De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961

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Lee De Forest was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on August 26, 1873. He was a graduate of the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University in 1896 and received a Ph.D. from Yale in 1899. He was an important contributor in the development of wireless telegraphy in the United States. He started multiple radio broadcasting companies and patented 300 inventions in his lifetime. In 1904, he was awarded the gold medal at the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. He died on June 30, 1961.

From the guide to the Lee De Forest papers, 1896-1971, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Radio pioneer and inventor.

From the description of Lee De Forest papers, 1884-1955. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70980067

Engineer, inventor.

From the description of Reminiscences of Lee De Forest : oral history, 1959. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122411658

Inventor and pioneer in radio broadcasting.

From the description of Papers, 1873-1961. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78732272

Iowa-born inventor, received a B.S. and Ph. D. from Yale. Worked on apparatus for radio telegraphy. Invented the triode (1906), the prototype of all electronic amplifiers. Among his other inventions were sound film and colored television. Lived in Palo Alto from 1910-1913 and moved back to California in 1930. Died in Hollywood in 1961. [Hart, Companion to California.].

From the description of Scrapbook, 1919-1924. (Natural History Museum Foundation, Los Angeles County). WorldCat record id: 18388812

Biographical Note

  • 1873, Aug. 26: Born, Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • 1896: Ph.B., Yale University,New Haven, Conn.
  • 1899: Ph.D., Yale University,New Haven, Conn.
  • 1900: Chicago, Ill. Chicago Joined Western Electric Co., Chicago, Ill. Designed alternating current transmitter Developed electrolytic receiver
  • 1901: Founded American De Forest Wireless Telegraph Co. (later United Wireless Telegraph Co.)
  • 1905: Developed first model of audion amplifier
  • 1906: Developed triode vacuum tube Married Lucille Sheardown (divorced 1907)
  • 1908: Married Nora Blatch (divorced 1911)
  • 1910: Broadcast voice of Enrico Caruso by radio from the Metropolitan Opera House,New York, N.Y.
  • 1912: Sold telephone repeater rights to American Telephone and Telegraph Co., which used his three electrode vacuum tube in first transcontinental telephony Married Mary Mayo (divorced 1930)
  • 1913: Demonstrated first oscillating audion tube Became vice president, Radio Telegraph Co. Became vice president, De Forest Radio Co.
  • 1916: Made first radio news broadcast Established radio broadcast station
  • 1919: Patented phonofilm device for making talking pictures
  • circa 1920: Published How to Set Up an Amateur Radio Receiving Station (New York, N.Y.: De Forest Radio Telephone and Telegraph Co. 32 pp.)
  • circa 1922: Published Wireless in the Home (New York, N.Y.: De Forest Radio Telephone and Telegraph Co. 32 pp.)
  • 1923: New York, N.Y. New York City Chelsea New York Demonstrated sound on film at Rivoli Theater, New York, N.Y. Organized De Forest Phonofilm Co.
  • 1926: D.Sc., Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
  • 1930: Married Marie Mosquini
  • 1934: Established Lee De Forest, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.
  • 1942: Published Television, Today and Tomorrow (New York, N.Y.: Dial Press. 361 pp.)
  • 1947: Edison Medal of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers
  • 1950: Published Father of Radio (Chicago, Ill.: Wilcox and Fallett. 502 pp.)
  • 1951: Vice president, National Association for Better Radio and Television
  • 1961, June 30: Died, Hollywood, Calif.

