RENE BARTHELEMY (1889 - 1954)
Pioneer of French Television.
Rene BARTHELEMY, genious engineer and inventor, played a decisive role in the development of television in France and contributed widely to its commercial rise. Based upon his numerous discoveries, its name is indéfectibely linked to the History of Television.
In 1930, French television practically does not exist and for many people, the “Radiovision” as it then is called, is no more than a laboratory experiment, interesting few amateurs-handymen. Those receive the excperimentals television programs from the BBC in London or in Paris.
Rene BARTHELEMY was born in Nangis near Paris, on March 10, 1889. As an outstanding student of the Electricity High School (promotion 1909/1910) currently SUPELEC, he becomes in 1929, chief of the new research laboratory of television, created by Jean Le DUC upon request of Mr. Ernest CHAMON, chairman of the Compagnir des Compteurs de Montrouge C.D.C. He then makes his 30 lines Nipkow disc television receiver. By then, Marius LAMBLOT and Dimitri STRELKOFF become his close assistants. Inspired by the work of the Swedish physicist Ekström, He develops, his mirror drum mechanical camera 30 lines, helped in this by his collaborator Mr COMMOY. This material will be used during the first demonstration of television in April 14, 1931 in Electricity Hign School Location in Malakoff. By then, thousands of people tried to attend the event, causing uncommon traffic jams.
During his experiments, Rene BARTHELEMY attacks the thorny problem of synchronization in television, making decisive progress in this field. Further, he makes many communications basde on this at the Academy of Science in Paris.
The result of its work on the 60 lines by the end of 1934, allows to prepare the first official television broadcasting program, whose inauguration takes place on April 26, 1935, under control of the Minister of P.T.T., Georges MANDEL. This emission is carried out from the P.T.T. TV studio, rue de Grenelle in Paris. From then, the french television become a State Affair. By the end of this same year, on December 2, 1935, after a baited work and pressed by the minister Georges MANDEL, Barthelemy carries out the first 180 lines television programs. The following year will be the end of the mechanical era of the television and the birth of the electronic cameras and receivers.
By then, it remained much to do to reach what we have today in television, but the way is traced and nothing will stop television.
The following years, Rene BARTHELEMY, formal member of the Academy of Sciences, will continue, in spite of a precarious health, to work effectively in television, bringing it his inventive genius and his rigour.