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Cathode-ray tube (CRT) technology has been maturing for many decades, from the 1602 discovery of luminescent materials called “phosphors” by Vincenzo Casciarolo, an Italian shoemaker and alchemist, up to the recent development of complex electron optics to control the beam spot impinging into the monitor screen. In 1890, W. Crookes used a CRT for electron shadowing of metallic objects. In 1895, W. K. Roentgen used a tube with similar design as an x-ray generator. An important milestone in the history of the CRT was the tube designed by K. Braun. The “Braun” tube had most of the key elements of current CRTs: an electron source or cathode, a focusing and deflection device, a screen, and a housing. The first commercial CRTs were produced by Western Electric in the early 1920s, but it was not until the 1940s that massive amounts of units were available as consumer products. Current CRT designs provide high image quality for a variety of applications.
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