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Early Color Television

Guillermo Gonzales Camarena

Guillermo Gonzales Camarena was a Mexican television pioneer who developed several color television systems. He was born in 1917 and received a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In his early career he worked at radio station XEDP.

About 1935 Camarena began experimenting with mechanical television. This would have been using a nipkow system imported from the US.  Camarena would have gotten the opportunity to use these thanks to engineer Francisco Javier Stavoli who in 1932 traveled to the US in search of the first electric traffic lights to be used in Mexico city.  He was invited to an event at which he witnessed the technology being demonstrated  and the purchase of a couple of the systems was made.  Apparently similar systems had already been imported to Mexico in the 20s and this was some type of improved version. Camarena had access to these for experimentation during his time at the technical school he studied at.

Around 1940 he built a camera using an RCA iconoscope and started experimenting with color soon after.

Early Television

Pictures of 1940 Iconoscope Camera

Early Television

Closeup of camera. Could the color wheel have been inside this box, attached to the shaft visible to the right of the box?

About 1941 he built a smaller camera using a RCA 1847 iconoscope. This camera may have been used for color with an external color wheel adapter. It was used for the first long distance television transmissions in Mexico.

Early Television

Pictures of the 1847 Iconoscope camera

About 1949 he built an image orthicon camera with a color wheel inside it. He used it in a closed circuit system for medical use. The camera and receiver were used in several locations through the early 50s.

Early Television

Pictures of the Image Orthicon Color Camera

Early Television


In 1958 he discovered that black and white television could create the illusion of color and patented his Psychological Color Television (PCT), which is similar to the Butterfield system. He also began working on his "Simplified Bi-Color System (SBS)", which he demonstrated in the 60s. Here is an article from the July, 1964 issue of Electronics World. He also designed a two-color CRT to work with the system.

Early Television

The pictures in this page were provided by Carlos Macias. Here are his comments about them:

Most of these pictures were taken from a Mexican documentary about Guillermo Gonzales Camarena.  Others were found on wikipedia or other places online.  A few are pictures taken at museums.  The one featuring a high definition picture of one of Gon Cam lab’s cameras and one of their color television receivers was taken at the museum of culture and communications in Puebla.    One of the pictures shows Guillermo Gonzales Camarena and Lee De Forest, who visited Camarena at his home during his early color television demonstrations.  Other pictures show Camarena and Norman Alexandroff, president of Columbia college at the time.  One of the pictures was taken at the ceremony where Camarena was awarded an honorary degree by Columbia College.

Smithsonian video

NASA video


The following is an article written by J. Ruiz de la Herrán and translated by Carlos Macias in 2017.


Mexico may not have been the first to experiment with color television, or even black-and-white television, but in contrast to other nations that were experimenting with the new technology, Mexico was not a first-world nation full of all the necessary resources. It did, however, have many talents who, by their own ingenuity, pocket money, and gumption, managed to make their own strides in these fields. It would make you think that in comparison to world powers such as those in the US and parts of Europe, who all had plentiful resources and large business investments for the development of television, that Mexico would have had a very far behind place in its development and use. In reality, and surprisingly because of some of the great talents that participated, namely Guillermo Gonzales Camarena, Mexico managed to win over a bit of a spot light during this time and had gained respectable ground in the race for color television. Because of Guillermo Gonzales Camarena, a grassroots movement to bring television to Mexico was formed at a time where literally no television receivers existed in Mexico and few existed even in cities of more developed countries.  Towards the end, Mexico and Guillermo Gonzales Camarena had a proposal that could have constituted a serious competition to NTSC and PAL norm television in the form of SBS, or Simplified Bi-Color Television, by significantly reducing the cost of color televisions. All of this development beginning to end virtually came from the drive of one man. With a little help, few resources, good friends, and family came the story of Mexican television.  An almost independent movement that having plentiful skill during the pre-commercial television era, was only limited by the other missing factors that allow television to be a success. At the start of commercial television, Camarena’s station XHGC (the last two letters of his call sign being his initials) proudly announced to the audience that the entirety of the stations equipment, cameras included, had been built in Mexico.

