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Albert Rose papers, 1926-1974

Accession: 2464-09Identifier: 2464-09-10.-II.


  • Creation: 1926-1974

Biographical Note

Albert Rose was born in Middletown, New York in 1910. He attended Cornell University where he earned a B.A. in physics in 1931 and a Ph.D. in physics in 1935. Shortly after graduation, Rose joined RCA. In 1937, Rose, leading a team of scientists, developed a television camera tube they called the orthicon, the most stable television camera tube to date. The orthicon was first used in RCA’s television demonstration at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, then in military applications in World War II, and finally as the electronic eye of television cameras in the first years of commercial broadcasting. For this work, Rose has been called the father of modern television.

In 1955, Rose moved to Switzerland to serve as the director of RCA’s new research facility, RCA Laboratories Zurich. In 1957, he returned to the United States, where he resumed work at the David Sarnoff Research Center (DSRC) in Princeton, New Jersey. RCA appointed Rose as a Fellow of the Technical Staff in 1959, and he continued to do research related to picture tubes and photoconductivity until his retirement in 1975.

Following retirement, Rose was appointed Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, he also served as a visiting professor at several other universities and continued working with RCA as a consultant. Rose received numerous honors, including the first RCA David Sarnoff Outstanding Achievement Award in Science and Technology, the IEEE Edison Medal, and the Morris Liebman Award from the Institute of Radio Engineers. In 1986, the Institute for Graphic Communications created the Albert Rose Electronic Imager of the Year award in his honor.

Rose was a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the National Academy of Engineering, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Societe Suisse de Physique. During his career, Rose was granted 40 U.S. patents, published more than 50 technical papers and articles, and wrote three books. Albert Rose died in Princeton in 1990.

Scope and Content

The Albert Rose papers include figures and lab notes, correspondence, and technical papers related to Rose’s work on picture tubes and photoconductivity at the David Sarnoff Research Center.

The Albert Rose photographs focus on the development and testing for television picture quality including the orthicon, super xx film, electron images, optical images, low velocity scanning electron microscope images, and direct light spot scanning. As well as electron beam paths in cylindrical negative fields and around horseshoe magnets.

Fifty-eight of Rose's lab notebooks (1935-1958) can be found in Record group 26.

General Physical Description (AVD portion only)

(AVD portion only) 62 photographic prints : b&w ; 35mm. 457 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 5 in. and smaller. 1 photographic print : b&w ; 4 x 6 in. 20 photographic prints : b&w ; 5 x 7 in. 49 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. and larger. 65 glass lantern slides : b&w ; 3 x 5 in. 3 photographic negative : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 46 photographic negatives : b&w ; 3 x 5 in. 13 photographic negatives : b&w ; 2 x 2 in.


Folders arranged alphabetically by subject.


From the Collection: 990 Linear Feet

Additional Description

Access Restrictions

This collection contains material from the Manuscripts and Archives Department (M&A) and the Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department (AVD). Box prefixes indicate which department holds an individual file or item.

Boxes M&A 127-846, M&A 1061-1064, and M&A 1283-1313 are stored offsite. Please contact the Manuscripts and Archives Department at least 48 hours in advance of research visit.


Folders arranged alphabetically by subject.

Processing Notes

Processed by Rachael A. Beyer, 2014.

Related Names



Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA