Brief History

RCA was formed in October 1919 by General Electric.

Their first product was radio equipment, using wireless technology based on Thomas Edison's inventive ideas. When they realized that the popularity of radio and the market for radios grew incredibly fast, they decided to expand in that direction. In 1926 David Sarnoff's idea came to life when RCA, GE and Westinghouse created the anchor station for the National Broadcasting Company. NBC grew quickly to 25 stations nationwide. Sarnoff introduced television at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. Pretty soon consumer television development was halted for the duration of the war (during which all efforts were supposedly refocused to the war).

Within 40 days of the war's end, commercial radio production began again. RCA re-introduced television with the model 630TS 10-inch set. RCA was not the first on the market with color television, but eventually it won the color TV standards race (CBS had an awkward mechanical system but it sucked).

In 1986 RCA was sold to rival, and founder, General Electric. Next year GE sold RCA and GE consumer electronics to Thomson Consumer Electronics. ProScan was introduced in 1990, assuring Thomson's lead in TV sales. In 1994, Thomson stepped up to the next level of digital home entertainment with the RCA Satellite System featuring DIRECTV programming. The Satellite System, in turn, opened the door for HDTV.

And then there's now, a time of change from the primitive outdated picture quality we no longer accept to the almighty High Definition TV. Channels/networks are starting to switch over, one by one; and some people are also beginning to think of buying one of em new ones, to take advantage of these NEW COLORS... or, well, just a lot more of the same old colors. But back to RCA...


  • (1892) Thomson-Houston and Edison General electric merge to form General Electric
  • (1901) Victor Talking Machine Company established
  • (1917) U.S. declared war on Germany
  • (1919) GE creates Radio Corporation of America. RCA takes over the assets of American Marconi and responsibility for marketing the radio equipment produced by GE and Westinghouse
  • (1920) Westinghouse, receives the first commercial broadcasting license
  • (1924) RCA transmits the first radio photograph, a precursor to the facsimile machine, across the Atlantic Ocean
  • (1926) RCA, GE and Westinghouse buy WEAF in New York and designate it as the anchor station for the National Broadcasting Company
  • (1929) RCA, GE and Westinghouse consolidate their research and development, manufacturing and marketing. RCA purchased Victor Talking Machine Company for $154 million, forming RCA Victor
  • (1931) Federal government moves against the radio combine, concerned about monopoly in the industry
  • (1932) GE and Westinghouse withdraw
  • (1939) Sarnoff introduces television at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City.
  • (1939) Pioneering tests prove that television could be used aboard aircraft, allowing RCA involvement in World War II
  • (1945) RCA re-introduces television right after the war ends
  • (1948) RCA purchases the Farnsworth Radio and Television plant in Marion, Indiana
  • (1952) RCA opens a television and radio plant in Mexico City
  • (1953) Television production expands to Canada with the RCA plant in Prescott, Ontario
  • (1953) RCA color TV system was declared the U.S. standard (December)
  • (1954) The first RCA consumer color televisions are produced (March)
  • (1970) RCA introduces solid-state color TV models
  • (1971) RCA leader David Sarnoff dies at age 80
  • (1977) RCA introduces ColorTrak TV sets and the first four-hour home video cassette recorder
  • (1979) RCA's milestones: twenty-five years of color TV and the production of the company's 100 millionth TV picture tube
  • (1980) RCA constructs the Mocksville, North Carolina, wood cabinet plant
  • (1986) RCA Corporation is sold to General Electric
  • (1987) GE sells its RCA and GE consumer electronics businesses to Thomson Consumer Electronics
  • (1989) The 50 millionth RCA color TV is produced at, what was then, the world's largest TV assembly plant in Bloomington
  • (1990) ProScan introduced
  • (1994) Thomson introduces RCA Satellite System featuring DIRECTV programming
Information gathered from
Pretending to Rescue Nodeshells

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