Almost every home in America now has a television. Philo Farnsworth invented the electronic television. Television brings us information about the world around us and keeps us entertained.
Born in Beaver, Utah, on August 19th, 1906, Philo T. Farnsworth was a talented scientist and an enthusiastic inventor from a young age. He was born in a log cabin that his grandfather, a Mormon pioneer, constructed.
He was best known as the pioneer of television technology. Despite his continuous scientific success, lawsuits dogged Farnsworth, and he died, in debt, in Salt Lake City on March 11, 1971. He introduced a prototype of the first all-electric television in 1938 and went on to spearhead the research regarding nuclear fusion.
In his chemistry class in Rigby, Idaho, Philo Farnsworth sketched out a vacuum tube, which would revolutionize television—even though neither his fellow students nor his teacher understood the implications of this concept. Farnsworth, an amateur scientist at a young age, converted the home appliances of his family to electric power while he was still in high school. His original invention of a tamper-proof lock saw him win a national contest. Let’s now learn more interesting facts about Philo Farnsworth. Enjoy!
1. Farnsworth was very good at Physics and Chemistry in high school. Tracks left in the mud while tilling a field triggered his idea of transmitting electronic images in waves. He shared this brilliant idea with his high school teacher by creating elaborate diagrams on the chalkboard. Farnsworth wondered how electricity could be transmitted in the same way. His teacher actively encouraged him, and Farnsworth credits him as being one of the guiding and encouraging forces in his life.
2. RCA Corporation was the leading company in the radio industry at the time Farnsworth invented television, and it controlled all of the major patents for the technology. The RCA offered to buy and finance all the television development that Farnsworth was designing but he rejected their proposal and chose to work on his own. It was a crucial decision that he chose not to sell the television rights to RCA.
3. RCA filed lawsuits against Farnsworth stating that it was Zworykin, who worked for RCA, who invented the television, not Farnsworth. It was a way of expressing their disappointment after Farnsworth declined to work with them. Many viewed the action as malicious, and they understood that Farnsworth was in a good position of power with his great idea. Farnsworth developed excellent partnerships with BBC in the UK and managed to stave off RCA, winning the fight against them. RCA’s objective was either to sell Farnsworth’s ideas and patents to them or to force him to go bankrupt.
4. In 1926, Farnsworth co-founded Crocker Research Laboratories, and they eventually changed the name of their company to Farnsworth Television, Inc. Besides, he had a radio corporation and television, which he founded in 1938.
5. Farnsworth held a total of 300 foreign and United States patents in his life. Other than inventing the first all-electric television, he made many additional contributions to science including the nuclear fusor, astronomical telescope, infrared night vision devices, the baby incubator and the electron microscope.
6. Farnsworth was a mystery guest (“Doctor X”) on the CBS quiz show I’ve Got A Secret in July 3rd, 1957. In fact, this is the only television program that Farnsworth appeared on even though he was responsible for its technology. He received $80 and a carton of Winston cigarettes for stumping the panel. Farnsworth fielded several questions from the panel as they unsuccessfully attempted to guess his top secret (“I invented electronic television.”). Host Garry Moore then spent a few minutes discussing his research on such projects as fusion power, flat-screen receivers, and high-definition television.