Before 1925 in television

This is a list of television-related events that occurred prior to 1925.

List of years in television (table)
In radio

Global television events

1873Willoughby Smith discovers the photoconductivity of the element selenium. This results in the invention of the photoelectric cell.
1877George R. Carey of Boston, Massachusetts creates a selenium telectroscopea camera that could project a moving image to a distant point. The telectroscope is the first television prototype.
1880Proposals to transmit images by rapidly scanning them in succession are made independently by William E. Sawyer of the United States and Maurice Leblanc of France.
1884Paul Nipkow invents the Nipkow disk, a means of scanning an image mechanically. This method is later used for mechanical television experiments.
1895Noah S. Amstutz demonstrates the transmission of photographic halftone images by electric telegraphy.[1]
1897Karl Ferdinand Braun invents the cathode ray tube, using it as an oscilloscope.
1900The word "television" is coined by Constantin Perskyi on August 18 at the First International Electricity Congress in Paris, France.
1907Boris Rosing transmits silhouette images of geometric shapes, using a Nipkow disc, mirror-drum and a cathode-ray tube receiver.
1908In his letter to Nature, Alan Campbell-Swinton describes the modern electronic camera and display system which others are to develop throughout the 1920s.
1921Charles Francis Jenkins with a group of friends incorporates Jenkins Laboratories in Washington, D.C. with the purpose of "developing radio movies to be broadcast for entertainment in the home".
1922Charles Jenkins' first public demonstration of television principles. A set of static photographic pictures is transmitted from Washington, D.C. to the Navy station NOF in Anacostia by telephone wire, and then wirelessly back to Washington.
1922Philo Farnsworth first describes an image dissector tube, which uses caesium to produce images electronically, but will not produce a working model until 1927.
1923Charles Jenkins first demonstrates "true" television with moving images. This time 48-line moving silhouette images are transmitted at 16 frames per second from Washington to Anacostia Navy station.
1923Vladimir Zworykin applies for patent for an all-electronic television system, the first ancestor of the electric scanning television camera. The patent is not granted until 1938 after significant revisions and patent interference actions.
1924John Logie Baird demonstrates a semi-mechanical television system with the transmission of moving silhouette images in England.
1924Vladimir Zworykin files a patent application for the kinescope, a television picture receiver tube.


Births (before 1900)

August 22, 1867Charles Francis JenkinsU.S. inventor and promoter of mechanical scanning television (died 1934)
April 23, 1869Boris RosingRussian pioneer of television technology (died 1933)
November 22, 1874Elizabeth PattersonU.S. actress (I Love Lucy) (died 1966)
July 21, 1882Dr. Herbert IvesU.S. television researcher, leader of the AT&T television research during the 1920s1930s (died 1953)
February 8, 1884Burt MustinU.S. actor (All in the Family) (died 1977)
November 9, 1886Ed WynnU.S. actor and comedian (The Ed Wynn Show) (died 1966)
January 16, 1887John HamiltonU.S. actor (Adventures of Superman) (died 1958)
February 26, 1887William FrawleyU.S. actor (I Love Lucy, My Three Sons) (died 1966)
August 14, 1888John Logie BairdBritish pioneer of television technology (d. 1946)
July 20, 1889John Reith, 1st Baron ReithFirst Director-General of the BBC (d. 1971)
July 30, 1889Vladimir ZworykinU.S. pioneer of television technology (died 1982)
January 26, 1892Zara CullyU.S. actress (The Jeffersons) (died 1978)
February 14, 1894Jack BennyU.S. actor (The Jack Benny Program) (died 1974)
August 21, 1895Blossom RockU.S. actress (The Addams Family) (died 1978)
January 7, 1896Arnold RidleyBritish actor and playwright (Dad's Army) (died 1984)
May 25, 1898Bennett CerfU.S. publisher and game show panelist (What's My Line?) (died 1971)
August 30, 1898Shirley BoothU.S. actress (Hazel) (died 1992)
September 1, 1898Violet CarsonBritish actress and radio performer (Coronation Street) (died 1983)

Births (1900–1909)

October 4, 1900Robert ShayneU.S. actor (Adventures of Superman) (died 1992)
December 6, 1900Agnes MooreheadU.S. actress (Bewitched) (died 1974)
March 27, 1901Carl BarksU.S. animator (creator of Scrooge McDuck) (died 2000)
July 1, 1901Irna PhillipsU.S. writer (creator of early soap opera) (died 1973)
July 14, 1901George TobiasU.S. actor (Bewitched) (died 1980)
September 28, 1901Ed SullivanU.S. television host (The Ed Sullivan Show) (died 1974)
October 17, 1902Irene RyanU.S. actress (The Beverly Hillbillies) (died 1973)
December 14, 1902Frances BavierU.S. actress (Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show) (died 1989)
December 25, 1902Barton MacLaneU.S. actor (I Dream of Jeannie) (died 1969)
May 29, 1903Bob HopeBritish-American movie, television, radio and vaudeville actor, writer and producer (Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre) (died 2003)
March 1, 1904Paul HartmanU.S. dancer and actor (The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry R.F.D.) (died 1973)
June 17, 1904Ralph BellamyU.S. stage, movie and television actor (Man Against Crime) (died 1991)
January 26, 1905Charles LaneU.S. actor (Petticoat Junction) (died 2007)
January 27, 1905Howard McNearU.S. actor (Floyd Lawson on The Andy Griffith Show) (died 1969)
September 18, 1905Eddie AndersonU.S. actor (The Jack Benny Program) (died 1977)
October 4, 1905Leslie MitchellBritish announcer (died 1985)
February 20, 1906Gale GordonU.S. actor (The Lucy Show) (died 1995)
April 4, 1906Bea BenaderetU.S. actress (The Flintstones) (died 1968)
John Cameron SwayzeU.S. anchorman (Camel News Caravan) (died 1995)
April 22, 1906Eddie AlbertU.S. actor (Green Acres, Switch) (died 2005)
August 19, 1906Philo FarnsworthU.S. inventor credited with the invention of the cathode ray tube television (d. 1971)
January 6, 1907Helen KleebU.S. actress (The Waltons) (died 2003)
February 12, 1907Joseph KearnsU.S. actor (Dennis the Menace) (died 1962)
May 22, 1907Cecil McGivernBritish broadcasting executive; controller of BBC Television from 1950 to 1957 (d. 1963)
August 20, 1907Alan ReedU.S. actor (voice of Fred Flintstone on The Flintstones) (died 1977)
September 29, 1907Gene AutryU.S. music performer (The Gene Autry Show) (died 1998)
October 20, 1907Arlene FrancisU.S. actress and game show panelist (What's My Line?) (died 2001)
January 8, 1908William HartnellBritish actor; the original Doctor Who in the 1960s (died 1975)
January 30, 1908Richard HearneBritish comic performer ("Mr Pastry") (died 1979)
February 28, 1908Billie BirdU.S. radio, film, television and vaudeville actress (Dear John) (died 2002)
April 2, 1908Buddy EbsenU.S. actor (The Beverly Hillbillies) (died 2003)
April 30, 1908Eve ArdenU.S. actress (Our Miss Brooks) (died 1990)
July 12, 1908Milton BerleU.S. actor (Texaco Star Theater) (died 2002)
December 14, 1908Morey AmsterdamU.S. actor (The Dick Van Dyke Show) (died 1996)
February 16, 1909Hugh BeaumontU.S. actor (Leave it to Beaver) (died 1982)
July 26, 1909Vivian VanceU.S. actress (I Love Lucy) (died 1979)

Births (1910–1919)

