A First Look into the RCA Laboratories, 1942

Video of the Month
Thursday, January 17, 2019

In 1941, the RCA Laboratories opened in Princeton, New Jersey and became the company’s center for research and development. A film produced by RCA in 1942 detailed the work at the lab and featured the scientists, engineers, and technicians working on various projects for the iconic electronics company.   

The film concludes with a detailed look at the development of television which emerged as RCA’s flagship consumer product after the Second World War:

Footage from this 1942 film was later used in 1950 when RCA produced a program, broadcast on NBC, to announce the launch of color television. The program featured comedian Jimmy Durante as well as RCA executives and scientists discussing the new technology. The big announcement was broadcast in black and white as color TV was still years away from becoming commonplace in the American home. That film is available to view in the Hagley Digital Archives 

Kevin J. Martin is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Audiovisual and Digital Collections at Hagley Museum and Library.