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Thread: Philo Taylor Farnsworth

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    Philo Taylor Farnsworth

    Inventor. He is best remembered for his contributions to television, radar, and the nuclear industry. Born in Beaver, Utah, he became interested in science and technology at age 12, when his father moved the family to Rigby, Idaho, where the family worked a farm. Young Philo’s interest in electronics started with a long distance telephone call to a relative, and was further peaked by the discovery of a large box of technology magazines in the attic of the family’s new home. In 1922, at the age of 16, he developed the idea of the image dissector, which he would later state came to him in an inspiration while plowing a potato field, row by row. He realized that an electron beam could scan an image in much the same way, line by line, just as people read a book. He patented the idea of the Cathode Ray Tube just six years later. He was further inspired by his high school chemistry teacher, Justin Tolman, who gave him extra instruction. At age 16, he was accepted to Brigham Young University, but was forced to leave after his sophomore year, when his father died suddenly. After a brief stint in the US Navy, Philo returned to Idaho to support his mother. In 1926, he formed a partnership with George Everson, moving to San Francisco to set up a lab, where he worked on his television. On September 7, 1927, he demonstrated the principle of television by sending an image from one room to another, proving that television was possible. By 1936, Farnsworth’s company was transmitting regular entertainment programs, and shortly after, he signed a deal to form standard television programs for Great Britain. After inventing a camera tube he called the Iconoscope and setting up his own television manufacturing company, Farnsworth was sued by the RCA Corporation over royalties, contending that RCA inventor Vladimir Zworykin had invented the tube in 1926. Farnsworth’s high school teacher, Justin Tolman, proved the case by showing the court a drawing Philo had made at age 16 while in high school; the drawing was an almost exact replica of the Image Dissector. RCA paid Farnsworth royalties for only two years. During World War II, the US Government suspended sales of television sets, and Philo’s patents expired at the end of the war. After the war, RCA quickly took over the television market, without having to pay Philo any additional royalties. In 1947, he suffered a nervous breakdown, made worse by excessive drinking. Philo Farnsworth went on to invent over 165 different devices including equipment for converting an optical image into an electrical signal, amplifier, cathode-ray, vacuum tubes, electrical scanners, electron multipliers and photoelectric materials. Following the war, Philo worked on a fusor, an apparatus designed to create nuclear fusion, which he hoped would make electricity virtually cost free. When introduced into the nuclear research world in the late 1960s, many hoped the fusor would lead to a practical neutron source, and it has been commercially produced for this role. He died in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1971. Farnsworth has been honored several times: a plaque honoring him as “the Genius of Green Street” is at 202 Green Street, the site of his San Francisco laboratory, and a statue of Farnsworth represents the state of Utah in the hall of fame in the US Capitol building. In December 2005, the Boy Scouts of America posthumously honored him with his Eagle Scout Badge, which he had not received during his childhood, caused by the family move to Idaho.
    Aug. 19, 1906-Mar 11, 1971

    Born and died here in Utah!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny62 View Post
    Inventor. He is best remembered for his contributions to television, radar, and the nuclear industry. Born in Beaver, Utah, he became interested in science and technology at age 12, when his father moved the family to Rigby, Idaho, where the family worked a farm. Young Philo’s interest in electronics started with a long distance telephone call to a relative, and was further peaked by the discovery of a large box of technology magazines in the attic of the family’s new home. In 1922, at the age of 16, he developed the idea of the image dissector, which he would later state came to him in an inspiration while plowing a potato field, row by row. He realized that an electron beam could scan an image in much the same way, line by line, just as people read a book. He patented the idea of the Cathode Ray Tube just six years later. He was further inspired by his high school chemistry teacher, Justin Tolman, who gave him extra instruction. At age 16, he was accepted to Brigham Young University, but was forced to leave after his sophomore year, when his father died suddenly. After a brief stint in the US Navy, Philo returned to Idaho to support his mother. In 1926, he formed a partnership with George Everson, moving to San Francisco to set up a lab, where he worked on his television. On September 7, 1927, he demonstrated the principle of television by sending an image from one room to another, proving that television was possible. By 1936, Farnsworth’s company was transmitting regular entertainment programs, and shortly after, he signed a deal to form standard television programs for Great Britain. After inventing a camera tube he called the Iconoscope and setting up his own television manufacturing company, Farnsworth was sued by the RCA Corporation over royalties, contending that RCA inventor Vladimir Zworykin had invented the tube in 1926. Farnsworth’s high school teacher, Justin Tolman, proved the case by showing the court a drawing Philo had made at age 16 while in high school; the drawing was an almost exact replica of the Image Dissector. RCA paid Farnsworth royalties for only two years. During World War II, the US Government suspended sales of television sets, and Philo’s patents expired at the end of the war. After the war, RCA quickly took over the television market, without having to pay Philo any additional royalties. In 1947, he suffered a nervous breakdown, made worse by excessive drinking. Philo Farnsworth went on to invent over 165 different devices including equipment for converting an optical image into an electrical signal, amplifier, cathode-ray, vacuum tubes, electrical scanners, electron multipliers and photoelectric materials. Following the war, Philo worked on a fusor, an apparatus designed to create nuclear fusion, which he hoped would make electricity virtually cost free. When introduced into the nuclear research world in the late 1960s, many hoped the fusor would lead to a practical neutron source, and it has been commercially produced for this role. He died in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1971. Farnsworth has been honored several times: a plaque honoring him as “the Genius of Green Street” is at 202 Green Street, the site of his San Francisco laboratory, and a statue of Farnsworth represents the state of Utah in the hall of fame in the US Capitol building. In December 2005, the Boy Scouts of America posthumously honored him with his Eagle Scout Badge, which he had not received during his childhood, caused by the family move to Idaho.
    Aug. 19, 1906-Mar 11, 1971

