John Walson Sr. (1915–1993), from Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, is recognized by the U.S. Congress and the National Cable Television Association as having invented cable TV in the spring of 1948.
John Walson Sr., who was one of the first to use cable to transmit television signals, died Saturday at Sacred Heart Hospital here. He was 78.
He died of liver cancer, said his son, John Walson Jr.
In 1947 Mr. Walson owned an appliance store in Mahanoy City, near Allentown, when he realized he was having trouble selling television sets because the mountains of eastern Pennsylvania interfered with reception.
He built an antenna tower atop New Boston Mountain overlooking Mahanoy City and ran wire to television sets in his store window. He added amplifiers to the system the next spring, and then persuaded residents to hook up for a $100 installation fee and $2 a month.
His cable television company, called Service Electric Cable TV, now has more than 400 employees and serves subscribers in eastern and central Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey. At his death Mr. Walson was chairman and chief executive of Service Electric.
In 1979, the United States Congress and the National Cable TV Association recognized his pioneering efforts in cable television.