Sam Christaldi

Engineer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour-and-fifteen-minute Archive interview, Sam Christaldi (1914-2008) speaks of his early life and influences and his education. He recounts going to work for the Du Mont company as part of the team helping to engineer and develop technical standards for television sets and broadcasts. He outlines World War II's effect on the development of television, and what Du Mont did for the war effort. Christaldi talks about Allen B. Du Mont and his vision for television, and Du Mont's hopes to start and maintain a network. He details the development of color television, and the haggling over standards with RCA and other corporations. He recounts the decline and eventual dismantling of Du Mont network, and discusses his post-Du Mont career. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on October 25, 1999 in Montclair, NJ.

"An engineer puts together things in a way that they can be used by others to manufacture things, or to use them, or to inspire additional research."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Sam Christaldi on the early television tube receivers at Du Mont
Sam Christaldi on installing the early Du Mont televisions
Sam Christaldi on World War II's impact on Du Mont
Sam Christaldi on television programming in 1947
Sam Christaldi on the job of an engineer
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in radio; on his doctoral thesis on matching hyper-frequency wave guides
On his early involvement in television; on the first time he saw television and the early "flicker" of television pictures; on going to work for Du Mont

Chapter 2

On joining Du Mont; on his early years at Du Mont; on Allen B. Du Mont
On building television sets for the public; on early television tube receivers; on the strength of early television signals and programming

Chapter 3

On television signals; on the financial aspects of the Du Mont company; on early television demonstrations
On making a television tube; on selling and installing Du Mont televisions; on World War II's impact on early television

Chapter 4

On the two TV stations broadcasting in 1939; on early television cameras; on testing early television tubes
On establishing technical broadcast standards; on VHF and UHF; on Du Mont's activities during World War II

Chapter 5

On early Du Mont programming; on Du Mont's Wanamaker studio; on the height of Du Mont's operations
On sharing television technology between companies and television technology patents; on Du Mont's Electronicam; on the advent of color television 

Chapter 6

On his other responsibilities at Du Mont and giving up development; on Du Mont's bid to buy Paramount; on the decline of Du Mont and its eventual sale
On his post-Du Mont career; on Allen B. Du Mont's later years; on his opinion of then-current television

Chapter 7

On the then-future of television; on his greatest achievement; on the job of an engineer
On his various Du Mont co-workers; on his last words on Allen B. Du Mont
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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Sam Christaldi on Du Mont and the 1939 World's Fair and the early price of television sets

Historic Events and Social Change

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Sam Christaldi on Du Mont and the 1939 World's Fair and the early price of television sets
Sam Christaldi on World War II's impact on Du Mont

Technological Innovation

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Sam Christaldi on his early involvement in television 
Sam Christaldi on the first time he saw television and the early "flicker" of television pictures
Sam Christaldi on the early mechanical television
Sam Christaldi on how he came to work for Du Mont
Sam Christaldi on building television sets in the late '30s
Sam Christaldi on Du Mont building television sets for the public
Sam Christaldi on the early television tube receivers at Du Mont
Sam Christaldi on the strength of early television signals and programming
Sam Christaldi on television signals
Sam Christaldi on early television demonstrations 
Sam Christaldi on Du Mont's model 180 TV set
Sam Christaldi on Du Mont and the 1939 World's Fair and the early price of television sets
Sam Christaldi on the two TV stations that started broadcasting in 1939
Sam Christaldi on the early television cameras
Sam Christaldi on testing early TV tubes
Sam Christaldi on Du Mont's effect on television technical standards
Sam Christaldi on why television sets did not have a channel 1 and the difference between VHF and UHF
Sam Christaldi on on Du Mont's activities during World War II
Sam Christaldi on Du Mont's post-war activities
Sam Christaldi on Du Mont's Wanamaker studio
Sam Christaldi on sharing television technology between companies and television technology patents 
Sam Christaldi on Du Mont's Electronicam
Sam Christaldi on innovations produced by Du Mont laboratories and the superiority of Du Mont television sets
Sam Christaldi on the advent of color television and the 1949 hearing for color television technological standards
Sam Christaldi on his other responsibilities at Du Mont and giving up development
Sam Christaldi on the technological work done on television prior to World War II

World War II

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Sam Christaldi on World War II's impact on Du Mont
Professions

Engineer

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Sam Christaldi on the job of an engineer

Technology Innovators

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Sam Christaldi on the job of an engineer
People

Philo T. Farnsworth

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Sam Christaldi on Philo T. Farnsworth

Allen B. Du Mont

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Sam Christaldi on Du Mont founder Allen B. Du Mont
Sam Christaldi on his first impressions of Allen B. Du Mont and the Du Mont offices
Sam Christaldi on the breakup of the Du Mont network and Allen B. Du Mont's later-life activities
Sam Christaldi on his last words on Allen B. Du Mont

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