Below is one of the better collections of information regarding Mr. Camarena and some of the history of early television in Mexico. This document was written by José Antonio Ruiz de la Herrán Villagómez, one of the talents and pioneers of wireless communications in Mexico along with Mr. Camarena. Some of what is written here I assume is derived from his first hand interactions with Mr. Camarena and the other engineers of the early days of radio and television in Mexico. I've taken it upon myself to translate this document as close to the original in hopes of letting the rest of the world know some of the happenings in the early history of television in Mexico, mainly the achievements and experiments of Guillermo Gonzales Camarena, better known for his invention of what seems to be one of the earliest– if not the earliest– truly practical color TV system. Camarena's color television system was filed for patent in Mexico in 1939 and was filed for patent in the US in August 19 1940. Camarena had worried about the speed of his color patent and how he would fund having it patented in the US. He managed to do this surprisingly not through his work as a radio and television technician but by his artistic abilities having made a hit spanish language arrangement of the song 'Moonlight on the Colorado' under its spanish name 'Rio Colorado'.  Camarena's color system was similar to that of CBS though seems to have been in the works since earlier, I cannot seem to find a CBS patent for this type of system that predates that of Camarena.  There were other tricolor systems prior to Camarena, though Camarena's proposal eliminated most of the inconveniences that plagued them and was made to be practical, affordable, as well as adaptable to existing equipment. Affordability and simplicity was one of Camarena's objectives as he had a strong belief color television should be affordable for all.  This would be the theme of the Simplified BiColor System that he patented in the early 60s. Putting his country first, he had offered the rights to this technology for free to national television manufacturers. Around the time the first models of SBS television sets were due to enter manufacturing, Camarena sadly died in a car accident upon his return from a transmission site call in Veracruz. Besides his ventures in the field of television and radio, Mr. Camarena left many good things to be said about him as everyone seems to agree he had a great personality and many other positive characteristics, such as an artistic ability and his deep interest in Mexican history and culture. People, including myself, seem to be left wondering how things would have turned out had he not passed away. Today, his foundation helps other inventors such as himself to achieve their goals and let their innovations be known.  It is known Camarena’s color system managed to get its brightest moment in NASA’s voyager mission in 1979 as a color TV camera based on his system was used to send color images back from space. In an interview with Paul Coan, a former subsystem’s manager at NASA , he seems to suggest that the color tv cameras used for some of the Apolo missions were also based on Camarena’s patents as built by NASA subsidiaries. There are other interesting texts, videos, and pictures about Guillermo Gonzales Camarena as well as information regarding Mexico’s history in radio and TV.

For more information contact Carlos Macias.



J. Ruiz de la Herrán

Guillermo Gonzales Camarena, a pioneer of Mexican television, was born on the 17th of February 1917 in the city of Guadalajara.   Guillermo, along with his parents Arturo Gonzales and Sara Camarena, transferred to Mexico city in 1919. 

    Guillermo studied in the Alberto Correa, Jose Maria Iglesias, and Horacio Mann elementary schools and then graduated to the Number 3 secondary school on Chapultepec Avenue.   During this time he becomes interested in electricity and builds a short wave regenerative receiver using a type 30 tube based on a book edited by Agustin Riu. 

    In 1930 he enrolls in the School of Electrical Mechanical Engineering (EIME later named ESIME under its Spanish acronym) where he is distinguished for his drawing abilities.  He soon gets to know professors Francisco Javier Stavoli and Miguel Fonseca, who were performing tests with an electrical mechanical television system based on Nipkow’s technology imported from the United States.   Guillermo’s interest in television begins here and he collaborates in these tests. 

    In 1932 Guillermo builds a crystal controlled short wave transmitter with a 6L6 output tube.  During this time he begins working afternoons as an audio assistant at XEDP, a radio station belonging to the board of education under orders of Eng. Fernando León Grajales.

