Television History - The First 75 Years
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1936 German (Berlin) Olympics

Germany hosted the 1936 Summer Olympics at Berlin.  These games were televised by two German firms, Telefunken and Fernseh, the using RCA and  Farnsworth equipment, respectively.  This marked the first live television coverage of a sports event in world history.  Both systems broadcast at 180 lines and 25 frames per second.  Four different areas were telecast using three cameras.  In total, 72 hours of live transmission went over the airwaves to special viewing booths, called "Public Television Offices" in Berlin and Potsdam. 

1936 German Olympics TV Program.JPG (70834 bytes) (71K)
1936 Television In Germany

This pumpkin-colored 8-page booklet measures 7-3/4" x 8-1/4", and is one of the few surviving examples describing the television program for 1936 Summer Olympics.  It is printed in four languages.

1936 German Olympics TV Program English.JPG (458726 bytes) (459K)
English Text

The text for this program tells how Germany had 'regular' television transmissions since 1929, and how this new 1934 system "attains remarkable picture-quality".  The final sentence closes with:  "From these initial stages of television in broadcasting and telephony, there is a growing up a cultural development that promises to be of unsuspected importance to the progress of mankind."

1936 German Olympics SNAPSHOTS.JPG (60638 bytes) (60K)
Actual snapshots of the 1936 Berlin Olympics in progress

The historic original snapshots shown above, came with the 1936 Television in Germany program guide.  They were from the estate of a gentleman in Wheeling, West Virginia, who was a mess cook with the United States military and was stationed in Berlin during the Olympics.  He was of German origin and was able to speak both English and German fluently.  These were his personal treasures.

1936 Berlin Olympics TV Camera.JPG (33222 bytes) (33K)
German Television Cameras Used in 1936 Olympics



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