March 15, 2009

TV technology pioneer Goldsmith dead at 99

Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr., who helped bring televisions into U.S homes, has died in Lacey, Wash., at the age of 99, his son Judson says.

The New York Times said Sunday that by working with scientist Allen B. DuMont, Goldsmith helped create the cathode ray tube used in household televisions starting in the 1930s.

Author Alexander Magoun, who wrote Television: The Life Story of a Technology, said DuMont and Goldsmith were responsible for creating full TV displays from basic oscilloscopes.

The duo's cathode ray technology, which was on display at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, also had other applications in the United States.

During World War II, Magoun said, DuMont and Goldsmith shared their knowledge with RCA and other companies for using cathode ray tubes in radar displays and, after the war, for picture-tube displays.

Besides his son Judson, the Times said Goldsmith, who died March 5 of complications of a hip fracture, is survived by his wife Helen; two other children, six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.