    In 1934 as an established audio operator using his savings and the help of his family, he orders a television kit offered by RCA Victor in Camden, New Jersey.  This kit was offered by the company as a way to promote the development of the then new technology.  The kit includes an iconoscope recently invented by V. Zworykin along with its corresponding wiring diagram.  Gonzales Camarena finds the remaining components in the capital’s electronics sores (Radio Surtidora, Radio Industrial, Casa Erla, etc.) and the mechanical parts he constructs from material found mainly in the Lagunilla and Tepito markets. 

    Obviously, during this time, there were no television sets which forces him to adopt an oscilloscope as a monitor.  The oscilloscope was built from an Eico brand kit and had a 5 inch CRT (5FP1).  The camera consists of a “Head” with the iconoscope, its deflection circuits, and an adapted camera lens, all inside a carefully shielded metal box and all this was mounted on a wooden tripod.  At its base, the tripod mounted onto a wooden triangular base with 3 “crazy” wheels as he called them.

    The head was powered by a DC power supply of many voltage rails via a flexible cable made of many wires and various coaxial cables (the iconoscopes high impedance output) which was also built into a cabinet also mounted on wheels. This cabinet contained the vertical and horizontal sync pulse generators as well as the video amplifier and other auxiliary circuits.  On the top part was the adapted oscilloscope monitor.

    To construct, design, and adjust this complex television system, Gonzales Camarena had gradually built a modest workshop/laboratory in the basement of his parents' house using old tools.  Test equipment was made possible by using old radios and complementary components which had to be bought new. 

    In those days he had very little free time. In the morning he left to study at EIME, in the afternoon he worked at the studios of XEDP, and at night in his lab, he wrestled with his Television system which took a few years to complete. 

    The different circuits of his iconoscope camera were finished in 1939 and after quite a few nights of adjustments, he managed to obtain an image on his monitor.  The image was a green color not because he had already invented color television but because the oscilloscope tube had a green phosphor (type P1) on its face like all oscilloscopes of that period. This is why he’d say his camera was not black and white but “black and green”.

    It was during this time, possibly motivated by his oscilloscope tube’s color among other things, that he began to ponder the idea of making a television system based on filters that would transmit color images using a black and white television.  In 1939 he solicited a patent for what he called the “Sequential Field Tri-Chromatic System”, patents which were granted in Mexico and the US the following year. A good part of the patent costs was covered by his ventures in the artistic realm.  

    According to the biography edited by the Guillermo Gonzales Camarena foundation, his laboratory was visited by Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the triode tube who congratulated him and “saw great hope for the electronics field in Gonzales Camarena”.  This biography also mentions that Camarena received various offers from the US to buy his patent, though he rejected all of them. 

Early Television

    In 1940 he was recommended to radio station XEW by Eng. José de la Herrán where he began working in the studios located at Ayuntamiento 54 as an audio operator the following year.  In 1941 he was promoted to operations boss at XEQ where later on station manager Sr. Emilio Ballí provided him space for his television installations.

    In that period RCA announced the release of the orthicon picture capturing tube, a much more sensitive tube than the antiquated iconoscope.  Using this type of tube, Camarena built a new camera along with all its associated circuits as the orthicon tube operated in a completely new fashion than the iconoscope.

    For this new camera, he built a new sync generator based on a 25-frames per second norm which at that time was considered the future standard for television.  This sync generator was made of 3 sections, the power supplies for the required voltages, regulated power supplies based on gas-filled tubes, the pulse counting stage, and the pulse generating stage.  The system consisted of 36 all-metal tubes to avoid interferences.  A short time after, he built a second camera of the same type as well as a mixer with which he made a closed circuit television system.  All of which was still black and white. 

    Parallel to all this designing and constructing, Gonzales Camarena had continued with the necessary experiments to patent his trichromatic color television system which was based on using 3 primary color filters in sequence mounted on a spinning disc.  This system could be mounted on black and white cameras.  A similar device could be mounted in front of a black and white TV. The system required a third signal for the synchronization between the discs to then produce the color images.