May 15, 1910Michael BarryBritish television producer and executive; Head of Drama at BBC television from 1952 to 1962 (died 1988)
May 22, 1910Johnny OlsonU.S. radio and television announcer (The New Price Is Right) (died 1985)
May 28, 1910Thora HirdEnglish comic actress (Last of the Summer Wine, Talking Heads) (died 2003)
June 13, 1910Mary WickesU.S. actress (Father Dowling Mysteries) (died 1995)
October 23, 1910Hayden RorkeU.S. actor (I Dream of Jeannie) (died 1987)
February 6, 1911Ronald ReaganU.S. actor and president (General Electric Theater) (died 2004)
March 13, 1911Marie RudisillU.S. television personality (The Fruitcake Lady from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno) (died 2006)
May 6, 1911Frank NelsonU.S. actor (died 1986)
July 7, 1911Gretchen FranklinBritish actress (EastEnders) (died 2005)
August 6, 1911Lucille BallU.S. comic actress (I Love Lucy) (died 1989)
October 23, 1911Martha RountreeU.S. broadcast journalist (Meet the Press) (died 1999)
November 5, 1911Roy RogersU.S. singer and actor (The Roy Rogers Show) (died 1998)
December 10, 1911Chet HuntleyU.S. anchorman (The Huntley-Brinkley Report) (died 1974)
January 7, 1912Charles AddamsU.S. cartoonist (created The Addams Family) (died 1988)
April 5, 1912John Le MesurierBritish actor (Dad's Army) (died 1983)
October 31, 1912Dale EvansU.S. singer and actress (The Roy Rogers Show) (died 2001)
November 23, 1912George O'HanlonU.S. film and voice actor (voice of George Jetson on The Jetsons) (died 1989)
November 27, 1912Connie SawyerU.S. actress (died 2018)
January 28, 1913Maurice GosfieldU.S. actor (The Phil Silvers Show) (died 1964)
February 25, 1913Jim BackusU.S. actor (Gilligan's Island, Mr. Magoo) (died 1989)
May 13, 1913Jasmine BlighBritish presenter; one of the first BBC Television Service presenters of the 1930s (died 1991)
May 25, 1913Richard DimblebyBritish journalist (BBC), commentator on state events, and presenter of current affairs programmes such as Panorama (died 1965)
July 3, 1913Dorothy KilgallenU.S. journalist and game show panelist (What's My Line?) (died 1965)
July 13, 1913Dave GarrowayU.S. journalist (The Today Show) (died 1982)
August 25, 1913Don DeForeU.S. actor (The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Hazel) (died 1993)
January 5, 1914George ReevesU.S. actor (Adventures of Superman) (died 1959)
February 20, 1914John Charles DalyU.S. news journalist and game show host (What's My Line?) (died 1991)
March 15, 1914Joe E. RossU.S. actor (The Phil Silvers Show, Car 54, Where Are You?) (died 1982)
May 12, 1914Howard K. SmithU.S. anchorman (ABC Evening News) (died 2002)
September 18, 1914Harry TownesU.S. actor (The Fugitive) (died 2001)
October 26, 1914Jackie CooganU.S. actor (The Addams Family) (died 1984)
October 30, 1914Anna WingBritish actress (EastEnders) (died 2013)
November 8, 1914Norman LloydU.S. actor, director, and producer (Alfred Hitchcock Presents, St. Elsewhere)
December 2, 1914Ray WalstonU.S. actor (My Favorite Martian, Fast Times) (died 2001)
December 26, 1914Geoffrey LumsdenBritish character actor (Dad's Army) (died 1984)
January 31, 1915Garry MooreU.S. game series host and television personality (I've Got a Secret) (died 1993)
February 1, 1915Art BalingerU.S. actor (Dragnet 1967, Adam-12) (died 2011)
February 12, 1915Lorne GreeneU.S. actor (Bonanza) (died 1987)
April 10, 1915Harry MorganU.S. actor (Dragnet, M*A*S*H) (died 2011)
September 12, 1915Frank McGeeU.S. journalist (The Today Show) (died 1974)
September 22, 1915Arthur LoweBritish actor (Coronation Street, Dad's Army) (died 1982)
