invention of the telelectroscope has called forth several articles in the reviews on the
new instrument and its inventor, Jan Szczepanik. One of the
first was contributed by Jacques Boyer  to the Revue des Revues
of April l; another appeared in the May number of the Humanitarian; and in Heft
17 of Vom Fels zum Meer we have, in addition to Dr. Kreusner's article, a sketch
of Maximilian Plessner and his theory, by Gustav Klitscher .
Maximilian Plessner, of Berlin, is described as a pioneer in the
invention of the telelectroscope . For some years he has made
experiments in the same field as Jan Szczepanik, and has published an account of the
results he has obtained. But it has been left to Jan Szczepanik to startle the world with
the apparatus by which objects in the natural colors can be seen hundreds of miles away.
Thus while we can now hear the voices of our friends at a distance, we shall in the near
future be able to see them as well. Of the working of the new instrument the Humanitarian
writes as follows:
"The basis of the telelectroscope may be said to be the idea of
employing oscillating mirrors. At each end there are two mirrors. The mirrors at the one
end reflect the required picture, which being broken up into a number of points, the
reflected ray is converted into an electric current and is capable of being conveyed as
great a distance as it is possible to extend the wires. The current is then once more
transformed into the corresponding ray of light."
It is expected that the invention will prove a valuable aid in
"Instead of transmitting a long message or dispatch by, say,
Morse's system, as soon as it was written out (in long or short hand) it would at once be
photographed by means of the telelectroscope, and immediately be ready if need be for the
printer, thus saving much of the time and labor which is bestowed upon the present method.
"Take, for example, the article you are writing. Suppose you
wished it to appear in print within a few hours of time in an Edinburgh paper: each page
as you wrote it could be photographed at once straight into the compositors' room and set
up in type while you were writing the second page."
Jan Szczepanik is described as a man "with an infinite capacity
for taking pains." Though he is only twenty-five, he has already patented an
invention to simplify the manufacture of carpets, tapestry, brocades, silks, cottons etc.
This invention is in use at some textile works in Barmen.
There is not much biography to hand as yet, but we are told that Herr
J. Szczepanik was born at Krosno, a village in Poland. Three years at the University of
Cracow brought him to the end of his financial resources and he returned to his native
village where he obtained a post as schoolmaster. It is reported that the authorities of
the Paris Exposition of 1900 have paid him a million and a quarter of dollars not to part
with his rights in his new apparatus till the exposition is over.
(1) Jacques BOYER
est l'auteur de La Transmission télégraphique des images et des photographies,
C. Mendel, Paris, 1914, 87 p.
(2) Le catalogue de l'Österreischischer Nationalbibliothek signale une
comédie de Gustav KLITCHER, Ninette im Schnee, Enich, Berlin, 1896.
PLESSNER est également cité in SCHÖFFLER, B., Die Phototelegraphie und das
elektrische Fernsehen, W. Braumüller, Wien, 1898, 27 p. qui signale une brochure sur
la télévision électrique (Elektrische Fernsehen) qu'il aurait publiée en 1897 ou 1898.
Il est également l'auteur de Ein Blick auf die grossen Erfindungen des zwanzigsten
Jahrhunderts. 2 Hfte. Berlin, 1892.-93. 8o.
Text kindly communicated by Jim