    In 1941 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends instead a new norm consisting of 525 lines and 60 fields interlaced to form 30 frames, different from the previous 441 line norm.  With this norm due to the larger amount of lines, a higher definition could be had.

    After this, in central Europe, another norm based on 625 lines and 50 interlaced fields would be adopted then. Later on, the PAL and Secam norms.  This is due to that region having a 50-hertz electrical distribution system. 

    In Mexico, the problem of having two distribution systems simultaneously, the 50-hertz system in Mexico City and surrounding areas and the 60-hertz system in the majority of the country, caused a lot of debate in which Gonzales Camarena intervened to determine which norm should be adopted.   All because if the vertical sync pulses were not in synch with the electrical line distribution frequency, it would cause dark bands on the television screen which would reduce the quality of the image. Camarena favored the 625 norm because it allowed a higher definition.

    Also in this time, Gonzales Camarena begins the construction of a double television transmitter (audio and video) as well as its antenna, with the objective to begin transmission tests on the air and not on closed-circuit television. For this, he solicits permission from the Secretary of Communications and Public Works (SCOP by its Spanish acronym) to begin experimental transmissions.  The secretary grants the permit with the call letters XE1GC.  At the same time, he begins to process a concession to operate commercially.

    Given the need to homogenate the system of electrical and electronic units used around the country for wired and wireless communications, in 1945 the SCOP commissions Camarena to realize the corresponding studies and establish the operating norms for governmental and industrial communications (audio levels, field intensities, etc.).

    In September 1946, with a provisional permit from the SCOP, Camarena inaugurates his experimental television station and he begins to transmit test shows which are captured by two receivers without automatic gain control built by him and his collaborators.  The receivers are situated in various places around the city.  The purpose of the tests was to determine the field strength of the signal, signal to noise ratio, and the quality of the image.  The studio and cameras were temporarily installed on the upper floor of the building occupied by XEQ close to the Alameda Theatre. One of those cameras was used for quite a long time for television demonstrations in the lobbies of the movie theatres that made up the “Golden Belt”.  In them, Gonzales Camarena would install a television monitor so that the people going to the movie theatre could see themselves in it.  The idea was to promote these movie theatres and to let people know television was a reality. 

    In that era, Gonzalez Camarena became interested in performing signal bouncing tests on television frequencies above 40 megahertz using meteorological balloons (with corresponding permission from the SCOP).  The idea was to study the possibility of receiving the signal reflected off the surface of the balloons with enough intensity to use the said signal for practical purposes.   These tests constituted leading-edge technology, and years later the United States would perform similar tests with the giant balloons named Echo.

    Due to the importance of getting to know television developments in other countries, Gonzales Camarena was invited to be part of an official group sent by the Mexican government to the US and various European countries in 1947, with the goal of becoming familiar with said developments and the different television systems that began to operate in those countries. Upon their return, the commissionaires emitted a detailed report out of which Camarena summarized the most relevant technical details.

    In August 1948, the laboratories that Camarena installed in Habre 74 begin to officially operate under the name Gon-Cam Laboratories with permission granted by the then Secretary of Economy, authorizing the laboratory to fabricate all kinds of equipment related to the production, transmission, reception, and management of television signals.  With this, the road was opening for Gon-Cam Laboratories to operate commercially.  Laboratories in which a group of radio enthusiasts and engineers participated in, out of which are worth mentioning Tomás Tello and Manuel Canale.

    During this entire time, the color television project had taken shape and the experiments and tests had been perfected to the point of being able to go from isolated prototypes to an integrated system capable of operating professionally.  It is worth mentioning that the majority of these experiments took place at very late hours of the night due to the availability of time on non-working hours, and because Camarena liked the nighttime to be able to concentrate his thinking without the risk of being interrupted.

    The 8th medical surgeon's assembly took place in 1948. At the assembly, closed-circuit black and white television demonstrations took place with an orthicon camera, yielding excellent results. The medics there vouched for the utility of television in the teaching of surgery. The camera with a first surface mirror placed at 45 degrees was installed above the operating theatre, so that the images would be at the right perspective. The direction of the horizontal sweep was switched and a telephoto lens adequate for the distance of the shot was used. The signal was sent via coaxial cables to the monitors situated in a special room prepared for this purpose.

