Culver City, California
Culver City is a city in Los Angeles County, California. The city was named after Harry Culver; as of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 38,883. It is surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, but shares a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Over the years, it has annexed more than 40 pieces of adjoining land and now comprises about five square miles. Since the 1920s, Culver City has been a center for motion picture and television production, best known as the home of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. From 1932 to 1986, it was the headquarters for the Hughes Aircraft Company. National Public Radio West and Sony Pictures Entertainment have headquarters in the city; the NFL Network studio is based in Culver City. Archaeological evidence suggests a human presence in the area of present-day Culver City since at least 8,000 BC; the region was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans. The city was founded on the lands of the former Rancho La Ballona, Rancho Rincon de los Bueyes, Rancho La Cienega o Paso de la Tijera.
In 1861, during the American Civil War, Camp Latham was established by the 1st California Infantry under Col. James H. Carleton and the 1st California Cavalry under Lt. Col. Benjamin F. Davis. Named for California Senator Milton S. Latham, the camp was the first staging area for the training of Union troops and their operations in Southern California, it was located on land of the Rancho La Ballona, on the South side of Ballona Creek, near what is now the intersection of Jefferson and Overland Boulevards. The post was moved to Camp Drum, which became the Drum Barracks. Harry Culver first attempted to establish Culver City in 1913; the first film studio in Culver City was built by Thomas Ince in 1918. Silent film comedy producer Hal Roach built his studios there in 1919, Metro Goldwyn Mayer in the'20s. During Prohibition and nightclubs such as the Cotton Club lined Washington Boulevard. Culver Center, one of Southern California's first shopping malls, was completed in 1950 on Venice Boulevard near the Overland Avenue intersection.
Many other retail stores, including a Rite Aid and several banks and restaurants, have occupied the center since then. Hughes Aircraft opened its Culver City plant in July 1941. There the company built the H-4 Hercules transport. Hughes was an active subcontractor in World War II, it developed and patented a flexible feed chute for faster loading of machine guns on B-17 bombers, manufactured electric booster drives for machine guns. Hughes produced more ammunition belts than any other American manufacturer, built 5,576 wings and 6,370 rear fuselage sections for Vultee BT-13 trainers. Hughes grew after the war, in 1953 Howard Hughes donated all his stock in the company to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. After he died in 1976, the institute sold the company, which made it the second-best-endowed medical research foundation in the world; the Hal Roach Studios were demolished in 1963. In the late 1960s, much of the MGM backlot acreage, the nearby 28.5-acre of the RKO Forty Acres, once owned by RKO Pictures and Desilu Productions, were sold by their owners.
In 1976 the sets were razed to make way for redevelopment. Today the RKO site is the southern expansion of the Hayden Industrial Tract, while the MGM property has been converted to a subdivision and a shopping center known as Raintree Plaza. In the 1990s, Culver City launched a successful revitalization program in which it renovated its downtown as well as several shopping centers in the Sepulveda Boulevard corridor near Westfield Culver City. Around the same time, Sony's motion picture subsidiary, Columbia Pictures, moved into the old MGM lot; the influx of many art galleries and restaurants to the eastern part of the city, formally designated the Culver City Art District, prompted The New York Times in 2007 to praise the new art scene and call Culver City a "nascent Chelsea."In 2012 Roger Vincent of the Los Angeles Times said that, according to local observers, the city's "reputation as a pedestrian-friendly destination with upscale restaurants, gastropubs and a thriving art scene is less than a decade old."
Hundreds of movies have been produced on the lots of Culver City's studios: Sony Pictures Studios, Culver Studios, the former Hal Roach Studios. These include The Wizard of Oz, The Thin Man, Gone with the Wind, the Tarzan series, the original King Kong. More recent films made in Culver City include Grease, Raging Bull, E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial, City Slickers, Air Force One, Wag the Dog and Contact. Television series made on Culver City sets have included Las Vegas, Cougar Town, Mad About You, Hogan's Heroes, The Green Hornet, Arrested Development, The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, U. S. M. C. Jeopardy!, The Nanny, Hell's Kitchen, MasterChef, the syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune and Tosh. O; the television series The Green Hornet featured Bruce Lee as Kato. John Travolta's "Stranded at the Drive-In" sequence in Grease was filmed at the Studio Drive-In on the corner of Jefferson and Sepulveda, it served as a set including Pee-wee's Big Adventure. The theatre was closed in 1993 and demolished in 1998.
