Archer Taylor died on November 22. He was a member of the very first handful of people to get involved in what would only later become known as the CATV industry.
His death was reported in The Washington Post yesterday, on Dec. 8.
In the early 1950s, Taylor and his associates had visited a cable system in Bellingham, Wash. In ’53, he helped build the first cable receiver in Montana, housed in a tent, designed to pull in a signal from KXLY in Spokane, according to an interview with The Cable Center.
He co-founded Northwest Video later that same year. Shortly thereafter, the company decided to set up operations in Kalispell (using amps from “another fly-by-night outfit by the name of Blonder-Tongue”).
He said that sometimes in the late 1950s, NBC actually came to Northwest Video asking them to build a cable system to carry NBC content, because Kalispell was too small for NBC to justify building a broadcast station there.
In 1966, Taylor and an associate he'd met earlier through his participation with the NCTA, Marty Malarkey, co-founded Malarkey-Taylor, a consulting company.
“Basically we were getting work from newcomers who wanted to get into the business and didn’t know how. As time went on we got into troubleshooting for people who were already in the business and had problems with finance and management and engineering,” Taylor said, according to the book, “Pioneers of Cable Television.”
Malarkey-Taylor become one of the biggest consultancies in its field, eventually providing audits and expert testimony in legal proceedings, including mergers and franchising agreements.
In the 1980s, the company went international, helping to establish cable systems overseas, in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the U.K. and Australia.
In 1992, the partners sold their business to the Strategis Group.
Taylor is survived by sons, David S., Lawrence K. (Annette) and Kenneth M. (Karen); sister, Dorothy T. Higano; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
No memorial service is to be held. Donations in his memory may be made to the Friends Committee on National Legislation, in Washington D.C.
Photo from: The Cable Center