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Isaac Shoenberg

Sir Isaac Shoenberg

Sir Isaac Shoenberg (1 March 1880 – 25 January 1963) was an electronic engineer born in Russia who was best known for his role in history of television.

Shoenberg was born in Pinsk, Imperial Russia (now Belarus) and studied mathematics, mechanical engineering, and electricity in St. Petersburg.

In 1905 Shoenberg was employed to design and install the earliest wireless stations in Russia. However, in 1914, Shoenberg decided to emigrate to London and join the Marconi Wireless and Telegraph Company.

Shoenberg was later general manager of the Columbia Graphaphone Company. He remained with the company through the merger that became EMI in the early 1930s making significant contributions to the development of television. He was Alan Blumlein's supervisor at the central research labs at Hayes during the time Blumlein invented stereo recording.

Shoenberg was knighted in 1962.

With his wife Esther, Shoenberg was the father of British physicist David Shoenberg, gynaecologist Rosalie Shoenberg Taylor, psychiatrist Elisabeth Shoenberg, Mark Shoenberg and Alec Shoenberg.

In fiction

Schoenberg was portrayed by Leon Lissek in the 1986 TV movie "The Fools on the Hill" by Jack Rosenthal which dramatised the events around the first broadcasts by the BBC from Alexandra Palace in 1936.


  • "Shoenberg, Sir Isaac" from Encyclopædia Britannica (Accessed 4 January 2006)
  • "Sir Isaac Shoenberg" from Making the Modern World (Accessed 4 January 2006)

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