The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, which was founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was initially a patent trust owned by General Electric (GE), Westinghouse, AT&T Corporation and United Fruit Company. In 1932, RCA became an independent company after the partners were required to divest their ownership as part of the settlement of a government antitrust suit.

RCA Corporation
FoundedOctober 17, 1919; 102 years ago (1919-10-17) as Radio Corporation of America. Name changed to RCA Corporation on May 9, 1969.
FounderGuglielmo Marconi
Defunct1987; 35 years ago (1987)
FateAcquired by GE in 1986, various divisions sold or liquidated, trademark rights sold to Thomson SA in 1987.
SuccessorsGeneral Electric
RCA (owned by Technicolor)
RCA Records (owned by Sony Music Entertainment)
NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast)
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.[1]
Key people
David Sarnoff (first general manager)
Vacuum tubes
Phonograph records
Electric Phonograph
RCA Photophone
CED Videodisc
TV station equipment:
Studio cameras
Videotape machines
Film chains
TV transmitters
TV broadcast antennas
Video game consoles
ParentGE (1919–1932, 1986–1987)
Technicolor SA[lower-alpha 1] (trademark rights only, 1987–present)
DivisionsRCA Records
RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video

An innovative and progressive company, RCA was the dominant electronics and communications firm in the United States for over five decades. RCA was at the forefront of the mushrooming radio industry in the early 1920s, as a major manufacturer of radio receivers, and the exclusive manufacturer of the first superheterodyne sets. RCA also created the first nationwide American radio network, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). The company was also a pioneer in the introduction and development of television, both black and white and especially color television. During this period, RCA was closely identified with the leadership of David Sarnoff. He became general manager at the company's founding, served as president from 1930 to 1965, and remained active as chairman of the board until the end of 1969.

During the 1970s, RCA's seemingly impregnable stature as a leader in technology, innovation and home entertainment began to weaken as it attempted to expand from its main focus of the development and marketing of consumer electronics and communications into a diversified multinational conglomerate. Additionally, the company began to face increasing competition in the US from international electronics firms such as Sony, Philips and Mitsubishi. RCA suffered enormous financial losses in the mainframe computer industry and other failed projects such as the CED videodisc. Though the company was rebounding by the mid-1980s, RCA never regained its former eminence and was reacquired by General Electric in 1986; over the next few years, GE liquidated most of the corporation's assets. Today, RCA exists as a brand name only; the various RCA trademarks are currently owned by Sony Music Entertainment and Technicolor, which in turn license the RCA brand name and trademarks to several other companies, including Voxx International, Curtis International, AVC Multimedia, TCL Corporation and Express LUCK International, Ltd. for their various products.

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