December 22, 1915Barbara BillingsleyU.S. actress (Leave it to Beaver, Muppet Babies) (died 2010)
February 14, 1916Edward PlattU.S. actor (Get Smart) (died 1974)
February 26, 1916Jackie GleasonU.S. actor (The Honeymooners, The Jackie Gleason Show) (died 1987)
March 6, 1916Virginia GreggU.S. actress (Calvin and the Colonel, Dragnet) (died 1986)
March 31, 1916Lucille BlissU.S. actress (The Smurfs, Invader Zim) (died 2012)
April 4, 1916David WhiteU.S. actor (Bewitched) (died 1990)
April 26, 1916Vic PerrinU.S. voice actor (The Outer Limits, Hanna-Barbera cartoons) (died 1989)
May 14, 1916Del MooreU.S. actor (Life with Elizabeth, Bachelor Father, Dragnet 1967) (died 1970)
July 11, 1916Reg VarneyEnglish comedy actor (The Rag Trade, On the Buses) (died 2008)
July 23, 1916Sandra GouldU.S. actress (Bewitched) (died 1999)
August 24, 1916Hal SmithU.S. actor (The Andy Griffith Show) (died 1994)
October 13, 1916Johnny StearnsU.S. actor and producer (Mary Kay and Johnny, The Tonight Show) (died 2001)
November 4, 1916Walter CronkiteU.S. anchorman (CBS Evening News) (died 2009)
March 2, 1917Desi ArnazCuban-born performer (I Love Lucy) (died 1986)
March 30, 1917Herbert AndersonU.S. actor (Dennis the Menace) (died 1994)
April 2, 1917Dabbs GreerU.S. actor (The Fugitive, Little House on the Prairie) (died 2007)
April 16, 1917Barry NelsonU.S. actor (Climax!) (died 2007)
May 16, 1917George GaynesFinnish-born U.S. actor (Punky Brewster, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd) (died 2016)
May 21, 1917Raymond BurrCanadian actor (Perry Mason, Ironside) (died 1993)
June 7, 1917Dean MartinU.S. actor, singer (The Dean Martin Show) (died 1995)
June 9, 1917McDonald HobleyBritish continuity announcer (BBC Television) (died 1987)
July 10, 1917Don HerbertU.S. television host (Watch Mr. Wizard) (died 2007)
July 14, 1917Douglas EdwardsU.S. anchorman (CBS Evening News) (died 1990)
September 4, 1917Hilary MasonBritish actress (Maid Marian and her Merry Men) (died 2006)
October 16, 1917Alice PearceU.S. actress (Bewitched) (died 1966)
October 28, 1917Jack SooJapanese-American actor (Barney Miller) (died 1979)
December 22, 1917Gene RayburnU.S. television personality (Match Game, The Tonight Show) (died 1999)
February 15, 1918Allan ArbusU.S. actor (M*A*S*H) (died 2013)
February 22, 1918Don PardoU.S. television announcer (Saturday Night Live) (died 2014)
May 1, 1918Jack PaarU.S. television personality (The Tonight Show) (died 2004)
May 9, 1918Mike WallaceU.S. anchorman (60 Minutes) (died 2012)
June 30, 1918Isobel BarnettBritish broadcast personality (What's My Line?) (suicide 1980)
July 26, 1918Stacy HarrisU.S. actor (Dragnet, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp) (died 1973)
November 4, 1918Art CarneyU.S. actor (The Honeymooners) (died 2003)
November 7, 1918Billy GrahamU.S. televangelist (died 2018)
December 2, 1918Milton DeLuggU.S. bandleader and composer (Broadway Open House, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade) (died 2015)
January 13, 1919Robert StackU.S. actor (The Untouchables, Unsolved Mysteries) (died 2003)
February 11, 1919Eva GaborHungarian actress (Green Acres) (died 1995)
May 4, 1919John HopeU.S. meteorologist (The Weather Channel), named Hurricane Camille for his daughter (died 2002)
September 4, 1919Howard MorrisU.S. actor (The Andy Griffith Show) (died 2005)
October 14, 1919Shaun SuttonBritish writer, director, and producer; longest-serving Head of Drama at BBC Television (died 2004)
November 19, 1919Alan YoungEnglish-born U.S. actor (Mister Ed, DuckTales) (died 2016)
December 11, 1919Cliff MichelmoreEnglish broadcast presenter (died 2016)

