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De Forest Patent Holding Company


SKU: 7663
Product Details


Intricately engraved antique stock certificate from the De Forest Patent Holding Company dating back to the 1920's. This document, which is signed by the company Vice President and Secretary, was printed by Goes and measures approximately 10 3/4" (w) by 8" (h).


Beautiful piece shows an eagle with its wings outstretched, atop a globe.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
    Historical Context

    In November of 1922, Lee De Forest organized the De Forest Patent Holding Company to assign all of his sound recording and reproducing patents, as well as his numerous other patent applications. In total, more than 70 patents were involved.


    The company was also charged with the commercial developement of De Forest's Photofilm machine. The machine, instead of recording sound and picture on the same negative, recorded them separately. The two could then be printed together on the positive used for actual projection. In this way the sound track could be set slightly ahead of the visual portion of the film to compensate for the time lag.


    By a simple mathematical process, De Forest calculated that the sound would have to be moved up twenty-four frames for perfect synchronization. Furthermore, he soon realized that the device of recording sound and image on separate negatives held other advantages, too. It would make possible all sorts of unusual techniques, such as dubbing in special sound effects, inserting a singer's voice while an actor mouthed the lyrics during musical sequences, and the substitution of foreign dialogue for films to be shown abroad.


    Although it was basically correct in principle, its operating quality was poor, and he found himself unable to interest film producers in its possibilities. Paradoxically, within a few years’ time, the motion-picture industry converted to talking pictures by using a sound-on-film process similar to De Forest’s.