On February 25, 1928, Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, DC, became the first holder of a US television license. W3XK, the first TV station, began broadcasting from Jenkins Labs later that year. Initially, the station, which aired programming five nights a week, could only transmit silhouette images due to narrow bandwidth; but its capacity was soon expanded, and actual black-and-white footage was then broadcast.

Charles Jenkins Laboratories was run by Charles Francis Jenkins, a pioneer in TV technology. His work is remembered by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences during its annual primetime Emmy Awards. Each year the Academy presents an individual the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award for a career of contributions to television technology and engineering.

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