RCA Corporation

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The Radio Corporation of America was incorporated in Delaware on October 17, 1919, and changed its name to RCA Corporation on May 9, 1969. For over fifty years it was one of the country's leading manufacturers and vendors of radios, phonographs, televisions, and a wide array of consumer and military electronics products. Through subsidiaries, it operated the country's first radiotelegraph, radiotelephone and radio facsimile systems, as well as its pioneer radio and television networks. The company will always be identified with David Sarnoff (1891-1971), who began working for a predecessor company as an office boy in 1906, became vice president in 1922, president in 1930, and served as chairman from 1947 to1970. Sarnoff was one of the first to grasp the full potential of radio and television and imparted to the company its reputation for research and innovation.

David Sarnoff's son Robert succeeded to the presidency in 1966 and was named CEO in 1968. The younger Sarnoff began a program of conglomerate diversification, acquiring publisher Random House, Inc., and the Hertz Corporation rental car business in 1966. In a makeover designed to erase its historic connection with radio, the Radio Corporation of America became RCA Corporation on May 9, 1969. Robert Sarnoff also began an ill-fated push to make RCA the number two computer manufacturer, but after only a year, RCA sold its entire computer business to Sperry Univac in 1971-73.

Robert Sarnoff was ousted in 1975. The company continued to lose market share in consumer electronics to Japanese competition. Subsequent managers pursued a program of divestiture and downsizing that reduced the company to a core of telecommunications, electronic components, aerospace and military electronics and the NBC radio and television networks.

RCA Corporation was merged into the General Electric Company on June 9, 1986.

From the description of Records, 1887-1983 (bulk, 1914-1968). (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122641045

The Radio Corporation of America was incorporated in Delaware on October 17, 1919, and changed its name to RCA Corporation on May 9, 1969. For over fifty years it was one of the country's leading manufacturers and vendors of radios, phonographs, televisions, and a wide array of consumer and military electronics products. Through subsidiaries, it operated the country's first radiotelegraph, radiotelephone and radio facsimile systems, as well as its pioneer radio and television networks. The company will always be identified with David Sarnoff (1891-1971), who began working for a predecessor company as an office boy in 1906, became vice president in 1922, president in 1930, and served as chairman from 1947 to1970. Sarnoff was one of the first to grasp the full potential of radio and television and imparted to the company its reputation for research and innovation.

David Sarnoff's son Robert succeeded to the presidency in 1966 and was named CEO in 1968. The younger Sarnoff began a program of conglomerate diversification, acquiring publisher Random House, Inc., and the Hertz Corporation rental car business in 1966. In a makeover designed to erase its historic connection with radio, the Radio Corporation of America became RCA Corporation on May 9, 1969. Robert Sarnoff also began an ill-fated push to make RCA the number two computer manufacturer, but after only a year, RCA sold its entire computer business to Sperry Univac in 1971-73.

Robert Sarnoff was ousted in 1975. The company continued to lose market share in consumer electronics to Japanese competition. Subsequent managers pursued a program of divestiture and downsizing that reduced the company to a core of telecommunications, electronic components, aerospace and military electronics and the NBC radio and television networks.

RCA Corporation was merged into the General Electric Company on June 9, 1986.

From the description of Records, 1914-1968. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86134205