Culver City's streets have been featured in television series. Since much of the
LaserDisc is a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium licensed and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in the United States in 1978. Although the format was capable of offering higher-quality video and audio than its consumer rivals, VHS and Betamax videotape, LaserDisc never managed to gain widespread use in North America due to high costs for the players and video titles themselves and the inability to record TV programs, though it did gain some traction in that region to become somewhat popular in the 1990s, it was not a popular format in Australasia. By contrast, the format was much more popular in Japan and in the more affluent regions of Southeast Asia, such as Hong Kong and Malaysia, was the prevalent rental video medium in Hong Kong during the 1990s, its superior video and audio quality made it a popular choice among videophiles and film enthusiasts during its lifespan. The technologies and concepts behind LaserDisc were the foundation for optical disc formats including Compact Disc, DVD and Blu-ray.
Optical video recording technology, using a transparent disc, was invented by David Paul Gregg and James Russell in 1958. The Gregg patents were purchased by MCA in 1968. By 1969, Philips had developed a videodisc in reflective mode, which has advantages over the transparent mode. MCA and Philips decided to combine their efforts and first publicly demonstrated the video disc in 1972. LaserDisc was first available on the market, in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 11, 1978, two years after the introduction of the VHS VCR, four years before the introduction of the CD. Licensed and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in 1978, the technology was referred to internally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical Videodisc, Disco-Vision, with the first players referring to the format as "Video Long Play". Pioneer Electronics purchased the majority stake in the format and marketed it as both LaserVision and LaserDisc in 1980, with some releases unofficially referring to the medium as "Laser Videodisc".
Philips produced the players. The Philips-MCA cooperation was not successful, discontinued after a few years. Several of the scientists responsible for the early research founded Optical Disc Corporation. In 1979, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago opened its "Newspaper" exhibit which used interactive LaserDiscs to allow visitors to search for the front page of any Chicago Tribune newspaper; this was a early example of public access to electronically stored information in a museum. In 1984, Sony introduced a LaserDisc format that could store any form of digital data, as a data storage device similar to CD-ROM, with a large capacity 3.28 GiB, comparable to the DVD-ROM format. The first LaserDisc title marketed in North America was the MCA DiscoVision release of Jaws on December 15, 1978; the last title released in North America was Paramount's Bringing Out the Dead on October 3, 2000. A dozen or so more titles continued to be released in Japan until September 21, 2001, with the last Japanese released movie was the Hong Kong film Tokyo Raiders from Golden Harvest.
Production of LaserDisc players continued until January 2009, when Pioneer stopped making them. It was estimated that in 1998, LaserDisc players were in 2% of U. S. households. By comparison, in 1999, players were in 10% of Japanese households. LaserDisc was released on June 10, 1981 in Japan, a total of 3.6 million LaserDisc players were sold there. A total of 16.8 million LaserDisc players were sold worldwide, of which 9.5 million were sold by Pioneer. By 2001, LaserDisc was replaced by DVD in the North American retail marketplace, as software was no longer being produced. Players were still exported to North America from Japan until the end of 2001; the format has retained some popularity among American collectors, to a greater degree in Japan, where the format was better supported and more prevalent during its life. In Europe, LaserDisc always remained an obscure format, it was chosen by the British Broadcasting Corporation for the BBC Domesday Project in the mid-1980s, a school-based project to commemorate 900 years since the original Domesday Book in England.
