W3XK -- America's first television station
A scrapbook of postcards, letters, and QSL cards collected by station owner, Charles Francis Jenkins

photo of W3XL station antenna
photo of W3XL QSL card
photo of W3XL station transmitter

Charles Francis Jenkins (1867-1934) was the founding member and first president of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers ( SMPTE ). He was a prolific inventor who achieved over 400 patents, including 75 devoted just to mechanical television. Among his other patents were the automobile self-starter, radio navigation, paper milk carton technology, reversible propellers, time-lapse photography, and the front-mounted automobile engine.

Albert Abramson wrote that Charles Francis Jenkins was "...the only man in history who was present at the birth of both the motion picture and television. As America's first pioneer of television, his vision is revealed in two historic articles: "Transmitting Pictures by Electricity" in the July 25, 1894 issue of ELECTRICAL ENGINEER and "Motion Pictures by Wireless" in the September 27, 1913 issue of MOTION PICTURE NEWS. Jenkins transmitted the earliest moving silhouette images in December 1923, which was the first witnessed demonstration (by two journalists, including Hugo Gernsback) of a working television system. On June 13, 1925, he publicly performed his first public wireless transmission of television images from Anacosta, Virginia to Washington, D.C. And on July 2, 1928, Jenkins Labs commenced broadcasting on W3XK scheduled television programs five nights a week continuously for several years. At first, the television station was limited to primitive silhouette images because of its 10kHz bandwidth, but soon it was allowed to move its carrier frequency to 4.95 MHz with a bandwidth of 100 kHz and a power of 5000 Watts. The following documents (QSL postcards and ordinary postcards) assembled by Jenkins in his personal scrapbook record the reception of some of these vintage television transmissions as well as his other amateur radio and experimental broadcasts involving this station.

Cover of Radio-Craft
Cover of SMPTE Journal

Cover article: "Men Who Have Made Radio--C. Francis Jenkins," RADIO-CRAFT, Vol 1 (5): 201, November 1929

Cover article: "Pioneers of Television--Charles Francis Jenkins," by Albert Abramson, SMPTE JOURNAL, Vol. 95 (2): 224, February 1986

Four books by Jenkins:
ANIMATED PICTURES, Wash., DC: C.F. Jenkins, 1898, 118pp., plus 20pp. ads.
VISION BY RADIO. RADIO PHOTOGRAPHS. RADIO PHOTOGRAMS., Wash., DC: Jenkins Lab., 1925, 140pp.
RADIOMOVIES, RADIOVISION, TELEVISION. 1929, Wash., DC: Jenkins Lab., 143pp.
THE BOYHOOD OF AN INVENTOR, Wash., DC: C.F. Jenkins, 1931, 273pp.

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Photo of 1AIX & 9DKA QSL cards

1AIX
QSL card from Ed. Waitt
9DKA
QSL card from J. A. Piker, 4/6/27

Photo of 5AQE & 8SV letters

5AQE
QSL card from F. W. McKelvy, 11/26
8SV
QSL card from D.S. McClung, 12/26

Photo of McWilliams & Millen letters

Letter from R. McWilliam, 2/30
Letter from James Millen, 8/28

Photo of W9BBH & Hoffmann letters

Letter from Leo Hruska, W9BBH, 11/28
Letter from C. B. Hoffmann, 6/30

Photo of 1BQD & 8BMR QSL cards

1BQD
QSL card from George M. Mathewson, 4/10/27
8BMR
QSL card from John J. Fluck, 4/10/27

Photo of 1BSJ & 6NK QSL cards

1BSJ
QSL card from I. Creaser, 6/29/30
6NK
QSL card from R. J. Denny (England), 1/2/27

Photo of 1CCZ & 2VC QSL cards

1CCZ
QSL card from Ed. C. Crossett,, 6/29/30
2VC
QSL card from Louis J Varson, 6/27/28

Photo of 2AFV & 1BJM QSL cards

2AFV
QSL card from E. Roberts, 8/27
1BJM
QSL card from A. M. Tewksbury

Photo of 2AHI & 1AGA QSL cards

2AHI
QSL card from John Morley, 10/27
1AGA
QSL card from R. W. Peterson, 10/27

Photo of 2AHP & 4WW QSL cards

2AHP
QSL card from J. Spafford (England), 6/30
Letter from W. R. Orell, 4WW, 5/27

Photo of 2BV & 3WT QSL cards

2BV
QSL card from Charles M. English, 4/27
3WT & 8BTI
QSL card from Carl W. Luhn

Photo of 2BFY & 2CXL QSL cards

2BFY
QSL card from O. E. c.1927
2CXL & 2XBB
QSL card from Army ARRL, F. E. Lynn

Photo of 3AEU & 9BVP QSL cards

3AEU
QSL card from Ruffner Jr. H.S., Bill Martin, 12/26
9BVP
QSL card from E. J. Maloney