    A year later, during the next assembly, the surgeons had the privilege of witnessing the first tests using the trichromatic system. This demonstration and the ones from the following days, similar to the ones from the previous year, were very stimulating to both the Gon-Cam laboratories crew as to the surgeons, professors, and students that witnessed them. The closed-circuit monitors were placed in a darkened room so that the color images could stand out in complete detail. In the opinion of those who were present, the presentation was a total success. Colors during an operation were indispensable as one could imagine, the educational future of the system was undoubted and was later installed in the medicinal faculty at UNAM.

The only issue that Gonzales Camarena himself pointed out was the low luminosity of the era’s picture tubes, which obligated the class room lights to be dimmed. However in Camarena’s opinion as manufacturing techniques improved for picture tubes this issue would be resolved as we can see to be widely well proven today. 

    In 1950 due to the probable official assignment of a TV channel, Gonzales Camarena began to install the necessary studio equipment for the station on the third floor of the José Ma. Marroquí building.  At the same time, he took advantage of his drawing skills to design the logo based on his linguistic/historical study about the Aztecs and the Mexica language, this logo would belong to XHGC.   He installed the dual transmitter in the building across the street on the corner of Av. San Juan de Letrán (today Eje Central) and it was one of the tallest in the city.  To deliver the video signal to the transmitter, he installed an 80-meter aerial coaxial cable between the two buildings, there an unexpected problem arose.  There was a difference in ground potential in the electric distribution network of about 5 volts which would superimpose on the video signal when the two ends of the cable were grounded.  A special circuit had to be designed to eliminate this interference. 

    On his trips to obtain special components in Chicago, he had come into contact with the Columbia College of that city, which also had a campus in New York and Los Angeles. The college which trained television technicians, upon learning of the equipment being built at Gon-Cam laboratories, became interested in acquiring a closed circuit TV system and ordered its construction contract with Camarena. The closed circuit equipment with 2 cameras was delivered and installed at Columbia College in 1950 with the satisfaction of the directional staff and Camarena was granted an Honorary Professor’s Degree (Honoris Causa).  This was the first export of cutting-edge technology designed and built in Mexico.

    Commercial television started in Mexico city in 1950 and in 1951 channels 2 and 4 operated here. With the objective of expanding its signal beyond the valley, XEQ managed to get channel 9’s concession and formed a study commission to decide on the location for this channel.  Gonzales Camarena was part of this commission and his decision was to place near the volcanoes close to Popocatepetl in Altzomoni.

    In 1951 the inauguration and the first test of UNAM’s closed circuit trichromatic color television system took place at the campus of medicine with the purpose of serving for educational purposes.  A camera was placed above the lamp at the operating theatre and professors, alumni, and guests at the ceremony were all able to appreciate the excellent quality of the color image.

Early Television

Color Test Card

    Gon-Cam laboratories designed and built a portable color TV system with 2 cameras, 16mm movie projector, and a limited range dual transmitter to promote television in rural areas by request of the Secretary of Agriculture.  Technically the system worked but due to the lack of receivers, only 10 were built and due to the operating difficulties the system operated for a short time. 

    Finally in 1951 SCOP granted channel 5 to XHGC.  That year the station was inaugurated on mothers day with the festival that took place at the Alameda Theatre.  The black and white cameras were placed one on the stage and the other on the mezzanine equipped with a telephoto lens to capture the entire festival.  The antenna and transmitter were installed in the same building. 

Early Television

    Despite Gonzales Camarena’s recommendations regarding the superiority of the 625 line norm for TV and despite the debate that took place regarding it, SCOP opted for the 525 line norm, based on the fact that in the majority of the country the electrical grid frequency was 60 hertz and that in the central part of the country the 50hz system would be soon replaced. Channels 2 and 4 seconded the decision due to the convenience of having the same norm as the US. 

