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Arthur Korn – Fax Machine Inventor and Television Experimenter

Arthur Korn (May 20, 1870 – December 21, 1945) was involved in the development of the fax machine, specifically for the purpose of transmitting photographs, as well as being involved in early attempts to develop a practical mechanical television system.

Arthur Korn Fax Inventor

Table of Contents

Life

Born in Germany, Arthur Korn studied in London, Paris, Berlin, and Würzburg, later becoming a lecturer in law in Munich, and the chair of physics at the Berlin Institute of Technology.

Being of Jewish descent, he was dismissed from his post at the Berlin Institute of Technology in 1935 due to the rise of the Nazi Party. He left Germany in 1939 to move his family to the United States, becoming the chair in Physics and Mathematics a the Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey).

Facsimile and Telecommunications Inventions and Experiments

Pioneering in areas such as the use of light sensitive selenium cells in the phototeleautograph, he managed in 1906 to transmit a photograph of Crown Prince William over 1800km.

In 1913, Korn was able to demonstrate a visual telegraphic transmission of a cinematic (movie) recording.

In 1923 he transmitted a picture of Pope Pius XI from Rome to Bar Harbor, Maine.

From 1923, the German police used Korn’s system to be able to send photographs and fingerprints across distances.

Korn’s Writings and Publications

  • Eine Theorie der Gravitation und der elektrischen Erscheinungen auf Grundlage der Hydrodynamik (2nd ed., 1896)
  • Ueber Molecular-Funktion (1897)
  • Lehrbuch der Potentialtheorie (Berlin, 1899–1901)
  • Freie und erzwungene Schwingungen (1910)
  • Handbuch der Phototelegraphie (1911)
  • Bildrundfunk with Eugen Nesper (1926)

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