victor Division was now known as RCA Records; 'Victor' was now restricted to the labels and album covers of RCA's regular popular record releases, while the Nipper trademark was seen only on the album covers of records. In 1969, the company name was officially changed from Radio Corporation of America to the RCA Corporation, to reflect its broader range of corporate activities and expansion into other countries. At the end of that same year David Sarnoff, after being incapacitated by a long-term illness, was removed as the company's chairman of the board. He died in 1971. RCA's exit from the mainframe computer market in 1971 marked a milestone in its transition from electronics and technology toward Robert Sarnoff's goal to diversify RCA as a multinational business
conglomerate Conglomerate or conglomeration may refer to: * Conglomerate (company) * Conglomerate (geology) * Conglomerate (mathematics) In popular culture: * The Conglomerate (American group), a production crew and musical group founded by Busta Rhymes ** Con ...
. During the late 1960s and 1970s, the company made a wide-ranging series of acquisitions, including
Hertz The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action ...
(rental cars),
Banquet A banquet (; ) is a formal large meal or feast, where a number of people consume food together. Banquets are traditionally held to enhance the prestige of a host, or reinforce social bonds among joint contributors. Modern examples of these pur ...
(frozen foods and
TV dinner A frozen meal (also called TV dinner in the US and Canada), prepackaged meal, ready-made meal, ready meal (UK), frozen dinner, and microwave meal) is a processed food, packaged frozen meal that comes portioned for an individual. A frozen meal i ...
s),
Coronet A coronet is a small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal ring. By one definition, a coronet differs from other kinds of crowns in that a coronet never has arches, and from a tiara in that a coronet completely encircles the head, ...
(carpeting),
Random House Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. The company has several independently managed subsidiaries around the world. It is part of Penguin Random House Penguin Random Hous ...

Random House
(publishing) and
Gibson Gibson may refer to: Businesses * Gibson (guitar company) Gibson Brands, Inc. (formerly Gibson Guitar Corporation) is an American manufacturer of guitars The guitar is a fretted musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created ...
(greeting cards). However, the company was slipping into financial disarray, with wags calling it "Rugs Chickens & Automobiles" (RCA), to poke fun at its new direction. Robert Sarnoff's tenure as RCA president was unsuccessful, marked by falling profits, in addition to being disliked personally by many company executives. He was ousted in a 1975 "
boardroom coup A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company, an institution, ...
" led by Anthony Conrad, who became the new company president. Conrad resigned less than a year later after he admitted failing to file income tax returns for six years. His successor, Edgar H. Griffiths, proved to be unpopular and retired in early 1981. Thornton Bradshaw would be the next, and last, RCA president. RCA maintained its high standards of engineering excellence in broadcast engineering and satellite communications equipment, but ventures such as the NBC radio and television networks declined. Beginning in 1976, largely due to popular demand and attempting to reconnect RCA to its heritage, Griffiths revived the Nipper/His Master's Voice trademark. RCA Records reinstated Nipper to most record labels in countries where RCA held the rights to the trademark. Nipper was also once again widely used in RCA newspaper and magazine advertisements, as well as store displays and a multitude of promotional items such as T-shirts, caps, watches, key chains, coin banks, coffee mugs, coasters and stuffed toys. The trademark also returned to RCA stationery and shipping cartons, was painted on RCA delivery and service trucks and reappeared for a time on RCA television sets and
CED Videodisc The Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) is an analog video disc playback system developed by RCA, in which video and audio could be played back on a TV set A Sony Wega CRT television set A television set or television receiver, more common ...
players. Several TV news reports and newspaper articles about Nipper's return appeared at the time. Around 1980, RCA corporate strategy reported on moving manufacture of its television receivers to Mexico. RCA was still profitable in 1983, when it switched manufacturing of its VHS VCRs from
Panasonic formerly is a major Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state ...