    In the meantime, the FCCs withdrawal in regards to sequential color television and its approval of the RCA compatible system was a very unfavorable decision for Mexican color television which was adaptable with the norm rejected by the FCC.  The argument put in place by RCA before the FCC was that their system permitted the existing black and white televisions sold in the US to receive the color broadcasts and therefore would not be made obsolete.  This is why in the US the norm proposed by RCA was accepted and the NTSC modified.  SCOP followed. With this decision, sequential color television was limited to closed circuit systems for educational and cultural uses. 

    In 1954 Gonzales Camarena agrees to form part of Telesistema Mexicano, a company built from the fusion of Channels 2 and 4.  In the agreement Channel 5 agrees to install new equipment at Televicentro which will be central to the three channel’s commercial operations, leaving Jose Maria Marroquí’s installations dedicated to cultural and educational television. 

   The work done by Gonzales Camarena in the field of cultural and educational television as well as his demonstrated technical skill and his prestige as a builder and innovator were recognized abroad by the Colombia College of Los Angeles and its affiliate in Mexico.  As a result, Camarena was granted an honorary doctorate degree (Doctor Honoris Causa) in September of that year in a ceremony attended by the college’s president Dr.. N. Alexandroff.  After this, the Los Angeles campus asked for the construction of another closed circuit color system similar to the one in the campus of medicine.  After this, Gon-Cam laboratories took on the task of constructing the system.

Early Television

    With the advent of magnetic tape video recording (black and white videotape) by the Ampex corp., Dr. Gonzales Camarena began a series of experiments in 1959 which lead to various new patents.  One of them consisted of manipulating his channel 5 logo in the video recorder using pulses which he discovered could cause effects that the brain would interpret as color on a black and white television.  He called it the Kaleidoscope procedure and he patented it immediately.

    In that same year, at the request of the Social Security Medical Center, Camarena built and installed another closed-circuit color television system using his sequential system. 
    At the end of the National Association of Broadcasters’ convention that took place in 1961, he demonstrated that with his discovery it was possible to produce color effects on videotape recorded in black and white and played back on black and white television sets, it was his system patented in the United States as Psychological Color Television (PCT).  The demonstrations caused such awe among the guests and the Ampex personnel that the session was prolonged an hour more even though the hall had already been closed, an extraordinary thing in the US. 

    The following year another system came about, the Simplified Bi-Color system (SBS) which was the origin of another patent, and which was demonstrated at the SCOP in the presence of its technical staff.  The idea was to simplify and cut down the costs without losing more than a small range of colors, using only red and blue.  This system generated great interest amongst the national television manufacturers which considered manufacturing them in the country.  For this Dr. Gonzales Camarena conceived and patented a bichromatic picture tube with red and blue phosphors in vertical lines and announced that he would make the patent rights available free for national industry.

    The new system was demonstrated in Los Angeles during the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE) convention in 1963. 

    With an agreement between Gon-Cam laboratories and Casa Majestic owned by Mexican businessman Victor Rivero, planning began for the manufacture of televisions using the SBS system and the bichromatic picture tubes.  The financial studies indicated a 50% reduction in the cost of manufacturing these televisions, at the same time Ampex Corp. began talks to use this system in United States airlines due to the low cost and consumption of electricity. 

    The Simplified Bi-Color system was presented at the 1965 New York World’s Fair as a Mexican technologic novelty. His presentation at the Mexican Pavilion was this great Mexican´s last contribution to our country.  Guillermo Gonzales Camarena died in an automobile accident on the 18th of April 1965. 

    In his honor in 1970 “Television Technician’s Day” was instituted in Mexico.  Years later in 1999 the Center for Technological Development and Innovation, as well as the Guillermo Gonzales Camarena foundation A.C., were found. 

