Visions of Electric Media
Visions of Electric Media
Television in the Victorian and Machine Ages
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Table of Contents
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Introduction: The Lifespan of a Media Technology The Telephonoscope: How a Satire of Electric Light became a Visual Telephone The Far-Sight Machine and the Kinetograph: How Television Brought Liveness to the Cinema Human Seeing-Machines: From Annihilating Space to Mediated Vision Interlude The Illuminating Engineers: Standardizing Vision The Ikonophone: Bell Laboratory's Two-Way Television Project Epilogue Bibliography Index

Ivy Roberts

Visions of Electric Media

Television in the Victorian and Machine Ages

Visions of Electric Media is an historical examination into the early history of television, as it was understood during the Victorian and Machine ages. How did the television that we use today develop into a functional technology? What did Victorians expect it to become? How did the 'vision' of television change once viewers could actually see pictures on a screen?

We will journey through the history of 'television': from the first indications of live communications in technology and culture in the late nineteenth century, to the development of electronic televisual systems in the early twentieth century. Along the way, we will investigate the philosophy, folklore, engineering practices, and satires that went into making television a useful medium.

Ivy Roberts

Ivy Roberts is an interdisciplinary film/media studies scholar who researches in the fields of cultural history, visual culture, and STS. She holds a Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth’s interdisciplinary program in Media, Art, and Text.