Author Talk: Benjamin Gross

Detail of book cover for The TVs of Tomorrow: How RCA’s Flat-Screen Dreams Led to the First LCDs

Author Talk: Benjamin Gross

The TVs of Tomorrow: RCA and the Invention of the Flat Screen Television

Did you know that RCA was hard at work on a flat panel television in the 1950s? Only a few years after the company pioneered color television, RCA’s imaginative leader David Sarnoff set his talented scientists and engineers to work on developing a television that could hang on a wall. After a decade of research RCA could announce the creation of a new form of electronic display that relied upon an obscure set of materials known as liquid crystals (LCD’s) that would make a flat-panel television possible. Yet at its moment of great triumph, RCA turned away from further development of its technological breakthrough, leaving the proliferation of flat-panel televisions to other companies.

Based on research in the RCA archives held at Hagley, Benjamin Gross will chart the creative energies that generated the invention of the by-now ubiquitous liquid crystals that are in our watches, phones, and even our televisions – and why RCA never capitalized on its invention. His talk is based on his 2018 book, The TVs of Tomorrow: How RCA’s Flat-Screen Dreams Led to the First LCDs

Benjamin Gross

Benjamin Gross is vice president for research and scholarship at the Linda Hall Library.

Author talks take place in the Hagley Soda House Auditorium, beginning at 7 p.m.  RSVPs encouraged, walk-ins welcome. Please RSVP to Nicole Mahoney,, or 302-658-2400, ext. 208.