    Guillermo Gonzales Camarena besides being an internationally famous technologist was an excellent illustrator who's day of the dead skulls became famous.  In them, he would depict his bosses and technicians as well as his friends in a wonderful manner which represented each of their characters.  He mastered the Hammond organ with great ability, he played Jazz music, and was an inspired composer of popular Mexican music.  Rio Colorado was one of his most successful compositions and who’s royalties he invested in his color television project.  

    Separately he studied hypnotism scientifically to the point of doing notable experiments with regression and others things in that field, with results that, for those of us who saw them, were extraordinary. 

    His affable character as well as his sometimes deep and sometimes ironic but still always motivating conversations, surrounded him with excellent friends who never doubted in working with him until the late hours of the night helping with his projects. 

    In regards to television, he always considered it as the ideal medium for what he called “Entertainment by educating and instructing”.  One of his sorrows was seeing commercial interests overcoming his own. 

With that affable character, whenever he said goodbye to a friend, be it on the street or in the house, or in any meeting, he would always say “May God bless you!”



Titles and Assignments


1932:    Obtains HAM radio license from the Government Secretary (age 15).

1940:   Begins work at radio station XEW as a studio operator. 

1941:    Is named operations boss at XEQ and XEW.

1945:  The Secretary of Communications and Public Works entrusts him the elaboration of a study in regards to the units of reference for the different types of communications systems.

1946:    Receives an invitation from Lic. Miguel Alemán Valdés for him to join in coordination with the National Institute of Arts (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes) to realize a worldwide study regarding television systems. 

1950:    Is commissioned to work and update the legal provisions for the operation of national radio broadcasters in conjunction with the Secretary of Communications and Public Works. The Columbia College of Chicago grants him an Honorary Professor’s Degree (Catedratico Honoris Causa).  Is chosen as the director of the first open school of television in Mexico by the Columbia College in Chicago. 

1951:    He is commissioned by Radio Panamericana S.A. to chose the adequate location to install the first Mexican television repeater. 

1954.    Forms part of the Advisory Board of the National Chamber of the Radui Broadcasting Industry     (Consejo Directivo de la Cámara Nacional de la Industria de la Radiodifusión).
    Is named technical advisor at Telesistema Mexicano. 
    The Columbia College of Los Angeles grants him an Honorary Doctorate Degree. (Doctor Honoris Causa).

1955:    The interamerican Association of Radui Broadcasting (Asociación Interamericana de la     Radiodifusión) assigns him as technical advisor for the Interamerican Radui Broadcasting     Congress (Congreso Interamericano de la Radiodifusión) celebrated in Managua, Nicaragua. 

1956:    Is named the president of the National Chamber of the Radui Broadcasting Industry ( Cámara     Nacional de la Industria de la Radiodifusión).

1957:    Is decorated in his native state with the Mariano Becerra insignia and is named Honorary Son of Jalisco by the then Governor of the state Lic. Agustín Yañez Delgadillo.

1959:    Receives from Dr. Alexander M. Poniatoff a Diploma of Merit granted by the Ampex Corp.

1962:    Is named advisor of the National Chamber of Television and Radio Industry (Cámara Nacional de la Industria de la Radio y la Television).
    Is distinguished as an honorary member of the Mexican Cultural Institute (Instituto Mexicano de Cultura).

1964:    The National Association of Domestic Apparatus Distributors (Asociación Nacional de Distribuidores de Aparatos Domésticos) grants him a special prize in recognition of the worldwide impact of his invention.
    Is coordinator of the Tokyo Japan Olympic Game Broadcasts.

1965:    The Secretary of Public Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública) names him advisor of the Audio Visual Education Director (Dirección General de Educación Audiovisual). 

1970:    The 18th of April is instituted as Television Technician’s day in memory of Dr. Guillermo Gonzales Camarena.

1999:    The Guillermo Gonzales Camarena Foundation A.C. is founded in his honor. 



Television Developments Time Table

1884:    In Berlin, P. Nipkow comes up with a mechanical television system with a spiral perforated disc and he patents it (Nipkow Disc).

1900:    The term “Television” appears. (Perskyl, Paris). 

