Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Jewish Hall of Fame: Peter Carl Goldmark

Goldmark is the inventor of the 33 1/2 phonogram record otherwise known as the LP

By: Zak Edwards

Published: April 30th, 2014 in Business » World

Jewish Hall of Fame: Peter Carl Goldmark

Since the dawn of time, Jewish people have contributed greatly to various fields, from sports to entertainment to politics to porn. With our Breakthrough Jew feature, we recognize those who are up and comers in these various industries, identifying those great innovators and leaders in the contemporary world who are making a mark on society that will last a lifetime.

With the Jewish Hall of Fame, we recognize the remarkable advancements members of our community have made on today’s society. These are people who have truly changed the world, and have earned the respect and praise of the members of today’s younger generation.

ShalomLife’s Jewish Hall of Fame is our ongoing tribute to the greatest Jews who have ever lived; be sure to catch us weekly with our latest inductees, and tweet us @ShalomLife with your suggestions.

Check out last week’s inductee into the Hall of Fame here.

Hall of Fame Member: Peter Carl Goldmark

Born: December 2, 1906, Budapest, Hungary

Died: December 7, 1977, Westchester County, New York, United States

Famous For: Inventing the LP

There are few people in this world who can say they forever changed the way we communicate, but there are even fewer who can say they invented a new way to communicate and it’s been popular for over 50 years. Peter Carl Goldberg can make such a claim. The man invented the record, a way of listening to music that is surging in popularity again for its crisp sound and general awesomeness.

And he arguably developed the absolute best way to listen to music, the 33 1/2 phonogram record. If you don’t believe me, find a good setup and listen to The White Album. You’re welcome.

Oh, and he also changed television, the record was practically a side project and one of 180 patents he filed in his lifetime.

The inventor of that marvellous piece of technology was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1906. Despite writing an autobiography, Maverick Inventor: My Turbulent Years at CBS, we still know very little of his early life. He grew up in a musical household but hated his own piano teacher, causing his mother to switch him to the cello. His family fled his homeland to escape the rising communist regime after World War I and went to Vienna. It was here, in Vienna, that Goldberg first encountered television while at graduate school for science and engineering.

After graduating, Goldberg headed to England to work in radio but soon moved back to Vienna after the Depression closed down his employer. Back in Vienna, Goldberg encountered another thing for the first time, CBS, and a chance meeting with radio correspondent H. V. Kaltenborn, who encouraged Goldberg to move to New York, which he promptly did.

Goldberg arrived in New York the same year he was laid off in England, 1933, and sustained himself on a combination of consulting and odd jobs for the next 3 years. Starting on January 1, 1936, however, Goldberg managed to make good on his connection with CBS through Kaltenborn and was hired as their Chief Television Officer. He started with a staff of two and one of them, John Hollywood, remained Goldberg’s closest professional relationship.

Within a few years, Goldberg’s department had expanded and made vast improvements to black-and-white television, improving sound and picture quality. Not usually one for movies, Goldberg saw Gone with the Wind in 1940 and was excited by the addition of colour to the film. He immediately started researching colour television.

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