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1949 Horatio Alger Award Winner

Allen B. Dumont*

Allen B. Dumont Laboratories

"Believe in yourself and your dreams."

Allen DuMont was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1901. While recovering from polio, he built a radio transmitter and receiver out of an oatmeal box. In 1924, he earned an electrical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and then joined Westinghouse Lamp Company as an engineer. In 1931, he made a commercially practical cathode-ray tube that could last for thousands of hours, versus the 30-hour longevity of German-made tubes. With $1,000, half of which was borrowed, he started DuMont Laboratories. Total sales the first year were only $70. Over the following quarter century, however, the company grew and became the primary U. S. manufacturer of cathode-ray tubes. In 1938, NBC's historic broadcast of the 1939 World's Fair was on television sets made by DuMont Labs, which also produced radios and hi-fi sets, mobile communications equipment, and a wide variety of electronic instruments for commercial and government use.

* Deceased