From the guide to the Lee De Forest Papers, 1884-1955, (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Niels Bohr Library. History of physics manuscript biography collection D-H, 1901-1989, [ca. 1960]-1989 (bulk) Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf DeForest, Lee. Letter to Nina Jeffries. Los Angeles, CA. 1957 Nov. 14. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Thomson, Elihu, 1853-1937. Papers, 1853-1955. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf De Forest, Lee. Papers, 1902-1953 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Beard, Augustus Field, 1833-1934. Papers. 1923-35. Addition 1873-1926. Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
referencedIn Scott, Margaret Helen, 1898-. Papers. 1866-1987. Tulane University, Amistad Research Center
referencedIn The Railroad hour, radio program [sound recording], 1948-1954 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Automobile Club of Southern California,. Automobile Club of Southern California Collection of Photographs and Negatives, 1898-1982 (bulk 1920s-1930s) Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Scrapbook, 1919-1924. Natural History Museum Los Angeles County Foundation, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
referencedIn Van Etten, Herbert B. Herbert B. Van Etten papers, 1912-1947. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Reminiscences of Lee De Forest : oral history, 1959. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Extracts from de Forest autobiographical notes: Books I and II, 1944. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Horace Mann Bond Papers MS 411., 1830-1979, 1926-1972 Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Letter to Duane Upton. Los Angeles, CA. 1940 Dec. 11. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Fessenden, Reginald Aubrey, 1866-1932. Papers, 1887-1935. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Lee De Forest papers, 1896-1971 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Crawford, Merritt. Papers, [ca. 1888]-1942, 1900-1939 (bulk). Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Letter to Bill West. Los Angeles, CA. 1957 May 21. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Elihu Thomson Papers, 1865-1944 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Murray, Joseph Bradley, 1888-1961,. Joseph Bradley Murray collection, 1706-1958 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Dunlap, Orrin E. (Orrin Elmer), 1896-1970. Orrin Elmer Dunlap Papers. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Edwin H. Armstrong Papers, 1886-1982, [Bulk Dates: 1912-1954] Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Letter to Peggy [?]. Chicago, IL. [19--?] June 14. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Pierce, George Washington, 1872-1956. Papers of George Washington Pierce, 1898-1964 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
creatorOf Van Etten, Herbert B. Herbert B. Van Etten correspondence with Lee de Forest, 1933-1957. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. TLS, 1957 September 24 : Los Angeles, CA, to Major August Jeffers. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Sponable, Earl I., 1895-1977. Papers, 1928-1968. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Letter to George C. Turner. [s.l.]. [19--?] University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn John Hays Hammond Papers, 1908-1965, (bulk 1912-1953) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
referencedIn Maxwell, Perriton, 1868-1947,. Perriton Maxwell collection, 1931-1932. Library of Congress
referencedIn Dunlap, Orrin E. (Orrin Elmer), 1896-1970. Papers. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Hijiya, James A.,. The James A. Hijiya Collection of Lee De Forest, [ca. 1905-1977] Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Letters. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Orrin E. Dunlap collection of radio and television. Colgate University, Everett Needham Case Library
referencedIn Joseph Bradley Murray collection, 1706-1958 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Lee De Forest Papers, 1884-1955 Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
referencedIn Hammond, John Hays, 1888-1965. John Hays Hammond papers, 1908-1965 (bulk 1912-1953). Library of Congress
referencedIn Mayes, Thorn L. DeForest Radio Telephone Companies, 1907-1920 : typescript, 1977. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Armstrong, Edwin H. (Edwin Howard), 1890-1954. Edwin H. Armstrong papers, 1890-1972. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Letter to Bill Lewis. New York, NY. 1929 Apr. 3. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. AlS, 1932 April 18 : Hollywood, CA to Mr. Smith. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Lee De Forest papers, 1884-1955. Library of Congress
creatorOf Lee De Forest papers, 1896-1971 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn History San José Silicon Valley History Online collection, 1781-1987, (bulk 1860-1930) History San José Research Library.
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. 2 TLS, 1942 April 13 and Dec. 17, Lee De Forest Laboratories, Los Angeles, Calif. to Muriel Rukeyser. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Papers, 1873-1961. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961. Scrapbook, 1902-1953. University of Chicago Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Armstrong, Edwin H. (Edwin Howard), 1890-1954. person
associatedWith Automobile Club of Southern California, corporateBody
associatedWith Beard, Augustus Field, 1833-1934. person
associatedWith Bond, Horace Mann, 1904-1972 person
associatedWith Brocard, Riné. person
associatedWith Crawford, Merritt. person
associatedWith Crerar Manuscript Collection (University of Chicago. Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
associatedWith Dunlap, Orrin E. (Orrin Elmer), 1896-1970. person
associatedWith Espenschied, Lloyd person
associatedWith Espenschied, Lloyd. person
associatedWith Fessenden, Reginald Aubrey, 1866-1932. person
associatedWith Gibbs, J. Willard (Josiah Willard), 1839-1903 person
associatedWith Goldman, Edwin Franks, 1878-1956. person
associatedWith Greb, Gordon B., person
correspondedWith Hammond, John Hays, 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Herrold, Charles D. person
associatedWith Hijiya, James A., person
associatedWith History San José person
associatedWith Jeffers, August. person
associatedWith Jeffries, Nina, person
associatedWith Marconi, Guglielmo, marchese, 1874-1937. person
associatedWith Maxwell, Perriton, 1868-1947, person
associatedWith Mayes, Thorn L. person
associatedWith Millar, Jessica Wallace. person
associatedWith Murray, Joseph Bradley, 1888-1961, person
associatedWith Niels Bohr Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Pierce, George Washington, 1872-1956. person
associatedWith Railroad Hour Radio Program corporateBody
associatedWith Rukeyser, Muriel, 1913-1980. person
associatedWith Scott, Margaret Helen, 1898- person
associatedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Smythe, Edwin Hutchinson person
associatedWith Smythe, Edwin Hutchinson. person
associatedWith Sponable, Earl I., 1895-1977. person
associatedWith Thomson, Elihu, 1853-1937. person
associatedWith Turner, G. C. (George Charles), person
associatedWith University of Chicago. Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Upton, J. Duane, person
associatedWith Van Etten, Herbert B. person
associatedWith Western Electric Company corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Europe
Subject
Turbines
Physicists--Travel
Radio
Inventions
Inventors
Motion pictures--Research
Preparatory schools
Physicists--Biography
Sound--Recording and reproducing
Amplifiers, Vacuum-tube
Telegraph, Wireless (Technology)
Radio--History
Science--Philosophy
Electronics
Physics
Engineers--Interviews
Sound--Transmission
Science
Inventors--Biography
Triodes
Inventors--Interviews
Wireless communication systems
Occupation
Radio pioneers
Inventors
Function

Person

Birth 1873-08-26

Death 1961-06-30

Information

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