Nipkow, Paul Gottlieb

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b. 22 August 1860 Lauenburg, Pommern (now Lebork, Poland)
d. 24 August 1940 Berlin, Germany
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Polish electrical engineer who invented the Nipkow television scanning disc.
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In 1884, while still a student engineer, Nipkow patented a mechanical television pick-up device using a disc with a spiral of twenty-four holes rotating at 600 rpm in front of a selenium cell. He also proposed a display on an identical synchronous disc in conjunction with a light-modulator based on the Faraday effect. Unfortunately it was not possible to realize a working system at the time because of the slow response of selenium cells and the lack of suitable electronic-sig-nal amplifiers; he was unable to pay the extension fees and so the patent lapsed. Others took up the idea, however, and in 1907 pictures were sent between London and Paris by wire. Subsequently, the principle was used by Baird, Ives, and Jenkins.
For most of his working life after obtaining his doctorate, Nipkow was employed as an engineer by a company that made railway-signalling equipment, but his pioneering invention was finally recognized in 1934 when he was made Honorary President of the newly formed German Television Society.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
President, German Television Society 1934.
Bibliography
1884, German patent no. 30,105 (Nipkow's pioneering method of television image-scanning).
Further Reading
R.W.Hubbell, 1946, 4,000 Years of Television, London: G.Harrap \& Co.
KF

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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