Lee De Forest Facts

Lee De Forest Facts
Lee de Forest (August 26, 1873 to June 30, 1961) was an American inventor. Although he held over 180 patents he is best known for his invention of the Audion vacuum tube. His invention made live broadcasting possible and was critical to radio, television, radar and telephone systems prior to the development of the transistor.
Interesting Lee De Forest Facts:
De Forest's father was a Congregational minister and while Lee was a boy, moved the family to rural Talladega, Alabama where he became president of the Negro college there.
As a boy, Lee invented several mechanical devices including a miniature blast furnace.
In 1893 he enrolled in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University and in 1899 he earned his PhD in physics.
He was interested in the study of electromagnetic-wave propagation and wrote his doctoral thesis on "Reflection of Hertzian Waves from the Ends of Parallel Wires."
His first job was with the Western Electric Company where he worked in the experimental laboratory and, working on his own time, developed a successful electrolytic Hertzian wave detector.
In 1902 he founded the De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company and gave public demonstrations of wireless telegraphy.
In 1907 he patented the Audion which was a thermionic grid-triode vacuum tube capable of transmitting speech and music wirelessly.
In 1910 he broadcast a live performance from the Metropolitan Opera in New York to advertise his new invention.
In 1912 he successfully amplified a weak signal by cascading a series of Audion tubes which was a critical step in the development of both the radio and long-distance wireless communication.
He also discovered that he could cause a self-generating oscillation that could be fed through an antenna to strengthen the signal further.
In 1920 he developed a sound-on-film optical recording system that was demonstrated between 1923 and 1927 but the poor quality of the system made it technically impractical.
During the 1930's he invented Audion-diathermy machines for medical use.
He lacked business skills and, after he was defrauded several times by his partners, he sold most of his patents cheaply to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.


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