Microgroove record

inventor: Péter Károly Goldmark, engineer, physicist
time of inventon: 1948

About the inventor

Péter Károly Goldmark

Péter Károly Goldmark’s talent and knowledge in physics impressed his teacher already at secondary school. No wonder that after emigrating with his family to Vienna in 1920, he began his studies there at the University of Technology. He continued his studies in Berlin at the Technical College in Charlottenburg. He also worked there with Dénes Gábor (Nobel Price awarded Hungarian physicist), who recognized the young researcher’s talent. Later he returned to Vienna where he carried out scientific researches. Already at that time he was interested in the developing industry of television technology. He created an equipment, on the 2,5 X 3,8 cm wide screen of which he managed to project an image. It happened in 1926, on his 20th birthday.

Following his successes he was employed by the British Pye Ltd. as a television engineer. Later he moved to New York in 1933. In 1935 he started to work at CBS, where he became the head of its research laboratory, afterwords the director of the company and much later its vice-president. Soon he gave up with his experiments on mechanical TV devices, and dedicated himself to new challenges in the field of electronic (cathode ray tube) television equipment. On 4th of September 1940 he demonstrated his invention: the first color television system.

During World War II (1939-1945) he worked on military projects. He successfully elaborated a method for disturbing the German radar systems. After the war he perfected his idea of color television equipment which was also used in space research later on: with its help the first steps of mankind on the Moon were broadcast on Earth. Among other inventions, he also invented the microgroove record, commonly known as LP.

Goldmark was already 71 years old, when President Jimmy Carter presented him with the National Medal of Science - the most prestigious acknowledgement of the United States in science - for his scientific achievements.


Microgroove record

The microgroove record, the invention of the group of research and development led by Károly Péter Goldmark, was presented by Columbia Records in 1948. The first stereo records appeared in 1958, the quadraphonic ones in 1971. Both single and microgroove records of high fidelity record players were made from vinyl plastic that is flexible and unbreakable in normal use. Later they received the brand name: Vinyl. The vinyl records, however, are easier to scratch or gouge, and much more prone to warping compared to earlier records made of shellac. After the appearance of compact disc (CD) in 1982, vinyl production got replaced slowly.