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SMPTE Celebrates Its Founders' Day

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The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is celebrating its Founders' Day, and the 100th Anniversary of its establishment.

The festivities, which include cakes ornamented with the SMPTE logo and messages of well wishes, commenced in 2015 during the biennial SMPTE technical conference in Sydney and continues with global celebrations held by SMPTE Sections and partner organisations. Part of those celebrations include honouring SMPTE's Founders' Day and the 100th anniversary of its incorporation – 24 July and 10 August, respectively.

SMPTE was founded in 1916 in Washington D.C. as the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (SMPE) by inventor C. Francis Jenkins, along with Paul Brockett, Herbert Miles, Donald J. Bell, Paul H. Cromelin, C.A. Willatt, Francis B. Cannock, W. Burton Westcott, E. Kendall Gillett, and J.P. Lyons. In 1950, the Society added the 'T' to its name in order to include television. Today, the Society has nearly 7,000 individuals along with more than 250 corporate members.

The Society will celebrate its Centennial with a special August 2016 edition of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal that is dedicated to the centennial; a Centennial Exhibit at the SMPTE 2016 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2016) that features early Jenkins artifacts from the Wayne County Historical Museum (Richmond, Indiana); and the Centennial Gala, which will be the culmination of both SMPTE 2016 and the Society's yearlong anniversary celebrations. The Centennial Gala will take place 28 October at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, California. SMPTE 2016 conference registrants can add Gala tickets to conference registration packages at Individual tickets, as well as tables, will be available for online purchase soon. Sponsorships are also available.

The history of SMPTE will also be chronicled in a new book, 'Magic & Miracles: 100 Years of Moving Image Science & Technology', and a SMPTE documentary, produced by 3 Roads Communications, exploring the history and future trends in motion-imaging technology. Both are slated for release in 2017. The book is now available for pre-order in the SMPTE store at

SMPTE President Robert Seidel, vice president of engineering and advanced technology at CBS, said: "The SMPTE Centennial represents a wealth of technical and artistic achievement over the past century, as well as the promise of continued innovation. This celebration has been 100 years in the making, and we're proud to be honoring the accomplishments of our founders and their many noteworthy successors within the Society."

Barbara Lange, SMPTE Executive Director, added: "The history of SMPTE is almost synonymous with the history of film and television, and it has been a remarkable journey over the past century. Sound and pictures impact the human experience, which means that masses of people have enjoyed the benefits of SMPTE's work. With our recognition of SMPTE's Founders' Day and its incorporation date, we pay tribute to the many pioneers who have volunteered behind the scenes to enable the rich visual storytelling that we all enjoy."

Further information about SMPTE 2016 and the SMPTE Centennial is available at and

Image: Hans Hoffman, Egon Verharen, Barbara Lange, and Simon Fell toast the SMPTE Centennial at the EBU Tech Assembly.

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