Who Was Guillermo González Camarena? Remembering Mexican Genius Behind Color TV

Guillermo González Camarena
Guillermo González Camarena was a Mexican engineer known for inventing the early version of color TV. YouTube

Guillermo González Camarena was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco in Mexico, in 1917 and is known for being the color TV inventor. Unfortunately, Camarena died in a car accident on this day in 1965. The genius engineer was driving back from an assignment in Veracruz at the age of 48 and didn’t survive the fatal crash.

Now, 51 years later, we remember Camarenas monumental legacy, which revolutionized the imagery world we know and see today.

While he wasn’t the sole inventor of color TV, Camarena did create the "Chromoscopic adapter for television equipment", an early color television transmission system. This meant that it could be easily adapted to black and white TVs and turn them into color TVs. “My invention relates to the transmission and reception of colored pictures or images by wire or wireless,” he explained. At 23 years old he got the patent for said invention and continued to work.

In order to make more money to continue his investigative work, Camarena wrote many songs, but it was “Río Colorado” that became a huge hit and provided the funds for him to move forward with his engineering work.

But Camarena also thought about low income families and how they could have access to the new technology, so for that he created presented his Simplified Bicolor System in 1963 at the World Fair of New York, which would solve the economic aspect for future buyers.

He also made enormous contributions to radio. When the Ministry of Communications asked Camarena to research noise, volume and attenuation of electric communication systems, he used “meteorological balloons” to develop the legal dispositions in order to regulate the operation and functions of local radio transmitters.

To honor his legacy, a multidisciplinary group looking to promote the talent and creativity of Mexican inventors, created the Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena Foundation in 1995.

February 17 (the inventor’s birthday) was declared as Guillermo González Camarena Day in Mexico.

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Natalie Roterman
Natalie Roterman

Natalie (from Mexico) joined Latin Times back in 2014 and she is all about pop culture and entertainment. She also has a genetic love for food and traveling. Follow her and get the scoop on the biggest upcoming films and TV shows, plus interviews with your favorite stars that you won’t want to miss. When she’s not writing for Latin Times, she’s either filming her next episode of “El Show de Natalie,” at a movie theater, binge-watching a new TV series, or planning her next meal.