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Roscoe H. George papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 483

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the research reports, notes, correspondence, patents, course material, and related papers of Roscoe George. It includes information on Electrical Engineering at Purdue University, and television research reports. Please see PDF Finding Aid for a detailed collection inventory.


  • 1939 - 1954

Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Portions of material in this collection may be in the public domain. Other material copyrights held by Purdue University or original creator/publisher. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Roscoe H. George was a Professor of Electrical and and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. The College of Engineering now has an endowed chair entitled the "Roscoe H. George Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering."

George earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Purdue University in 1922. He earned his Master of Science degree in 1927 after producing a cathode ray oscillograph used in science labs to photograph lightning and high voltage electricity. His reseach and work was important to the delvelopment of television and its transmission, among other things.

One of those milestones involving Purdue occurred in the spring of 1930. On May 13, news media reported that the Federal Radio Commission had authorized construction of a TV transmitting station to Professor C.F. Harding, dean of Purdue's Schools of Engineering. Harding had been heading a team seriously researching television in West Lafayette for about a year before the federal authority arrived. His team, funded with a $120,000 grant from the Grisgby-Grunow Co. of Chicago, included Professor Raymond B. Abbott and instructor Roscoe H. George.

Early reports had it that the first station for long-distance experiments would be built in the Electrical Engineering Building and would operate with a power of 1,500 watts on a wavelength of 2,100 kilocycles. Those may have been early plans, but they changed as time went on. The transmitter actually went up north of Ross-Ade Stadium, the frequency was set at 2,800 kilocycles, and the power 500 or maybe 1000 watts.

Yet another major moment toward development of TV occurred at Purdue in the late winter of 1933. The Journal and Courier described the first home demonstrations of a portable TV receiver. A Purdue team working under Roscoe George produced it and began showing it off in the Harding family home of at 607 University St., West Lafayette. Various Purdue officials and local business and professional leaders saw it work on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 31. Then on Friday afternoon, Feb. 3, 1933, several engineers from Radio Corporation of America (RCA) arrived from the East for an inspection.
Source: Kriebel, Bob. "Old Lafayette: Purdue had a role in Early Television." Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana). Reprinted February 15, 2019. Originally published June 8, 2003. />


15.625 Cubic Feet (15 cubic foot boxes)

Acquisition Information

Source of acquisition is unknown.

Processing Information

Material has been placed in acid-free folders and boxes.
Roscoe H. George papers
In Progress
Amanda Rumba and Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Third edition. Collection description first completed by Archives Staff at an unknown date.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-22: Collection description updated by Amanda Rumba to align with data entry standards.
  • 2021-03-29: Biographical Information updated by E. Sandgren with sketch written by David Hovde

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States