Panasonic
to
Hitachi () is a Japanese multinational corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate corporation headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is the parent company of the Hitachi Group (''Hitachi Gurūpu'') and had formed part of the Ni ...
. Projects attempting to establish new
consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum ...
products during this era, lost money. An
RCA Studio II The RCA Studio II is a home video game console A home video game console is a video game console that is designed to be connected to a display device, such as a television, and an external power source as to play video games. Home consoles are ...
home video game console, introduced in 1977, was canceled just under two years later due to poor sales. RCA's capacitance electronic (CED) videodisc system, marketed under the
SelectaVision SelectaVision was a trademark name used on four classes of device by RCA: * The Holotape, a prototype video medium * Magnetic tape Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin, magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip ...
name, was launched in early 1981 after several years of delays. Development of the videodisc system began in 1964 and was practically obsolete by the time it finally did appear. The system never reached the manufacturing volumes that even approached the numbers needed to substantially bring down its price. RCA's videodisc was unable to compete against the newer, recordable and increasingly cheaper videotape technology. RCA abandoned the manufacture of CED players in 1984 and discs in 1986, after a loss of around 650 million dollars. In 1981,
Columbia Pictures Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a Film, motion picture is #Production, produced. Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, starting wit ...
sold its share in the home video division to RCA and outside of North America this division was renamed to "RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video (now
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (abbreviated as SPHE) is the home video distribution division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony, Sony Group Corporation, formed in 1978. Background SPHE is responsible for the distribution of ...
)". The following year, within North America, it was renamed to "RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video". In 1983, the German media conglomerate
Bertelsmann Bertelsmann is a German private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
sold 50% of
Arista Records Arista Records, Inc. () is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was previously handled by Bertelsmann Mu ...
to RCA; in 1985, RCA and Bertelsmann formed a joint venture, RCA/Ariola International, which took over management of
RCA Records RCA Records is an American record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Bra ...

RCA Records
. In 1984, RCA Broadcast Systems Division moved from the RCA Victor plant in
Camden, New Jersey Camden is a City (New Jersey), city in and the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey, in the United States. Camden is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a populati ...
, to the site of the RCA antenna engineering facility in
Gibbsboro, New Jersey Gibbsboro is a Borough (New Jersey), borough in Camden County, New Jersey, Camden County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 2,274, reflecting a decline of 161 (-6.6%) from the 2,435 count ...
. On October 3, 1985, RCA announced it was closing the Broadcast Systems Division. In the years that followed, the broadcast product lines developed in Camden were terminated or sold off, and most of the old RCA Victor buildings and factories in Camden were demolished, except for a few of the nearly century old original Victor buildings that had been declared national historic buildings. For several years, RCA spinoff
L-3 Communications L3 Technologies, formerly L-3 Communications Holdings, was an American company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, le ...
Systems East was headquartered in the famous
Nipper Building The Nipper Building is a colloquial name for ''The Victor'' condominiums, and formerly, Building 17, RCA Victor RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment Sony Music Entertainment (commonly referred to as Sony ...
, but has since moved to an adjacent building built by the city for them. The Nipper Building was restored and now houses shops and luxury loft apartments.


Re-acquisition and break-up by General Electric

In December 1985, it was announced that General Electric would reacquire its former subsidiary for $6.28 billion in cash, or $66.50 per share of stock. The sale was completed the next year, and despite initial assurances that RCA would continue to operate as a mostly autonomous unit, it was revealed that GE's main motivation in purchasing RCA was to acquire the
NBC Television Network The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language Commercial broadcasting, commercial terrestrial Radio network, radio and television network owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered a ...
; GE proceeded to sell off most of the other RCA assets (after the 2011 sale of
NBCUniversal NBCUniversal Media, LLC, traded as NBCUniversal (formerly known as NBC Universal, Inc. from 2004 to 2011), is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countr ...
to
Comcast Comcast Corporation (formerly known as American Cable Systems and Comcast Holdings)Before the AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in mult ...
, the only RCA unit which GE retained was Government Services). GE disposed of its 50% interest in RCA Records to its partner
Bertelsmann Bertelsmann is a German private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
, and the company was renamed BMG Music, for
Bertelsmann Music Group Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) was a division of German media company Bertelsmann Bertelsmann is a German private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting succes ...
. In 1987, RCA Global Communications Inc., a division with roots dating back to RCA's founding in 1919, was sold to the MCI Communications Corporation; the same year, the
NBC Radio Network The National Broadcasting Company The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio ...
was sold to
Westwood One Westwood One is an American radio network There are two types of radio network currently in use around the world: the one-to-many (simplex communication) broadcast network commonly used for public information and mass media, mass-media enterta ...
. In 1988, the rights to manufacture consumer electronics products under the RCA and GE brand was acquired by Thomson Consumer Electronics, in exchange for some of Thomson's medical businesses, which still manages the RCA trademarks today. Also in 1988, its semiconductor business (including the former RCA Solid State unit and
Intersil Intersil is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U. ...
) was bought by
Harris Corporation Harris Corporation was an American technology company, defense contractor, and information technology service (economics), services provider that produced wireless equipment, tactical radios, electronic systems, night vision device, night vision ...
. In 1988, the iconic
RCA Building 30 Rockefeller Plaza is a skyscraper A skyscraper is a large continuously habitable building having multiple floors. Modern sources currently define skyscrapers as being at least 100 metres or 150 metres in height, though there is no univer ...
, known as "30 Rock" at
Rockefeller Center Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adje ...

Rockefeller Center
was renamed the GE Building. In 1991, GE sold its share in RCA/Columbia to Sony Pictures which renamed the unit "Columbia TriStar Home Video" (later further renamed to Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment). This merger surpassed the
Capital Cities/ABC Capital Cities/ABC Inc., was an American media company. It was founded in 1985 when Capital Cities Communications purchased the much larger American Broadcasting Company. It was eventually acquired by The Walt Disney Company and re-branded itself ...
merger that happened earlier in 1985 as the largest non-oil merger in business history. Sarnoff Labs was put on a five-year plan whereby GE would fund all the labs' activities for the first year, then reduce its support to near zero after the fifth year. This required Sarnoff Labs to change its business model to become an industrial contract research facility. In 1988, it was transferred to
SRI International SRI International (SRI) is an American nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public ...
(SRI) as the
David Sarnoff Research Center Sarnoff Corporation was a research and development company specializing in vision, video and semiconductor technology. It was named for David Sarnoff David Sarnoff (February 27, 1891 – December 12, 1971) was an American businessman and pioneer o ...
, and subsequently renamed the
Sarnoff Corporation Sarnoff Corporation was a research and development company specializing in vision, video and semiconductor technology. It was named for David Sarnoff David Sarnoff (February 27, 1891 – December 12, 1971) was an American businessman and pioneer ...
. In January 2011, Sarnoff Corporation was fully integrated into SRI. In 2011, GE sold its controlling interest in the
National Broadcasting Company The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of fr ...
, by this time part of the multimedia
NBC Universal The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of fr ...

NBC Universal
venture that included TV and cable, to
Comcast Comcast Corporation (formerly known as American Cable Systems and Comcast Holdings)Before the AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in mult ...
, and in 2013, Comcast acquired the remaining interest.


Legacy

RCA s, and early color television receivers such as the RCA Merrill/CT-100, are among the more sought-after collectible radios and televisions, due to their popularity during the
golden age of radio The Golden Age of Radio, also known as the old-time radio (OTR) era, was an era of radio in the United States where it was the dominant electronic home entertainment medium. It began with the birth of commercial radio broadcasting in the earl ...
and the historic significance of the RCA name, as well as their styling, manufacturing quality and engineering innovations. Most collectable are the pre-war television sets manufactured by RCA beginning in 1939, including the TRK-5, TRK-9 and TRK-12 models. Th
"RCA Heritage Museum"
was established at
Rowan University Rowan University is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociologi ...

Rowan University
in 2012. The historic RCA Victor Building 17, the "
Nipper Building The Nipper Building is a colloquial name for ''The Victor'' condominiums, and formerly, Building 17, RCA Victor RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment Sony Music Entertainment (commonly referred to as Sony ...
", in
Camden, New Jersey Camden is a City (New Jersey), city in and the county seat of Camden County, New Jersey, in the United States. Camden is located directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a populati ...
, was converted to luxury apartments in 2003. A type of plug/jack combination used in audio and video cables is still called the
RCA connector The RCA connector (or RCA Phono connector or Phono connector) is a type of electrical connector commonly used to carry audio and video signals. The name ''RCA'' derives from the company RCA, Radio Corporation of America, which introduced the desi ...
. To this day, a variety of consumer electronics including 2-in-1 tablets, televisions and telephones, home appliances and more are sold under the RCA brand name.


