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"What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Teleview  
  A device for seeing at a distance.  

No, this is not a television!

"I am Pythagoras Denker, the inventor of the Teleview. While we are waiting, perhaps you would like to learn something about the nature of my invention."

“Indeed I would,” I assured him.

“As the name indicates,” he continued. “The Teleview is a device for viewing things that happen at a distance.”

“Oh, I see,” I interposed. “It’s a television apparatus.”

“Not at all,” he corrected. “My invention is quite different from the regular televisor. To be sure, it is like television in the sense that it enables one to see things at a distance, but the essential difference between the Teleview and a Televisor is this: For Television it is necessary to have both a sending and a receiving apparatus and it cannot be used except in places where the object to be seen can be brought to the sending station or where the sending station can be brought to the event which is to be transmitted over a distance.

“The Teleview is not hedged in by any such restrictions. All the apparatus is concentrated at the receiving end. No sending set is required. Within certain limits, it may be focused on any spot so that one actually sees the events themselves, exactly as they happen.”

“Do you mean to tell me that you can focus your apparatus on something that is happening in India or Arabia and be able to see it here at the very instant it is taking place over there?” I asked doubtfully.


(The Phantom Teleview)

“The task you have outlined cannot be performed quite yet, for the simple reason that the places you mentioned are on the opposite side of the earth. However, even that can easily be accomplished when we have established stations at four or five strategic points around the earth, so that we will be able to pick up any event, no matter where it happens and relay it on to our other stations.

“At present, this station has the only Teleview apparatus in existence. The range of this set is limited only by the curvature of the earth. With it I can get most of Europe and the western part of Africa to the east and the coast of Asia on the west. Naturally anything in the United States or in the portion of the. Pacific north of the Equator can easily be focused in.”

From The Phantom Teleview, by Bob Olsen.
Published by Science Wonder Stories in 1929
Additional resources -

Here's an early (1927) account of the origin of this term:

The most wonderful discovery of the day, the wresting from nature of yet another of her secrets, is that of television, the revealing of the faces of persons sitting in darkness in another room. Mr. John Baird, the discoverer, terms his televisor a "machine for seeing by electricity"-"a telephone for the eye." The inventor has been experimenting for some time with fairly good results. He began by transmitting shadows and then an advance was made to the transmission by the light reflected from them of the images of actual objects; at last after months of continuous research, he experienced the great triumph of seeing upon he screen of the receiver a living image with light and shade and detail, in short, true television.

Compare to the raytron apparatus from Beyond the Stars (1928) by Ray Cummings.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Phantom Teleview
  More Ideas and Technology by Bob Olsen
  Tech news articles related to The Phantom Teleview
  Tech news articles related to works by Bob Olsen

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