From 1991 until the late 1990s, the BBC used LaserDisc technology to play out their channel idents. Pioneer ceased production of LaserDisc players on January 14, 2009; the standard home video LaserDisc was 30 cm in diameter and made up of two single-sided aluminum discs layered in plastic. Although appearing similar to compact discs or DVDs, LaserDiscs used analog video stored in the composite domain with analog FM stereo sound and PCM digital audio; the LaserDisc at its most fundamental level was still recorded as a series of pits and lands much like CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs are today. However, while the encoding is of a binary nature, the information is encoded as analog pulse-width modulation with a 50% duty cycle, where the information is contained in the lengths and spacing of the pits. In true digital media the pits, or their edges, directly represent 1s and 0s of a binary digital information stream. Early LaserDiscs featured in 1978 were analog but the format evolved to incorporate digital stereo sound in CD format, multi-channel formats such as Dolby Digita
MiniDisc is a magneto-optical disc-based data storage format offering a capacity of 60, 74 minutes and 80 minutes, of digitized audio or 1 gigabyte of Hi-MD data. Sony brand audio players were on the market in September 1992. Sony announced the MiniDisc in September 1992 and released it in November of that year for sale in Japan and in December in Europe, the USA and other countries; the music format was based on ATRAC audio data compression, but the option of linear PCM digital recording was introduced to meet audio quality comparable to that of a compact disc. MiniDiscs were popular in Japan and found moderate success in Europe. Sony has ceased development of MD devices, with the last of the players sold by March 2013. In 1983, just a year after the introduction of the Compact Disc, Kees Schouhamer Immink and Joseph Braat presented the first experiments with erasable magneto-optical Compact Discs during the 73rd AES Convention in Eindhoven, it took, however 10 years before their idea was commercialized.
Sony's MiniDisc was one of two rival digital systems, both introduced in 1992, that were targeted as replacements for the Philips Compact Cassette analog audio tape system: the other was Digital Compact Cassette, created by Philips and Matsushita. Sony had intended Digital Audio Tape to be the dominant home digital audio recording format, replacing the analog cassette. Due to technical delays, DAT was not launched until 1989, by the U. S. dollar had fallen so far against the yen that the introductory DAT machine Sony had intended to market for about $400 in the late 1980s now had to retail for $800 or $1000 to break putting it out of reach of most users. Relegating DAT to professional use, Sony set to work to come up with a simpler, more economical digital home format. By the time Sony came up with MiniDisc in late 1992, Philips had introduced a competing system, DCC; this created marketing confusion similar to the Betamax versus VHS battle of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sony attempted to license MD technology to other manufacturers, with JVC, Pioneer and others all producing their own MD systems.
However, non-Sony machines were not available in North America, companies such as Technics and Radio Shack tended to promote DCC instead. Despite having a loyal customer base of musicians and audio enthusiasts, MiniDisc met with only limited success in the United States, it was popular in Japan during the 1990s, but did not enjoy comparable sales in other world markets. Since recordable CDs, flash memory and HDD and solid-state-based digital audio players such as iPods have become popular as playback devices; the initial low uptake of MiniDisc was attributed to the small number of pre-recorded albums available on MD as few record labels embraced the format. The initial high cost of equipment and blank media was a factor. Mains-powered hi-fi MiniDisc player/recorders never got into the lower price ranges, most consumers had to connect a portable machine to the hi-fi in order to record; this inconvenience contrasted with the earlier common use of cassette decks as a standard part of an ordinary hi-fi set-up.
MiniDisc technology was faced with new competition from the recordable compact disc when it became more affordable to consumers beginning around 1996. Sony believed that it would take around a decade for CD-R prices to become affordable - the cost of a typical blank CD-R disc was around $12 in 1994 - but CD-R prices fell much more than envisioned, to the point where CD-R blanks sank below $1 per disc by the late 1990s, compared to at least $2 for the cheapest 80-minute MiniDisc blanks; the biggest competition for MiniDisc came from the emergence of MP3 players. With the Diamond Rio player in 1998 and the Apple iPod, the mass market began to eschew physical media in favor of file-based systems. By 2007, because of the waning popularity of the format and the increasing popularity of solid-state MP3 players, Sony was producing only one model, the Hi-MD MZ-RH1 available as the MZ-M200 in North America packaged with a Sony microphone and limited Apple Macintosh software support; the introduction of the MZ-RH1 allowed users to move uncompressed digital recordings back and forth from the MiniDisc to a computer without the copyright protection limitations imposed upon the NetMD series.
