Tykociner, Joseph T. (Joseph Tykocinski) (1877-1969) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Tykociner, Joseph T. (Joseph Tykocinski) (1877-1969)

Historical Note: Born in Poland in 1877, Tykociner was the first research professor at Department of Electrical Engineering (now the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) at the University of Illinois, and the first to successfully incorporate sound in motion picture. Originally interested in Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph as well as in wireless radio transmission, Tykociner came to the University in 1921 after having worked for radio communication companies in Europe and briefly in Pennsylvania. He quickly resumed his research on recording sound on film using the photoelectric cell developed by his colleague, Jakob Kunz. By March 1922 he had finally created his first "talkie", which he successfully demonstrated on the 9th of June at the request of President David Kinley and the Board of Trustees. Patent disputes with the University and skeptics extinguished his hopes of patenting and commercializing the invention. However, the talking motion picture certainly served as an exclamation point of his career, and Tykociner's research has had a considerable impact on the College of Engineering, the history of electrical engineering, and the possibilities of scientific research.

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