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"Public Servants" of Central Piedmont: Peter Goldmark

A digital exhibit honoring the legacy of public servants who have worked to benefit the mission of Central Piedmont since 1963.

Using Technology for the Greater Good

“Dr. Peter Goldmark was a Hungarian-American engineer and inventor who, during his time with Columbia Records and CBS, was instrumental in developing the long-playing microgroove 33-1/3 rpm phonograph disc, the standard for incorporating multiple or lengthy recorded works on a single disc” (Wikipedia). It was this technology that was used to develop the Rapid Transmission and Store (RTS) System - also referred to as the Goldmark System. This technology completely revolutionized the way in which programming was delivered to a wide audience, and would be utilized by broadcasting companies and educational institutions as a method of delivering their programs to the wider audiences. 

Upon his retirement from CBS in the late 1960's, Dr. Goldmark knew that his invention could serve greater purposes for the general public. During this same time period, Dr. Hagemeyer and his Cabinet were researching innovative methods for course delivery that could benefit rural communities. A project of this magnitude had never been considered before - how could the College provide instructional lessons to members of Mecklenburg County without having them leave their homes?

Central Piedmont was only one campus in the late 1960's and early 1970's, the Central campus, which was in a location many individuals were unable to travel too. Dr. Hagemeyer realized that this educational disadvantage for such a large percentage of people was an issue that had to be resolved.

It is unsure how Dr. Goldmark was introduced to Dr. Hagemeyer, but upon introduction, the two became fast friends. Dr. Hagemeyer saw Dr. Goldmark as an ally in the battle against illiteracy, and called upon him to discuss how the Goldmark System could be used to benefit student needs. The RTS system worked in a way that The system had two revolutionary implications. “First, because it should pay for itself through small tuition charges, it could have great impact on mass education.” “Secondly, over a longer range [of time], the teaching system could help to revitalize rural areas and play a role in reversing urban congestion.” 

This was a revolutionary technology “because it could pay for itself through small tuition charges, it could have a massive impact on education; secondly, the teaching system can help to revitalize rural areas and play a role in reversing urban congestion.”  As a result of this effort, Central Piedmont was one of the first Community Colleges in the nation to pilot this project.

Video Tape Learning System Provides for Mass Education

Dr. Peter Goldmark

Photo Credit: National Inventors Hall of Fame

National Medal of Science Award

Instructional Television Brochure Cover