This allowed the MiniDisc to better compete with MP3 players. However, most pro users like broadcasters and news reporters had abandoned MiniDisc in favor of solid-state recorders, due to their long recording times, open digital content sharing, high-quality digital recording capabilities and reliable, lightweight design. On 7 July 2011, Sony announced that it would no longer ship MiniDisc Walkman products as of September 2011 killing the format. On 1 February 2013, Sony issued a press release on the Nikkei stock exchange that it will cease shipment of all MD devices, with last of the players to be sold in March 2013. However, it would continue to offer repair services. MD Data, a version for storing computer data, was announced by Sony in 1993 but never gained significant ground, its media were incompatible with standard audio MiniDiscs, cited as one of the main reasons behind the format's failure. MD Data could not write to audio-MDs, only the more expensive data blanks. In 1997, MD-Data2 blanks were introduced.
They were only implemented in Sony's short-lived MD-based camcorder as well as a small number of multi-track recorders.
Compact disc is a digital optical disc data storage format, co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was developed to store and play only sound recordings but was adapted for storage of data. Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once audio and data storage, rewritable media, Video Compact Disc, Super Video Compact Disc, Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, Enhanced Music CD; the first commercially available audio CD player, the Sony CDP-101, was released October 1982 in Japan. Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 millimetres and can hold up to about 80 minutes of uncompressed audio or about 700 MiB of data; the Mini CD has various diameters ranging from 60 to 80 millimetres. At the time of the technology's introduction in 1982, a CD could store much more data than a personal computer hard drive, which would hold 10 MB. By 2010, hard drives offered as much storage space as a thousand CDs, while their prices had plummeted to commodity level. In 2004, worldwide sales of audio CDs, CD-ROMs and CD-Rs reached about 30 billion discs.
By 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide. From the early 2000s CDs were being replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution, with the result that by 2010 the number of audio CDs being sold in the U. S. had dropped about 50% from their peak. In 2014, revenues from digital music services matched those from physical format sales for the first time. American inventor James T. Russell has been credited with inventing the first system to record digital information on an optical transparent foil, lit from behind by a high-power halogen lamp. Russell's patent application was filed in 1966, he was granted a patent in 1970. Following litigation and Philips licensed Russell's patents in the 1980s; the compact disc is an evolution of LaserDisc technology, where a focused laser beam is used that enables the high information density required for high-quality digital audio signals. Prototypes were developed by Sony independently in the late 1970s. Although dismissed by Philips Research management as a trivial pursuit, the CD became the primary focus for Philips as the LaserDisc format struggled.
In 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the Red Book CD-DA standard was published in 1980. After their commercial release in 1982, compact discs and their players were popular. Despite costing up to $1,000, over 400,000 CD players were sold in the United States between 1983 and 1984. By 1988, CD sales in the United States surpassed those of vinyl LPs, by 1992 CD sales surpassed those of prerecorded music cassette tapes; the success of the compact disc has been credited to the cooperation between Philips and Sony, which together agreed upon and developed compatible hardware. The unified design of the compact disc allowed consumers to purchase any disc or player from any company, allowed the CD to dominate the at-home music market unchallenged. In 1974, Lou Ottens, director of the audio division of Philips, started a small group with the aim to develop an analog optical audio disc with a diameter of 20 cm and a sound quality superior to that of the vinyl record.
However, due to the unsatisfactory performance of the analog format, two Philips research engineers recommended a digital format in March 1974. In 1977, Philips established a laboratory with the mission of creating a digital audio disc; the diameter of Philips's prototype compact disc was set at 11.5 cm, the diagonal of an audio cassette. Heitaro Nakajima, who developed an early digital audio recorder within Japan's national public broadcasting organization NHK in 1970, became general manager of Sony's audio department in 1971, his team developed a digital PCM adaptor audio tape recorder using a Betamax video recorder in 1973. After this, in 1974 the leap to storing digital audio on an optical disc was made. Sony first publicly demonstrated an optical digital audio disc in September 1976. A year in September 1977, Sony showed the press a 30 cm disc that could play 60 minutes of digital audio using MFM modulation. In September 1978, the company demonstrated an optical digital audio disc with a 150-minute playing time, 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution, cross-interleaved error correction code—specifications similar to those settled upon for the standard compact disc format in 1980.
