Charles Francis Jenkins, an American pioneer of early cinema and one of the inventors of television, transmitted the first television broadcast from Wheaton in 1929.
Jenkins was born in Dayton, OH. After school, he moved to Washington, D.C., in 1890 where he worked as a stenographer. He began experimenting with movie film in 1891, and moved on to work on television.
In 1929, the Jenkins Television Corporation opened the first television broadcasting station in the United States, named W3XX, which went on air on July 2 in Washington, and first transmitted from Jenkins’s lab from Wheaton, Md, in 1929, broadcasting five nights each week.
At first, the station could only send silhouette images due to its narrow bandwidth, but that was soon rectified and real black and white images were transmitted. The station was located at the corner of Windham Lane and Georgia Avenue. The house still stands today.
In 1932, Jenkins Television Corporation was liquidated, and assets were acquired by Le DeForest Radio Corporation. Within months, the Le DeForest Company went bankrupt, and the assets were bought by RCA, which stopped all work on electromechanical television.
Jenkins died at age 66 in Washington D. C. Although, he was a very interesting character, Jenkins is today one of the lesser known pioneers of television.