Environmental issues

Numerous former RCA manufacturing sites have been reported to be polluted with industrial waste. * A former RCA facility in Taiwan's northern county of Taoyuan (now Taoyuan City) polluted groundwater with toxic chemicals and led to a high incidence of cancer among former employees. The area was declared a toxic site by the Taiwanese Environmental Protection Agency. GE and Thomson spent millions of dollars for cleanup, removing of soil and installing municipal water treatment facilities for neighboring communities. A spokesman for RCA's current owners denied responsibility, saying a study conducted by the Taiwan government showed no correlation between the illnesses and the company's facilities, which shut down in 1991. On April 17, 2015, RCA lost the case and the Taipei District Court ordered RCA's current owners to compensate its former employees with a total of NT$560 million (approximately US$18.1 million). * A plant in
Lancaster, Pennsylvania Lancaster, ( ; : ''Lengeschder'') also known as the Red Rose City is a city in , that serves as the of 's and is one of the oldest inland towns in the United States. With a population at the of 59,322, it ranks eighth in population among Pen ...
which RCA operated from the late 1940s to June 1986, released more than 250,000 pounds of 1,1,1-trichloroethane pollutants per year from its exhaust stacks. Tests by the
United States Environmental Protection Agency The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an of the tasked with matters. President proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970; it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an . The was ratified by committee hearings ...
(EPA) in the late 1980s and early 1990s, found the groundwater contaminated by
trichloroethylene The chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by chemical bonds. A ...

trichloroethylene
(TCE) and 1,2-dichloroethylene (1,2-DCE). In 1991 and 1992, contaminants were detected in monitoring wells on the east side of the
Conestoga River The Conestoga River, also referred to as Conestoga Creek, is a U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map, accessed August 8, 2011 tributary of the Susquehanna River flowing through the center ...
in Lancaster. * The shallow and deep groundwater aquifers beneath the
Intersil Intersil is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U. ...
Facility in
Mountaintop, Pennsylvania Mountain Top is an unincorporated area File:Entering Heinola, Minnesota.jpg, Sign at Heinola, Minnesota, Heinola, an unincorporated community in Otter Tail County, Minnesota An unincorporated area is a region not governed by a local municipal cor ...
, which RCA operated in the 1960s and later sold to
Harris Corporation Harris Corporation was an American technology company, defense contractor, and information technology service (economics), services provider that produced wireless equipment, tactical radios, electronic systems, night vision device, night vision ...
, were found in 1999 to contain elevated levels of
volatile organic compound Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic compound, organic chemicals that have a high vapour pressure at room temperature. High vapor pressure correlates with a low boiling point, which relates to the number of the sample's molecules in the sur ...
s. * A site in
Burlington, Massachusetts Burlington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New En ...
which RCA used from 1958 to 1994 to make and test military electronics equipment, generated hazardous waste (
VOCs Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic chemicals , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's abilit ...
, ,
toluene Toluene (), also known as toluol (), is an aromatic hydrocarbon. It is a colorless, Water (molecule), water-insoluble liquid with the smell associated with paint thinners. It is a mono-substituted benzene derivative, consisting of a methyl group ( ...

toluene
,
ethylbenzene Ethylbenzene is an organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's ability to Catenation, cat ...
, and
xylene Xylene (from ''xylon'', "wood"), xylol or dimethylbenzene is any one of three s of dimethylbenzene, or a combination thereof. With the formula (CH3)2C6H4, in each of the three compounds two hydrogen atoms in the ring are substituted by two s. ...
s). * In Barceloneta,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
, an RCA-operated plant generated wastes containing
chromium Chromium is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science tha ...

chromium
,
selenium Selenium is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that ...

selenium
and
iron Iron () is a with Fe (from la, ) and 26. It is a that belongs to the and of the . It is, on , right in front of (32.1% and 30.1%, respectively), forming much of Earth's and . It is the fourth most common . In its metallic state, iron ...

iron
. Four lagoons holding chemical waste drained into the limestone
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of -bearing , rock fractures or unconsolidated materials (, , or ). can be extracted using a water . The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called . Related terms include a ...

aquifer
. Used water from the manufacturing process (process water), containing
ferric chloride Iron(III) chloride is the inorganic compound with the formula (). Also called ferric chloride, it is a common compound of iron in the +3 oxidation state The oxidation state, sometimes referred to as oxidation number, describes the degree of oxidat ...
, was treated onsite to remove contaminants and then was discharged into a sinkhole at the site. The treatment of process water created a
sludge Sludge is a semi-solid slurry A slurry composed of glass beads in silicone oil flowing down an inclined plane A slurry is a mixture of solids denser than water suspended in liquid, usually water. The most common use of slurry is as a means of ...

sludge
that was stored onsite in drying beds and in surface impoundments.


