Kálmán Tihanyi

Kálmán Tihanyi

Kálmán Tihanyi (April 28, Uzbeg, Hungary 1897 - February 26, 1947), was a Hungarian physicist, electrical engineer and inventor. His most important inventions concerning the design of the cathode ray tube and iconoscope for television were bought and developed by RCA (Radio Corporation of America) [Doug Elliott, [http://www.history-magazine.com/HM_Sample.pdf#page=26 "The Beginning of Television"] History Magazine, Feb./Mar. 2006.] and German companies Loewe and Fernseh AG.


Born in Uzbeg, Hungary, Tihanyi studied electrical engineering and physics in Pozsony and Budapest.

He filed his first patent application for a his fully electronic television system, the "Radioskop", on March 20, 1926. [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Hungary - Kalman Tihanyi’s 1926 Patent Application "Radioskop" | work = Memory of the World | publisher = UNESCO | date = | url = http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=4813&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2008-02-22] Though it bears certain similarities to earlier proposals employing a cathode ray tube for both transmitter and receiver, Tihanyi's system represented a radical departure. Like the final, improved version Tihanyi would patent in 1928, it embodied an entirely new concept in design and operation, building upon a phenomenon that would become known as the "storage principle". This principle involves the maintenance of photoemission from the light-sensitive layer of the detector tube between scans. By this means, accumulation of charges would take place and the "latent electric picture" would be stored. This would mean an effective increase in the picture current by a factor that under ideal conditions would equal the number of picture elements (pixels). Tihanyi filed two separate patent applications in 1928 then extended patent protection beyond Germany, filing in France, England and the United States, among others.

In 1928, Tihanyi went to Berlin, where the development of television, that is, mechanical type of television involving Nipkow disks, had already begun by the German Post Office and the larger manufacturers. The invention was received with enthusiasm by Telefunken and Siemens, but in the end they opted to continue with the development of mechanical television.

RCA approached Tihanyi in 1930, after the publication of his patents in England and France. Negotiations continued until 1934, when RCA, ready to unveil its new television system based on Tihanyi's design, purchased his patents. These covered controlling features that the U.S. Patent Office patent examiners, citing Tihanyi's prior publications, had denied several key patent claims to Zworykin's 1930–31 pending applications. Tihanyi's U.S. patents, assigned to RCA, were issued to Tihanyi in 1938, respective 1939 with 1928 priority. Now it is becoming increasingly clear that the originator of this pivotal invention was Kálmán Tihanyi.cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = KÁLMÁN TIHANYI (1897 - 1947) | work = Aviation Pioneers : An Anthology | publisher = Hungarian Patent Office | date = | url = http://www.hpo.hu/English/feltalalok/tihanyi.html | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2008-02-22]

From 1929, Tihanyi worked on television guidance for defense applications, building prototypes of a camera for remotely guided aircraft in London for the British Air Ministry, and later adapting it for the Italian Navy. In 1935–1940, he completed plans for an Acoustic Radiator with a planned projection range of up to 8 km, and in 1940 returned to Hungary where he built a full-scale prototype of the device.


External links

* [http://www.mtesz.hu Forward to start ] at www.mtesz.hu
* [http://www.geocities.com/neveyaakov/electro_science/tihanyi.html Kálmán Tihanyi]
* [http://www.mol.gov.hu/index.php?akt_menu=615 Ungarisches Staatsarchiv ] at www.mol.gov.hu

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