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn M. Eugene Cook papers, 1941-1972 University of Minnesota Libraries. Charles Babbage Institute. [cbi]
referencedIn Papers, 1962-1977 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Paris Cleveland Gardner Papers, 1834-1976 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Seidenberg, Jacob. Arbitration case files, 1961-1983. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.
referencedIn Dunham, Corydon B. [Interview with Cory Dunham] [sound recording] / Cory Dunham ; [interviewed by] Michael Epstein, New York City, December 22, 1998. Syracuse University
referencedIn Portrait Photograph Collection, 1930-1940 Baker Library, Harvard Business School
referencedIn Edward G. Ramberg Papers, 1916-1994 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Sutnar, Ladislav, 1897-1976. Ladislav Sutnar Collection, 1927-1976. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Village of Babylon Historical & Preservation Society (Babylon, N.Y.). Marconi collection, 1898-1986. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Pound, Arthur, 1884-1966. Papers, 1930-1947. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn John Vassos Papers, 1928-1981 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. Sound recording collection, [ca. 1933]-1986. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn American Communications Association. Local 10 (New York, N.Y.). Records, 1931-1971. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Archibald M. Crossley Papers., undated, 1926-2002. Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries
referencedIn Research Triangle Foundation Records, 1955-1999 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
creatorOf National Broadcasting Company. National Broadcasting Company history files, 1922-1986. Library of Congress
creatorOf Harris, Dorothy K. [Culinary ephemera : stoves - electric]. Box 224. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
creatorOf RCA Corporation. Trade catalogs of televisions, 1968-1969. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Baughman, James P. James P. Baughman papers, 1962-1994. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn J. Walter Thompson Company. Treasurer's Office Records, 1928-1952, (bulk 1928-1940's). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn National Broadcasting Company history files, 1922-1986 Recorded Sound Reference Center, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Hand, Learned. Learned Hand papers. 1840-1961. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Newsom, Carroll Vincent, 1904-. Papers, 1924-1986. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Seidenberg, Jacob. Jacob Seidenberg. Additional Arbitration case files 1961-1983. Cornell University Library
referencedIn RCA-built TIROS I weather satellite : press clippings / [compiled by RCA]. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
referencedIn Adams, David C., 1913-. [Interview with David Adams] [sound recording] / David Adams ; [interviewed by] Les Brown, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., Dec. 17, 1996. Syracuse University
referencedIn Stephen M. Cabrinety Collection in the History of Microcomputing, ca. 1975-1995 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
creatorOf RCA Corporation. Records, 1914-1968. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Carroll Newsom Papers, 1924-1986 New York University. Archives
referencedIn Daniel Yankelovich Papers., 1937-1994 Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Crosby, Emilye,. Oral history interviews of the Early women workers at the Bloomington RCA plant Oral History Project, 1990. Indiana University
referencedIn Zeligs, Meyer Aaron. Meyer Aaron Zeligs Papers. 1923-1978. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn J. Walter Thompson Company. Corporation Vertical Files, bulk 1960s-1990s, circa 1915-1999 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf RCA Corporation. Records, 1887-1983 (bulk, 1914-1968). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Tucker Madawick Papers, 1964-1990 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
referencedIn Mary Beth and Richard Hess technical manual collection, 1970-2000. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Radio Corporation of America. RCA Victor Record Division. Records, 1901-1982. Camden County Historical Society
creatorOf RCA Corporation. Camden technical library, 1930-1983 (bulk, 1930-1968). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Barrows, Robert G. (Robert Graham), 1946-. Oral history interviews of the Economic History of Indiana in the 20th Century Oral History Project, 1976-1980. Indiana University
referencedIn Dorle Soria papers, 1930-1991 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn O'Hara RCA Thomson Company collection, 1900-2006. Indiana Historical Society Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, David C., 1913- person
associatedWith American Communications Association. Local 10 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Baughman, James P. person
associatedWith Cabrinety, Stephen M. person
associatedWith Cook, M. Eugene. person
correspondedWith Crossley, Archibald M. person
associatedWith Dunham, Corydon B. person
associatedWith Electronic Industries Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Gardner, Paris Cleveland, 1887-1974 person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith J. Walter Thompson Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Keeton, Robert E., 1919- person
associatedWith Madawick, Tucker P. person
associatedWith National Broadcasting Company, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Newsom, Carroll Vincent, 1904- person
associatedWith Pound, Arthur, 1884-1966. person
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. Airborne Systems Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. David Sarnoff Research Center, Princeton, N.J. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. Defense Electronic Products. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. Engineering Products Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. Home Instrument Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America Laboratories, Ltd. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. Major Defense Systems Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. Missile and Surface Radar Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. Missile Electronics and Controls Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. RCA Victor Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. RCA Victor Record Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Radio Corporation of America. Tube Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Ramberg, E. G., (Edward Granville), 1907- person
associatedWith RCA Communications, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Corporation. Advanced Technology Laboratories. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Corporation. RCA Graphic Systems Division. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Corporation. RCA International Division. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Global Communications. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Institutes. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Laboratories. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Limited (Canada). corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Manufacturing Company, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Manufacturing Company, inc. RCA Victor Division. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Radiotron Company. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA Service Company. corporateBody
associatedWith RCA-Victor Company, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Research Trianlge Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Seidenberg, Jacob. person
associatedWith Seidenberg, Jacob. person
associatedWith Soria, Dorle person
associatedWith Sutnar, Ladislav, 1897-1976. person
associatedWith Vassos, John, 1898-1985 person
associatedWith Village of Babylon Historical & Preservation Society (Babylon, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Yankelovich, Daniel. person
associatedWith Zeligs, Meyer Aaron, 1909-1978 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Electrical engineering--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Radar
Radio relay system
RCA 601 (Computer)--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Sound--Recording and reproducing
Radio
Artificial satellites
Computer engineering
Transistors
Research, Industrial--Laboratories
Television--Repairing--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Computer programming--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Semiconductors
RCA 501 (Computer)--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Color television
RCA 301 (Computer)--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Astronautics
Guided missiles
Television
Solid state electronics
Electrical engineering
Phonograph
Avionics
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1968

Active 1969

Americans

Information

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SNAC ID: 19297880