Births (1920–1924)

February 18, 1920Bill CullenU.S. game series host (The Price Is Right, I've Got a Secret) (died 1990)
February 26, 1920Tony RandallU.S. actor (The Odd Couple) (died 2004)
July 10, 1920David BrinkleyU.S. anchorman (The Huntley-Brinkley Report) (died 2003)
July 18, 1920Dolph SweetU.S. actor (Gimme a Break!, Another World) (died 1985)
August 6, 1920Selma DiamondCanadian-born U.S. actress (Night Court) (died 1985)
October 27, 1920Nanette FabrayU.S. actress (One Day at a Time) (died 2018)
November 25, 1920Noel NeillU.S. actress (Adventures of Superman) (died 2016)
January 15, 1921Frank ThorntonEnglish actor (Are You Being Served?) (died 2013)
February 1, 1921Peter SallisEnglish actor (Last of the Summer Wine, Wallace and Gromit) (died 2017)
February 24, 1921Abe VigodaU.S. actor (Barney Miller) (died 2016)
April 5, 1921Christopher HewettBritish actor (Mr. Belvedere) (died 2001)
May 14, 1921Richard DeaconU.S. actor (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Leave It to Beaver) (died 1984)
August 8, 1921William AsherU.S. producer, director and writer (Bewitched) (died 2012)
September 24, 1921Sheila MacRaeEnglish-born U.S. actress (The Honeymooners, General Hospital) (died 2014)
October 17, 1921Tom PostonU.S. actor (Newhart) (died 2007)
November 14, 1921Brian KeithU.S. actor (Family Affair) (died 1997)
November 22, 1921Rodney DangerfieldU.S. comedian and actor (The Dean Martin Show) (died 2004)
December 11, 1921Liz SmithEnglish character actress (The Royle Family) (died 2016)
December 26, 1921Steve AllenU.S. television personality (The Tonight Show) (died 2000)
January 17, 1922Betty WhiteU.S. actress (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, Hot in Cleveland)
January 21, 1922Telly SavalasU.S. actor (Kojak) (died 1994)
January 30, 1922Dick MartinU.S. comedian (Laugh-In) (died 2008)
February 8, 1922Audrey MeadowsU.S. actress (The Honeymooners) (died 1996)
February 9, 1922Kathryn GraysonU.S. actress (Murder, She Wrote) (died 2010)
February 18, 1922Allan MelvinU.S. actor (Magilla Gorilla, The Brady Bunch, All in the Family) (died 2008)
February 24, 1922Steven HillU.S. actor (Law & Order, Mission: Impossible) (died 2016)
March 5, 1922James NobleU.S. actor (Benson) (died 2016)
March 20, 1922Carl ReinerU.S. actor, writer, director and producer (Your Show of Shows, The Dick Van Dyke Show)
March 23, 1922Marty AllenU.S. comedian and actor, "The Darling of Daytime TV" (died 2018)
April 3, 1922Doris DayU.S. actress and singer (The Doris Day Show) (died 2019)
April 5, 1922Gale StormU.S. actress (My Little Margie) (died 2009)
April 18, 1922Barbara HaleU.S. actress (Perry Mason) (died 2017)
April 27, 1922Jack KlugmanU.S. actor (The Odd Couple, Quincy) (died 2012)
May 7, 1922Darren McGavinU.S. actor (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) (died 2006)
May 10, 1922Nancy WalkerU.S. actress (Rhoda, Bounty paper towel commercials) (died 1992)
May 13, 1922Beatrice ArthurU.S. actress (Maude, The Golden Girls) (died 2009)
May 18, 1922Bill MacyU.S. actor (Maude) (died 2019)
May 22, 1922Quinn MartinU.S. producer (The Fugitive, The F.B.I., The Streets of San Francisco) (died 1987)
June 24, 1922Jack CarterU.S. comedian, actor, and television presenter (died 2015)
July 21, 1922Mollie SugdenBritish actress (Are You Being Served?) (died 2009)
July 22, 1922Dan RowanU.S. comedian (Laugh-In) (died 1987)
July 27, 1922Norman LearU.S. producer (All in the Family, Sanford and Son and many others)
August 1, 1922Arthur HillCanadian-born actor (died 2006)
September 1, 1922Yvonne De CarloU.S. actress (The Munsters) (died 2007)
October 9, 1922Fyvush FinkelU.S. stage and television actor (Boston Public). (died 2016)