Photo gallery

File: DavidSarnoff 1922.jpg,
David Sarnoff David Sarnoff (February 27, 1891 – December 12, 1971) was an American businessman and pioneer of American radio Radio is the technology of signaling and telecommunication, communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic wav ...
in 1922 File: Edwin Armstrong at blackboard.jpg,
Edwin Armstrong Edwin Howard Armstrong (December 18, 1890 – February 1, 1954) was an American electrical engineer and inventor, who developed FM (frequency modulation) radio and the superheterodyne receiver system. He held 42 patents and received numerous award ...
at RCA File: RCA Nipper.jpg, RCA Nipper atop the old RCA distribution building, Broadway, Albany, New York File: RCA Nipper Camden NJ B.JPG, Stained glass Nipper window at RCA Victor Building 17 in Camden NJ. File: RCANipperGlass.jpg, The Nipper stained glass atop the "Nipper Tower" in the former Building 17. File: RCA Dimensia Victrola logo.JPG, RCA trademarks displayed on the back of Dimensia TV, the 1980s File: RCA original logo.png, Early RCA logo. This logo and later variations of it was revived by BMG after it purchased
RCA Records RCA Records is an American record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Bra ...

RCA Records
from GE. File: RCA Pavilion.jpg, RCA Pavilion at the
1964 New York World's Fair The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair was a world's fair that held over 140 pavilions, 110 restaurants, for 80 nations (hosted by 37), 24 US states, and over 45 corporations to build exhibits or attractions at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Quee ...
File: RCA Model RC-350-A (1938).jpg, RCA Model RC-350-A (1938) radio, made of
Catalin Catalin is a brand name A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business Business is the activity of making on ...
and Bakelite File: RCA-Freedom-19??.jpg, RCA Radio ad, ''circa'' 1945. File: Rca-x551.jpg, RCA Radio x551, Early '50s AC/DC tabletop radio File: RCA AR-88 Receiver.JPG, AR-88 communications receiver File: RCA 44-BX Bi-Directional Velocity Microphone.jpg, RCA 44-BX Bi-Directional Velocity Microphone. File: VictorTalkingLogo.jpg, Victor Talking Machine's
His Master's Voice His Master's Voice (HMV) was the name of a major British record label A record label, or record company, is a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct f ...

His Master's Voice
logo with
Nipper Nipper (1884 – September 1895) was a dog The domestic dog (''Canis familiaris'' or ''Canis lupus familiaris'') is a domesticated form of wolf. The dog descended from an ancient, extinct wolf, with the modern grey wolf being the dog's ne ...

Nipper
(1921). File: Feodor Chaliapin - Song of the Flea - Victor 14901B.jpg, RCA Victor Red Seal Records label, 1930s File: RCA 45 rpm phonograph and record Arthur Fiedler 1949.JPG, Arthur Fiedler demonstrates the new RCA Victor 45rpm player and record in February 1949. File: RCAStudioB Console.jpg, RCA Studio B recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee; known in the 1960s for being part of the Nashville sound. File: Zworykin kinescope 1929.jpg, Vladimir K. Zworykin with an early experimental TV File: Grace Brandt Eddie Albert Grace and Eddie The Honeymooners Show 1937.JPG, Grace Bradt and Eddie Albert in a 1936 NBC television program ''The Honeymooners-Grace and Eddie Show'' using an early RCA camera. File: RCA Indian Head test pattern.JPG, Iconic television Indian Head test card, test pattern created by RCA in 1939 File: RCA Victor TRK 12 (1939), Wolfsonian-FIU, Miami, Florida, USA - 20130910.jpg, First U.S. commercial TV set, the RCA Victor TRK 12 (1939) File: RCA 630-TS Television.jpg, RCA 630-TS, the first mass-produced television set, sold in 1946–1947 File: RCA CT-100 screenshot.jpg, 1954 RCA CT-100 TVLocated at the American Museum of Radio And Electricity. The TV is playing an episode of the ''Superman'' television program. File: RCA Color Broadcast Camera TK-41C - 2.jpg, 1954 RCA TK-41C dolly-mounted color broadcast camera File: RCA Camera in Rupriikki Media Museum front.jpg, 1954 RCA TK-11/TK-31 television camera File: Image-orthicon-tube.png, 1970s-era RCA Radiotron Image Orthicon#Orthicon and CPS Emitron, Orthicon TV Camera Tube File: RCA-Studio-II-FL.jpg,
RCA Studio II The RCA Studio II is a home video game console A home video game console is a video game console that is designed to be connected to a display device, such as a television, and an external power source as to play video games. Home consoles are ...
home video game console (1977) File: Rcactc101.jpg, RCA Colortrak TV set, using the CTC101 chassis, c. 1980 File: RCA RCU403 Remote.jpg, RCA Universal Remote RCU403, c. 2002-2003 File: RCA AutoShot VHS Camcorder.jpg, RCA AutoShot VHS Camcorder, c. 1998 File: Composite-cables.jpg,
RCA connector The RCA connector (or RCA Phono connector or Phono connector) is a type of electrical connector commonly used to carry audio and video signals. The name ''RCA'' derives from the company RCA, Radio Corporation of America, which introduced the desi ...
used for audio and video. File: KL RCA 1802.jpg, RCA 1802, sometimes known as the COSMAC, an 8-bit
CMOS Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS, pronounced "see-moss"), also known as complementary-symmetry metal–oxide–semiconductor (COS-MOS), is a type of metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor The metal–oxide–sem ...
microprocessor from 1976.