Technical details of Sony's digital audio disc were presented during the 62nd AES Convention, held on 13–16 March 1979, in Brussels. Sony's AES technical paper was published on 1 March 1979. A week on 8 March, Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc at a press conference called "Philips Introduce Compact Disc" in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Sony executive Norio Ohga CEO and chairman of Sony, Heitaro Nakajima were convinced of the format's commercial potential and pushed further development despite widespread skepticism; as a result, in 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. Led by engineers Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi, the research pushed forward laser and optical disc technology. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the task force produced the Red Book CD-DA standard. First published in 1980, the stand
DVD is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs. Prerecorded DVDs are mass-produced using molding machines that physically stamp data onto the DVD; such discs are a form of DVD-ROM because data can only be not written or erased. Blank recordable DVD discs can be recorded once using a DVD recorder and function as a DVD-ROM. Rewritable DVDs can be erased many times. DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer digital audio format as well as for authoring DVD discs written in a special AVCHD format to hold high definition material. DVDs containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs; the Oxford English Dictionary comments that, "In 1995 rival manufacturers of the product named digital video disc agreed that, in order to emphasize the flexibility of the format for multimedia applications, the preferred abbreviation DVD would be understood to denote digital versatile disc."
The OED states that in 1995, "The companies said the official name of the format will be DVD. Toshiba had been using the name ‘digital video disc’, but, switched to ‘digital versatile disc’ after computer companies complained that it left out their applications.""Digital versatile disc" is the explanation provided in a DVD Forum Primer from 2000 and in the DVD Forum's mission statement. There were several formats developed for recording video on optical discs before the DVD. Optical recording technology was invented by David Paul Gregg and James Russell in 1958 and first patented in 1961. A consumer optical disc data format known as LaserDisc was developed in the United States, first came to market in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978, it used much larger discs than the formats. Due to the high cost of players and discs, consumer adoption of LaserDisc was low in both North America and Europe, was not used anywhere outside Japan and the more affluent areas of Southeast Asia, such as Hong-Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
CD Video released in 1987 used analog video encoding on optical discs matching the established standard 120 mm size of audio CDs. Video CD became one of the first formats for distributing digitally encoded films in this format, in 1993. In the same year, two new optical disc storage formats were being developed. One was the Multimedia Compact Disc, backed by Philips and Sony, the other was the Super Density disc, supported by Toshiba, Time Warner, Matsushita Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, Thomson, JVC. By the time of the press launches for both formats in January 1995, the MMCD nomenclature had been dropped, Philips and Sony were referring to their format as Digital Video Disc. Representatives from the SD camp asked IBM for advice on the file system to use for their disc, sought support for their format for storing computer data. Alan E. Bell, a researcher from IBM's Almaden Research Center, got that request, learned of the MMCD development project. Wary of being caught in a repeat of the costly videotape format war between VHS and Betamax in the 1980s, he convened a group of computer industry experts, including representatives from Apple, Sun Microsystems and many others.
This group was referred to as the Technical Working Group, or TWG. On August 14, 1995, an ad hoc group formed from five computer companies issued a press release stating that they would only accept a single format; the TWG voted to boycott both formats unless the two camps agreed on a converged standard. They recruited president of IBM, to pressure the executives of the warring factions. In one significant compromise, the MMCD and SD groups agreed to adopt proposal SD 9, which specified that both layers of the dual-layered disc be read from the same side—instead of proposal SD 10, which would have created a two-sided disc that users would have to turn over; as a result, the DVD specification provided a storage capacity of 4.7 GB for a single-layered, single-sided disc and 8.5 GB for a dual-layered, single-sided disc. The DVD specification ended up similar to Toshiba and Matsushita's Super Density Disc, except for the dual-layer option and EFMPlus modulation designed by Kees Schouhamer Immink.
Philips and Sony decided that it was in their best interests to end the format war, agreed to unify with companies backing the Super Density Disc to release a single format, with technologies from both. After other compromises between MMCD and SD, the computer companies through TWG won the day, a single format was agreed upon; the TWG collaborated with the Optical Storage Technology Association on the use of their implementation of the ISO-13346 file system for use on the new DVDs. Movie and home entertainment distributors adopted the DVD format to replace the ubiquitous VHS tape as the primary consumer digital video distribution format, they embraced DVD as it produced higher quality video and sound, provided superior data lifespan, could be interactive. Interactivity on LaserDiscs had proven desirable to consumers collectors; when LaserDisc prices dropped from $100 per
In computing and optical disc recording technologies, an optical disc is a flat circular disc which encodes binary data in the form of pits and lands on a special material on one of its flat surfaces. The encoding material sits atop a thicker substrate which makes up the bulk of the disc and forms a dust defocusing layer; the encoding pattern follows a continuous, spiral path covering the entire disc surface and extending from the innermost track to the outermost track. The data is stored on the disc with a laser or stamping machine, can be accessed when the data path is illuminated with a laser diode in an optical disc drive which spins the disc at speeds of about 200 to 4,000 RPM or more, depending on the drive type, disc format, the distance of the read head from the center of the disc. Most optical discs exhibit a characteristic iridescence as a result of the diffraction grating formed by its grooves; this side of the disc contains the actual data and is coated with a transparent material lacquer.