October 31, 1922Barbara Bel GeddesU.S. actress (Dallas) (died 2005)
November 13, 1922Jack NarzU.S. game show host and announcer (died 2008)
Madeleine SherwoodCanadian actress (The Flying Nun) (died 2016)
December 9, 1922Redd FoxxU.S. comedian (Sanford and Son) (died 1991)
December 20, 1922Charita BauerU.S. actress (The Guiding Light) (died 1985)
December 22, 1922Ruth RomanU.S. actress (Murder, She Wrote) (died 1999)
January 8, 1923Larry StorchU.S. actor (F-Troop)
January 19, 1923Jean StapletonU.S. actress (All in the Family) (died 2013)
January 23, 1923Florence HalopU.S. actress (St. Elsewhere, Night Court) (died 1986)
February 4, 1923Conrad BainCanadian-born U.S. actor (Maude, Diff'rent Strokes) (died 2013)
March 6, 1923Ed McMahonU.S. game show host and announcer (The Tonight Show, Star Search) (died 2009)
March 30, 1923Dr. Frank FieldU.S. meteorologist (WNBC-TV, The Tonight Show)
April 2, 1923Gloria HenryU.S. actress (Dennis the Menace)
April 4, 1923Peter VaughanBritish character actor (Porridge, Game of Thrones) (died 2016)
April 10, 1923Jane KeanU.S. actress and singer (The Jackie Gleason Show, The Honeymooners) (died 2013)
April 13, 1923Don AdamsU.S. actor (Get Smart, Inspector Gadget) (died 2005)
April 22, 1923Aaron SpellingU.S. movie and television producer (Beverly Hills, 90210) (died 2006)
April 30, 1923Al LewisU.S. actor (The Munsters) (died 2006)
May 26, 1923James ArnessU.S. actor (Gunsmoke) (died 2011)
July 25, 1923Estelle GettyU.S. actress (The Golden Girls) (died 2008)
August 15, 1923Rose MarieU.S. actress (The Dick Van Dyke Show) (died 2017)
September 20, 1923Jimmy PerryEnglish scriptwriter (Dad's Army) (died 2016)
September 28, 1923William WindomU.S. actor (Murder, She Wrote) (died 2012)
December 10, 1923Harold GouldU.S. actor (Rhoda, The Golden Girls) (died 2010)
December 12, 1923Bob BarkerU.S. game series presenter (The New Price Is Right)
January 19, 1924Nicholas ColasantoU.S. actor and director (Cheers) (died 1985)
January 21, 1924Benny HillEnglish comedian (died 1992)
January 29, 1924Enrico SimonettiItalian musician and presenter (Simonetti Show) (died 1978)
March 3, 1924John WoodnuttEnglish actor (died 2006)
Lys AssiaSwiss singer, first winner of Eurovision Song Contest (died 2018)
March 8, 1924Sean McCloryIrish actor (The Californians) (died 2003)
April 15, 1924Rikki FultonScottish comedian (Scotch and Wry) (died 2004)
May 1, 1924Art FlemingU.S. stage, radio and television personality (Jeopardy!) (died 1995)
May 2, 1924Theodore BikelAustrian actor (Babylon 5: In the Beginning) (died 2015)
May 12, 1924Tony HancockEnglish comic performer (Hancock's Half Hour) (suicide 1968)
June 26, 1924Richard BullU.S. movie and television actor (Little House on the Prairie) (died 2014)
July 11, 1924Brett SomersCanadian-born U.S. actress and comedian (The Odd Couple, Match Game '73) (died 2007)
July 21, 1924Don KnottsU.S. actor (The Andy Griffith Show, Three's Company) (died 2006)
August 2, 1924Carroll O'ConnorU.S. actor (All in the Family, In the Heat of the Night) (died 2001)
August 15, 1924Werner AbrolatGerman actor (Tatort) (died 1997)
September 19, 1924Don HarronCanadian comedian and actor (Hee Haw) (died 2015)
October 21, 1924Joyce RandolphU.S. actress (The Honeymooners)
November 18, 1924Les LyeCanadian actor (You Can't Do That On Television) (died 2009)
November 21, 1924Joseph CampanellaU.S. actor (Mannix, The Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives) (died 2018)
November 23, 1924Anita LindaFilipina actress (Tayong Dalawa)
December 14, 1924Marge RedmondAmerican actress (The Flying Nun, Matlock)

See also


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