1917:    In Guadalajara, Guillermo Gonzales Camarena, son of Arturo Gonzales and Sara Camarena is born.

1919:    In the US RCA is formed, a subsidiary of the General Electric Co. 

1922:    P. Farnsworth proposes and explains electronic television in the US. 

1923:    V. Zworikyn, of Westinghouse, patents electronic television. 

1924:    J. L. Baird constructs a Nipkow disc television in London.

1925:    F. Jenkins transmits recognizable moving images in Washington. 

1926:    E. Alexanderson of GE in Chicago demonstrates mechanical TV at IRE.

1929:    J.L. Baird and the BBC perform the first public television demo in London.

1930:    G.G. Camarena enrolls at EIME (today ESIME) where television tests are being performed with a system imported from the US based on the Nipkow disc.

1931:    G.G. Camarena obtains his HAM radio license.

1932:    V. Zworikyn announces the iconoscope, picture capture tube. 

1933:    G.G. Camarena conceives the idea of a sequential color television system. 

1936:    G.G. Camarena begins to construct his first iconoscope TV camera. 
In Berlin, the Olympic games inauguration is transmitted on TV. 

1937:    The BBC transmits the crowning of George VI.  9000 TV receivers sold in England. 

1938:    The FCC in the US recommends the 441 line norm at 30 games.

1939:    At the New York’s World Fair, D. Sarnoff inaugurates TV with RCA cameras and studios at NBC.

1940:    P. Goldmark, CBS engineer announces an electromechanical color TV system.
G.G. Camarena proceeds to patent his Trichromatic Sequential Field system.

1941:    The FCC recommends the 525 norm at 30 frames and authorizes commercial television. 
G.G. Camarena begins closed-circuit color television tests. 

1942:    Due to the war, TV is suspended in the US.
G.G. Camarena transmits experimental TV with his call letters XE1GC (black and white). 

1946:    Color TV demonstrations are performed commercially by CBS in the US.

1947:    The FCC declares CBS’s color television announcement as premature. 
G.G. Camarena makes b & w television demonstrations for the public in the Cadena de Oro theatres.

1948:    G.G. Camarena officially establishes Gon-Cam laboratories.
J. De la Herrán constructs two cameras with image orthicon at the XEW laboratories.

1949:    G.G. Camarena demonstrates his color television system at the IX Surgeon’s Assembly in a closed circuit.
Rehearsals with orthicon TV cameras begin at XEW radio, Ayuntamiento 54, to train the personnel.

1950:    G.G. Camarena exports a closed circuit system with two cameras to the Columbia College in    Chicago where he is given an Honorary Professor’s Degree. 
The FCC commercially approves CBS’ color TV.
With RCA equipment XHTV Channel 4 is inaugurated in Mexico.

1951:     G.G. Camarena inaugurates a closed circuit color television system using his trichromatic system at the National School of Medicine (Escuela Nacional de Medicina) at UNAM.
In Mexico, XEW TV Channel 2 in Televicentro is inaugurated using GE and Dumont equipment.

1952:    G.G. Camarena is part of the committee selecting the site of XEQ TV Channel 9. 

1953:    The FCC withdraws from the CBS color system and officially authorizes RCA’s compatible all electronic system.

1954:    Series production of color TV begins in the US by RCA.
G.G. Camarena and E. Azcárraga associate to install XHGC Channel 5 in Televicentro.

1955:    In the US color television is considered a commercial failure.

1956:    Ampex Corp. Announces video recording on magnetic tape.

1958:    G.G. Camarena demonstrates his subjective color TV system in Chicago. 

1959:    G.G.C. delivers a color television system to the medical center. 

1960:    NBC in New York reports seeing the utility in color TV for the first time.

1962:    G.G. Camarena patents his Simplified Bi-Color System, SBS.

1963:    G.G. Camarena patents his bi-color picture tube and makes an agreement with Television    Majestic S.A to fabricate bicolor televisions.

1965:    G.G. Camarena demonstrates bi color television (SBS) at the Mexican Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.
Camarena passes away in an automobile accident.