Lee DE Forest.org


A Yale Man

Lee de Forest, 1873-1961, was an inventor and scholar who made significant contributions to the science of electronic communications during the first three decades of the Twentieth Century. He held numerous patents on the technology of radio, television and film.

From 1895, samples of de Forest’s Yale Notebooks

The origin of many of his ideas for inventions was the “Talking Arc.” He used it as a detector of wireless, a radiotelephone transmitter and to record sound optically on film.

Below is a page from his Ph.D Dissertation called, “Reflections of Hertzian Waves from the ends of Parallel Wires.” He received his doctorate from the Yale Sheffield Scientific School.

“My specialty then, shall be the condenser. It is the stepping stone between the electrical art of today and the final and more mysterious ‘wavy’ form to which we must come. It is the ladder to the final realms of the air.” (De Forest, in his diary, 1898)

Left, condensers: 1, Leyden Jar; 2, paper, 3, variable. Right, college drawing from notebooks

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Have a question about Lee de Forest? Email the creator of this site, Mike Adams | Contact Jim Reed at History San Jose about the de Forest papers