The reverse side of an optical disc has a printed label, sometimes made of paper but printed or stamped onto the disc itself. Unlike the 3½-inch floppy disk, most optical discs do not have an integrated protective casing and are therefore susceptible to data transfer problems due to scratches and other environmental problems. Optical discs are between 7.6 and 30 cm in diameter, with 12 cm being the most common size. A typical disc is about 1.2 mm thick. An optical disc is designed to support one of three recording types: read-only, recordable, or re-recordable. Write-once optical discs have an organic dye recording layer between the substrate and the reflective layer. Rewritable discs contain an alloy recording layer composed of a phase change material, most AgInSbTe, an alloy of silver, indium and tellurium. Optical discs are most used for storing music, video, or data and programs for personal computers; the Optical Storage Technology Association promotes standardized optical storage formats.
Although optical discs are more durable than earlier audio-visual and data storage formats, they are susceptible to environmental and daily-use damage. Libraries and archives enact optical media preservation procedures to ensure continued usability in the computer's optical disc drive or corresponding disc player. For computer data backup and physical data transfer, optical discs such as CDs and DVDs are being replaced with faster, smaller solid-state devices the USB flash drive; this trend is expected to continue as USB flash drives continue to increase in capacity and drop in price. Additionally, music purchased or shared over the Internet has reduced the number of audio CDs sold annually; the first recorded historical use of an optical disc was in 1884 when Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter recorded sound on a glass disc using a beam of light. An early optical disc system existed in 1935, named Lichttonorgel. An early analog optical disc used for video recording was invented by David Paul Gregg in 1958 and patented in the US in 1961 and 1969.
This form of optical disc was a early form of the DVD. It is of special interest that U. S. Patent 4,893,297, filed 1989, issued 1990, generated royalty income for Pioneer Corporation's DVA until 2007 —then encompassing the CD, DVD, Blu-ray systems. In the early 1960s, the Music Corporation of America bought Gregg's patents and his company, Gauss Electrophysics. American inventor James T. Russell has been credited with inventing the first system to record a digital signal on an optical transparent foil, lit from behind by a high-power halogen lamp. Russell's patent application was first filed in 1966 and he was granted a patent in 1970. Following litigation and Philips licensed Russell's patents in the 1980s. Both Gregg's and Russell's disc are floppy media read in transparent mode, which imposes serious drawbacks. In the Netherlands in 1969, Philips Research physicist, Pieter Kramer invented an optical videodisc in reflective mode with a protective layer read by a focused laser beam U. S. Patent 5,068,846, filed 1972, issued 1991.
Kramer's physical format is used in all optical discs. In 1975, Philips and MCA began to work together, in 1978, commercially much too late, they presented their long-awaited Laserdisc in Atlanta. MCA delivered the Philips the players. However, the presentation was a commercial failure, the cooperation ended. In Japan and the U. S. Pioneer succeeded with the videodisc until the advent of the DVD. In 1979, Philips and Sony, in consortium developed the audio compact disc. In 1979, Exxon STAR Systems in Pasadena, CA built a computer controlled WORM drive that utilized thin film coatings of Tellurium and Selenium on a 12" diameter glass disk; the recording system utilized blue light at red light at 632.8 nm to read. STAR Systems was bought by Storage Technology Corporation in 1981 and moved to Boulder, CO. Development of the WORM technology was continued using 14" diameter aluminum substrates. Beta testing of the disk drives labeled the Laser
Western Electric Company was an American electrical engineering and manufacturing company that served as the primary supplier to AT&T from 1881 to 1996, to the local Bell Operating Companies until 1984. The company was responsible for many technological innovations and seminal developments in industrial management, it served as the purchasing agent for the member companies of the Bell System. In 1856, George Shawk purchased an electrical engineering business in Ohio. On December 31, 1869, he became partners with Enos M. Barton and the same year, sold his share to inventor Elisha Gray. In 1872 Barton, Gray moved the business to Clinton Street, Chicago and incorporated it as the Western Electric Manufacturing Company, they manufactured a variety of electrical products including typewriters and lighting and had a close relationship with telegraph company Western Union, to whom they supplied relays and other equipment. In 1875, Gray sold his interests to Western Union, including the caveat that he had filed against Alexander Graham Bell's patent application for the telephone.
