SARNOFF, DAVID. (1891-1971). Russian-born American communications entrepreneur; chief executive of the RCA Corporation and founder of the NBC network; called, “the father of American television.” TLS. (“David Sarnoff”). 1p. 4to. New York, January 28, 1954. On his RCA letterhead. To prominent American engineer and bridge designer D[avid]. B[arnard]. Steinman (1886-1960).
I am deeply grateful to you for forwarding to me the Diplome de Membre du Comite D’Honneur of the U.I.D.I.P. The high recognition by the engineers of France is an honor which signifies not only membership in the Association of a worthy profession, but express friendship which I treasure…
It was in 1906 that Sarnoff joined the American Marconi Company, advancing from the position of wireless telegraph operator to assistant chief engineer and, later, chief inspector. After American Marconi was sold to General Electric in 1919, Sarnoff took a post at the fledgling Radio Corporation of America, committing himself to making radio a “household utility,” a dream realized after RCA launched the National Broadcasting Company, the first radio network in the U.S. Four years later Sarnoff became president of RCA, a position he held for 40 years. While at RCA’s helm Sarnoff devoted considerable resources to researching and developing new broadcast technologies. For his achievements he was presented many honorary degrees and awards, such as that of the Union Internationale des Ingenieurs Professionnels, an organization founded July 3, 1953, just six months before our letter was written. A prominent engineer and founder of the National Society of Professional Engineers, Steinman’s work includes design and construction of the Mackinac Bridge, the Kingston Bridge, the Sky-Ride and Observation Towers at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition, and the reconstruction of the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition to poetry he composed on the subject of bridges, Steinman authored several books including a biography of Roebling entitled Builders of the Bridge: The Story of John Roebling and His Son. Steinman’s docket stamp in the lower right corner with a pencil notation in the upper left. Beautifully signed and in very fine condition.