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Herbert E. Ives

AKA Herbert Eugene Ives

Born: 21-Jul-1882
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
Died: 13-Nov-1953
Location of death: Upper Montclair, NJ
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist, Inventor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Facsimile machine

In his long tenure at Bell Laboratories, physicist and inventor Herbert E. Ives was intimately involved in the development of night vision, and the wire-photo process used in 20th century newspapers. In 1924 he led the team at Bell that first demonstrated a working facsimile machine, and in 1927 his spinning-disc-based television showed a speech by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover carried by wire from Washington, DC to New York City in 1927. Although the technology of Ives' television was not the same as the televisions that came to be commonplace in America, it was the first transmission of video. In 1929 he demonstrated an experimental form of color television, and in 1933 he showed the first three-dimensional motion pictures. He held exactly 100 patents.

Hoping to disprove Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, he conducted two landmark experiments, in 1938 and 1940. In the first procedure, Ives and G.R. Stilwell measured the Doppler redshift, and in the later test he conducted a widely-publicized measurement of the oscillation of particles of hydrogen gas. Ironically, both experiments were widely perceived as adding further evidence for Einstein's relativity, to which Ives remained unwaveringly opposed until his death. An avid coin and medal collector, he was President of the American Numismatic Society. His father, Frederic Eugene Ives, invented the photographic half-tone process, and both father and son received the Rumford Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Father: Frederic Eugene Ives (inventor, b. 1856, d. 1937)
Mother: Mary Olmstead Ives (b. circa 1858, m. 1879)
Brother: Olmstead Ives (b. circa 1881)
Wife: Mabel Lorenz Ives (m. 1908, three children)
Daughter: Barbara Ives Beyer (history teacher)
Son: Kenneth Ives (accountant)
Son: Ronald Ives (aeronautical engineer)

    University: BS, University of Pennsylvania (1905)
    University: PhD, Johns Hopkins University (1908)

    Rumford Prize 1951
    Bell Laboratories Research (1919-47)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Numismatic Society President (1942-46)
    American Philosophical Society
    Franklin Institute
    National Academy of Sciences 1933
    National Research Council
    Optical Society of America President (1924-25)
    Smithsonian Institution Regent

Author of books:
Airplane Photography (1920)


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