Photo of 3ALF & 3ALF QSL cards

3ALF (3FR)
QSL card from O. E., c.1927
3FI
QSL card from Charles Hartman, 7/28

Photo of 3BBW & 3NR QSL cards

3BBW
QSL card from ???
3NR
QSL card from Willard R. Burton

Photo of 3CGF & 9BNF QSL cards

3CGF
QSL card from R. A. Lloyd, 8/28
9BNF
QSL card from Louis Thomsen, 9/28

Photo of 5IE & 3NR QSL cards

5IE
QSL card from John Williams, 8/29
Letter from N. Booth (England), 4/1/27

Photo of Allen & 8ASW QSL cards

Letter from Fred E. Allen
8ASW
QSL card from Buckalew, 7/16/28

Photo of 3SN & Smith QSL cards

3SN
QSL card from A. Foxcroft, 8/13/27
Letter from A. E. Smith (Nov.)

Photo of Fraenckhel & 9DDZ QSL cards

Letter from Fraenckhel
Letter from A. E. Smith (Feb.)

Photo of 8AHP & 1AUE QSL cards

8AHP
QSL card from R. H. Kolks, 9/7/28
1AUE
QSL card from Harry O. Graves, 8/23/28

Photo of 6EA & 9CRV QSL cards

6EA
QSL card from Howard C. Seefred, 11/5/27
9CRV
QSL card from Charles W. Soltau, 9/1/27

Photo of W1IM QSL card

W1IM
QSL card from Clifford Fraser, 10/15/28

Photo of 8AQM QSL card

8AQM (8CGH, 8YP)
QSL cards from Seneca Vocational School, 11/24/26

Photo of 8CAU & 3ACM QSL cards

8CAU
QSL card from U. of Cincinnati, 4/10/27
3ACM
QSL card from E. A. Merryman

Photo of 8DUB & 8AXF QSL cards

8DUB
QSL card from G. Donald Fenton, 8/22/28
8AXF
QSL card from Harry G. Cotter, 8/24/28

Photo of 9DUB & 9DDZ QSL cards

9DUB
QSL card from A. H. Wiedenheft, 1/9/26
Letter from Smith

Photo of 8NWU & 3ADM QSL cards

8NWU
QSL card from Dr. Girvin
3ADM
QSL card from John A. Roehm, 7/2/28

Photo of 8UP & Hazzard QSL cards

8UP
QSL card from B. A. Chenoweth, 10/29/28
Letter from Charles Hazzard, 9/21/28

Photo of 9ARK & 1AKD QSL cards

9ARK
QSL card from M. J. McKee, c.1928
1AKD
QSL card from John Johnson, 8/3/28

Photo of 9DUW & 9DAX QSL cards

9DUW
QSL card from J. Brubaker, 4/25
9DAX
QSL card from Leon A. Faber, 10/19/27

Photo of 9BLU & 9AQE QSL cards

9BLU
QSL card from Victor Morrison, 8/4/27
9AQE
QSL card from E. Hesher, 4/11/27

Photo of 8AAZ & Adams QSL cards

8AAZ
QSL card from E. H. Wollmuth, 8/20/28
Letter from Howard Adams, Jr., 8/28/28

Photo of 9KB & 9BPX QSL cards

9KB
QSL card from VKern, 1/5/27
9BPX
QSL card from Jo

Photo of 8YP & 9CNN QSL cards

8YP & 8CGH
QSL card from Seneca Voc. H.S., "8SD" 11/24/26
9CNN
QSL card from J. F. Craft, 1/9/27

Photo of 9DYT & 8CMO QSL cards

9DYT
QSL card from W. W. Quinley, 8/30/27
8CMO
QSL card from H. S. Miller, 10/15/27

Photo of 9CSJ & 5ATS QSL cards

9CSJ
QSL card from Robert E. Hastings, 10/22/27
5ATS
QSL card from S. J. Bayne, Jr., 10/22/27




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A selection of television history websites
with information about Charles Francis Jenkins

http://www.acmi.net.au/AIC/JENKINS_BIO.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Francis_Jenkins

http://www.mrlinfo.org/history/biography/jenkinscf.htm

http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/J/htmlJ/jenkinschar/jenkinschar.htm

http://www.televisionexperimenters.com/jenkins.html

http://www.tvhistory.tv/C-Francis-Jenkins.htm

http://www.victorian-cinema.net/jenkins.htm

NOTE: This large six-volume set of personal scrapbooks of Jenkins (600+ pages of documents, letters, photos, and newspaper clippings) is in public storage and unavailable. I cannot answer research questions regarding content at this time. Serious purchase inquiries are invited from museums, archives, etc.


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