See also

* 2N3055 Popular silicon NPN power transistor * Ampliphase * Berliner Gramophone Company, whose Canadian operation became RCA Victor of Canada * Claude E. Robinson, American pioneer in advertising and opinion survey research * CMOS 4000 series * Colortrak and Colortrak 2000, notable trademarks for RCA's early color television sets * Dimensia, a high-end advanced trademark TV for RCA * Electrofax * Elmer T. Cunningham * Ernst Alexanderson, Ernst F. W. Alexanderson RCA's first Chief Engineer, 1920–1924 * Film Chain – RCA TK-26, TK-27 and TK-28 * George H. Brown (Engineer), George H. Brown, a research engineer who headed RCA's development of color television * HMV – His Master's Voice * List of phonograph manufacturers * Missile Test Project *
Nipper Nipper (1884 – September 1895) was a dog The domestic dog (''Canis familiaris'' or ''Canis lupus familiaris'') is a domesticated form of wolf. The dog descended from an ancient, extinct wolf, with the modern grey wolf being the dog's ne ...

Nipper
The dog in RCA's iconic trademark *
Nuvistor upNuvistor with U.S. dime for scale The nuvistor is a type of vacuum tube A vacuum tube, an electron tube, valve (British usage) or tube (North America), is a device that controls electric current flow in a high vacuum between electrodes ...
Nuvistors are among the highest performing small signal receiving tubes * RCA Mark II Sound Synthesizer * RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video (internationally known as RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video), a joint venture between RCA and Columbia Pictures
RCA Transistors and Semiconductor Diodes 1957
Characteristics, Circuits, Theory, Interchangeability Directory * Superette (radio) RCA trademark for their line of superheterodyne receivers during the early 1930s. *
Victor Talking Machine Company The Victor Talking Machine Company was an American recording company and manufacturer headquartered in . It was the largest and most prestigious firm of its kind in the world, perhaps best known for its use of the famous "" trademark and the p ...
Corporate predecessor of RCA Records * XL-100, RCA trademark for extended life and 100% solid state chassis on color television sets in the 1970s and later.


Notes


References


Further reading

* * * Douglas, Susan J. 1989. ''Inventing American Broadcasting, 1899-1922''. Johns Hopkins University Press. * *


External links


Official RCA trademark website

Radio Corporation of American records
(1887–1983) at Hagley Museum and Library.
David Sarnoff Library Digital Collection
at Hagley Museum and Library.
RCA TV equipment archive
(oldradio.com)
Video: Early RCA Computers: the RCA 501
{{Authority control RCA, Former General Electric subsidiaries 1919 establishments in New York (state) 1986 disestablishments in New York (state) 1986 mergers and acquisitions Academy Award for Technical Achievement winners American companies established in 1919 Avionics companies Defunct computer companies of the United States Defunct computer hardware companies Defunct manufacturing companies based in New York City Defunct semiconductor companies of the United States Defunct telecommunications companies of the United States Electronics companies established in 1919 Former components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Vacuum tubes Guitar amplification tubes History of radio Manufacturing companies disestablished in 1986 National Broadcasting Company NBCUniversal Organizations awarded an Academy Honorary Award Phonograph manufacturers Technicolor SA Technology companies established in 1919 Telecommunications companies established in 1919 Video equipment manufacturers