Nov. 24, 1907 (Sunday)
YES, THE WORD "TELEVISION" IS OLDER THAN A ... TELEVISION: Excitement appears to be building among politicians and journalists about the growing ability to transmit photographs by wire. Today's New York Times includes an article that describes the transmission of photographs by telegraph and asks the intriguing question in the headline: "Television next?" (above). The article describes a somewhat historic event on Nov. 7. On that date -- at the office of The London Mirror newspaper, a photograph of King Edward was sent by telegraph to Paris. (This is commonly regarded as the FIRST NEWSPAPER WIREPHOTO.) The machine used was developed by Prof. Arthur Korn, whose work is part of a long history of efforts to transmit images across great distances -- something that will lead to our modern fax machine. [Note: Does this mean there was a chance it would be called a Korn machine?]
According to the Times, Korn says the first attempt a few years ago to send what he calls an "electrograph" took about 42 minutes and the quality was poor. An experiment in 1904 required 24 minutes. Now it's been shortened to about 6 minutes.
Here's what Korn says about the practical uses that are ahead:
Now, as to the possibilities of the invention. Electrographs may son become a common phase of the illustrated press of many countries. They there is also the question of the POLICE being able to transmit photographs of CRIMINALS. Perhaps, too, we shall soon have the illustrated telegraph card as a complement of the illustrated postcard. At present the application to the ILLUSTRATED PRESS must be considered the most important."
He talked about television, by which he seems to mean MOVING, continuous pictures:
"The problem of television, by which distant views are reproduced in a way similar to that by which we how hear distant sounds, has not yet been solved. Many bright minds are working upon it, but the great difficulty is the speed required."
MANY ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE "PROBLEM NOVEL": The above illustration shows a group of distinguished authors -- such as Dickens, Bunyan, Chaucer and Shakespeare -- facing a rejection from a publisher. The note flashed at them reads "Dear Sirs: While your MSS may contain interesting qualities -- We regret to say that in OUR OPINION it is NOT what the PEOPLE want. Yours with Regret".
To clarify the "problem" of modern novels, today's New York Times asks a number of publishers and other literature mavens to discuss the "problem."
One of the people the Times asked about the situation was publisher Henry Holt (shown). He mentioned that he suspected the questions about the state of current literature was sparked by "the increased attention paid to SEX PROBLEMS." He continues:
"There was revulsion after the "Tom Jones" and "Clarissa" period until, up to within a generation ago, it was the habit to dispose of such questions by ignoring them. Parents left their children to learn of them from prurient companions; physiology was not taught in the schools, and any book referring to reproduction was pronounced indelicate. The world has grown wiser as well as more honest in these regards. Subjects are discussed at the dinner table to-day which, within the memory of the older diners, were postponed until the ladies gathered in the drawing room and the men in the smoking room.
He contrasts two recent publications -- "The Helpmate" [by by May Sinclair] and "Three Weeks." Of the latter, he said the book is "merely a misuse of appeals to the strongest passion in human nature, to add 'an unhealthy interest to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative'."
Sounds stuffy. Here's an excerpt from that "unconvincing narrative" -- "Three Weeks," the author of which was in the news on Nov. 17, 1907:
A bright fire burnt in the grate, and some palest orchid-mauve silk curtains were drawn in the lady's room when Paul entered from the terrace. And loveliest sight of all, in front of the fire, stretched at full length, was his tiger--and on him--also at full -- reclined the lady, garbed in some strange clinging garment of heavy purple crepe, its hem embroidered with gold, one white arm resting on the beast's head, her back supported by a pile of the velvet cushions, and a heap of rarely bound books at her side, while between her red lips was a rose not redder than they--an almost scarlet rose. Paul had never seen one as red before.
The whole picture was barbaric. It might have been some painter's dream of the Favourite in a harem. It was not what one would expect to find in a sedate Swiss hotel.