Milestone-Proposal:First commercially successful CRT for television

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Docket #:2022-01

This proposal has been submitted for review.

To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

First commerically successful CRT for Television, 1931

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

Allen B. DuMont, Television Pioneer , started DuMont Laboratories in his garage located about one quarter mile to the southwest. There he developed the modern oscilloscope and the first commercially successful Cathode Ray Tube for television. DuMont introduced the first all-electronic television sets in 1938 and established the first television network with stations WABD and WTTG. On April 30, 1952, Montclair State Teachers College, with DuMont support, pioneered educational television.

200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review.

IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

North Jersey Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: North Jersey Section
Senior Officer Name: Dr. Ajay K. Poddar

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: North Jersey Section
Senior Officer Name: Dr. Ajay K. Poddar

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: North Jersey Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Dr. Ajay K. Poddar

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Howard H. Leach, Jr.
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates in decimal form of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

1 Normal Avenue, Montclair NJ 07043. GPS coordinates for plaque are: 40.860139, -74.197416

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. The intended plaque site is located about one half mile from Allen B. DuMont's home at that time where he developed the CRT for TV in his garage. Also, it is at the site of where the first college education TV courses were produced with the support of the Allen DuMont Corporate engineers. The plaque will be mounted in the lobby of the School of Communication & Media building, near the site of our television studios at Montclair State University.

Are the original buildings extant?


Details of the plaque mounting:

The University will mount the plaque in the lobby of the School of Communication & Media building, near the site of our television studios, and accessible to the public.

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The building is open to the public during normal operating hours. After hours, it is locked and only students/employees with authorized keycard access may enter.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

Montclair State University is the owner.

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? If personal names are included in citation, include justification here. (see section 6 of Milestone Guidelines)

It allowed for the development of the first all-electronic television receivers in 1938. Also, the development of the CRT’s was useful for Radar development during WWII. It had tremendous social impact as now high quality video images as well as audio could be transmitted and received remotely.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

DuMont needed a place to start DuMont Laboratories – so he used his garage to start the development of improved cathode ray tubes. He needed funds to perform research on a CRT for television and so developed CRT’s for oscilloscopes. He used some of the proceeds from oscilloscope sales to fund development of the first commercially successful CRT for Television.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

This development allowed for the first commercially successful sale of TV sets.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

Ref Title Link / other 1 Clark Ingram’s DuMont Television

2 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3 Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives*%3A*&i=0

4 Baird television

5 Allen B. DuMont American engineer and inventor By The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

6 Montclair State Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Historic Educational Telecasts, April 30, 2012

7 Television in Education

8 Hallie Jackson Awarded 2019 Du Mont Broadcaster of the Year 9 MZTV Museum History

10 MZTV Museum History 11 Early Electronic Television Recollections of Allan DuMont, from Jerry Korb

12 Plaque info per Jaeger Allen B. Du Mont was born in Brooklyn, New York City. At the age of 11, he was stricken with polio and was quarantined and in bed at his family's Eastern Parkway apartment for nearly a year. At this time, Du Mont developed an interest in science, specifically wireless radio communication, and taught himself Morse code. While recuperating from polio, Du Mont was advised to swim to regain the use of his legs. In 1914, the family moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where there was an indoor year-round pool at the local YMCA which was then on the south side of Bloomfield Avenue just west of Park Street. Du Mont graduated from Montclair High School in 1919 and then enrolled at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, to study electrical engineering.

After graduating from college in 1924, Du Mont began work for the Westinghouse Lamp Company in Bloomfield, New Jersey, as an engineer where he increased vacuum tube production from 500 to 50,000 tubes a day. In 1928 he was wooed by Lee De Forest and joined the De Forest Radio Company in nearby Passaic as vice president and production manager where he increased the production of radio tubes to 30,000 per day. Several years later Du Mont asked De Forest for funds to develop a long-lasting cathode ray tube for television reception but his request was denied. This later resulted in Du Mont’s resignation.

After marriage in 1926, Allen and Ethel Du Mont purchased a home in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, where Allen Du Mont started Du Mont Laboratories in 1931 in the garage of his home with $1,000. It was there, with four employees, a glass blower, a chemist and two technicians, that Du Mont Laboratories was able to create a long lasting cathode ray that could be used for commercial applications such as television and testing the strength of materials. Three years later Du Mont moved the lab from his garage to five converted storefronts at 532 Valley Road in Upper Montclair where cathode ray tube manufacturing began.

This modest beginning was the start of Du Mont later building the country’s first electronic television set. In 1944 Du Mont received a commercial license for television station WABD in New York City and two years later the Du Mont Television Network was created with WABD and WTTG in Washington, D.C.

In 1951 Du Mont presented equipment to the then Montclair State Teacher’s College that was used for the nation’s first educational broadcast by a college. The ten half-hour grade appropriate programs were run by undergraduate students and broadcast by Du Mont’s UHF station in New York City. Phil Jaeger April 17, 2022

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).

Please recommend reviewers by emailing their names and email addresses to Please include the docket number and brief title of your proposal in the subject line of all emails.