The ensuing legal battle between Western Union and the Bell Telephone Company over patent rights ended in 1879 with Western Union withdrawing from the telephone market and Bell acquiring Western Electric in 1881. Western Electric was the first company to join in a Japanese joint venture with foreign capital. In 1899, it invested in a 54 % share of Ltd.. Western Electric's representative in Japan was Walter Tenney Carleton. In 1901, Western Electric secretly purchased a controlling interest in a principal competitor, the Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company, but in 1909 was forced by a lawsuit to sell back to Milo Kellogg. On July 24, 1915, employees of the Hawthorne Works boarded the SS Eastland in downtown Chicago for a company picnic; the ship rolled over at the dock and over 800 people died. In 1920, Alice Heacock Seidel was the first of Western Electric's female employees to be given permission to stay on after she had married; this set a precedent in the company, which had not allowed married women in their employ.
Miss Heacock had worked for Western Electric for sixteen years before her marriage, was at the time the highest-paid secretary in the company. In her memoirs, she wrote that the decision to allow her to stay on "required a meeting of the top executives to decide whether I might remain with the Company, for it established a precedent and a new policy for the Company - that of married women in their employ. If the women at the top were permitted to remain after marriage all women would expect the same privilege. How far and how fast the policy was expanded is shown by the fact that a few years women were given maternity leaves with no loss of time on their service records."In 1925, ITT purchased the Bell Telephone Manufacturing Company of Brussels and other worldwide subsidiaries from AT&T, to avoid an antitrust action. The company manufactured rotary system switching equipment under the Western Electric brand. Early on, Western Electric managed an electrical equipment distribution business, furnishing its customers with non-telephone products made by other manufacturers.
This electrical distribution business was spun off from Western Electric in 1925 and organized into a separate company, Graybar Electric Company, in honor of the company's founders, Elisha Gray and Enos Barton. Bell Telephone Laboratories was half-owned by Western Electric, the other half belonging to AT&T. Western Electric used various logos during its existence. Starting in 1914 it used an image of AT&T's statue Spirit of Communication. In 1915, the assets of Western Electric Manufacturing were transferred to a newly incorporated company in New York, New York named Western Electric Company, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T; the sole reason for the transfer was to provide for the issuance of a non-voting preferred class of capital stock, disallowed under the statutes of the state of Illinois. All telephones in areas where AT&T subsidiaries provided local service, all components of the public switched telephone network, all devices connected to the network were made by Western Electric and no other devices were allowed to be connected to AT&T's network.
AT&T and Bell System companies were rumored to employ small armies of inspectors to check household line impedance levels to determine if non-leased phones were in use by consumers. Western Electric telephones were owned not by end customers but by the local Bell System telephone companies—all of which were subsidiaries of AT&T, which owned Western Electric; each phone was leased from the phone company on a monthly basis by customers who paid for their phone as part of the recurring lease fees. This system had the effect of subsidizing basic telephone service, keeping local phone service inexpensive, under $10 per month, including the leased phone. After divestiture, basic service prices increased, customers were now responsible for inside building wiring and telephone equipment; the Bell System had an extensive policy and infrastructure to recycle or refurbish phones taken out of service, replacing all defective, weak, or otherwise unusable parts for new installations. This resulted in an extraordinary longevity of Western Electric telephone models and limited the variety of new designs introduced into the market place.
AT&T strictly enforced policies against using telephone equipment by other manufacturers on their network. A customer who insisted on using a telephone not supplied by the Bell System had to first transfer the phone to the local Bell operating company, who leased the phone back to the customer for a monthly charge in addition to a re-wiring fee. In the 1970s when consumers incr