    Born and died here in Utah!!
    JMHO- When information is posted in one "lump"- meaning no paragraph breaks etc- it becomes very difficult to read for a "right brainer" such as myself. Great information- don't get me wrong- just hard to read through the whole piece- everything feels like it runs together and my ADD kicks in. Please don't take this out of context- I love your posts, polls, banter, insight and wit

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    Quote Originally Posted by More Cheese Please View Post
    JMHO- When information is posted in one "lump"- meaning no paragraph breaks etc- it becomes very difficult to read for a "right brainer" such as myself. Great information- don't get me wrong- just hard to read through the whole piece- everything feels like it runs together and my ADD kicks in. Please don't take this out of context- I love your posts, polls, banter, insight and wit
    no not at all! Thanks for the heads up!!

    Going back and looking at it now I see what you mean!!! I will break the longer ones down next time!

    Dan

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    yeah..in case you haven't noticed i need pictures...i'm a visual leraner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny62 View Post
    no not at all! Thanks for the heads up!!

    Going back and looking at it now I see what you mean!!! I will break the longer ones down next time!

    Dan
    Thanks for capitulating to the addled sensibilities of an attention challenged individual such as myself- you rock!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SistaSara View Post
    yeah..in case you haven't noticed i need pictures...i'm a visual leraner


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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny62 View Post

    BTW- Did I mention that you rock?

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    Thanks....

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    Farnsworth unlike many other inventors was actually proud of his invention all the way up until his death. I heard he actually cried tears of joy when he and his wife watched the 1969 moon landing coverage. I dont think he ever said a bad word about his own invention, uinlike Marconi, DeForest & Armstrong who invented radio.
    All of them slammed their own invention before their deaths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SistaSara View Post
    Thanks....
    Your Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy J. View Post
    Farnsworth unlike many other inventors was actually proud of his invention all the way up until his death. I heard he actually cried tears of joy when he and his wife watched the 1969 moon landing coverage. I dont think he ever said a bad word about his own invention, uinlike Marconi, DeForest & Armstrong who invented radio.
    All of them slammed their own invention before their deaths.
    The guy should be damn proud of what he did! I could even go visit his grave in Provo Utah!!

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    Damn he looks like Willem Dafoe.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by cleanskull View Post
    Damn he looks like Willem Dafoe.
    good call!

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    I was just scanning older posts and came upon this one, I remember seeing an episode of "I've Got a Secret" from the late 50s with Philo. I don't think they guessed his secret which was inventor of electronic TV. But after, he did talk about 2,000 line high-definition and TVs having memories to be able to store programs, which wasn't possible at that time...it took another 40-50 years for those predictions to become reality, I guess he knew his stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VickiLester View Post
    I was just scanning older posts and came upon this one, I remember seeing an episode of "I've Got a Secret" from the late 50s with Philo. I don't think they guessed his secret which was inventor of electronic TV. But after, he did talk about 2,000 line high-definition and TVs having memories to be able to store programs, which wasn't possible at that time...it took another 40-50 years for those predictions to become reality, I guess he knew his stuff.
    Though I guess it can be up for debate but according to the book on early television "Please Stand By" by Michael Ritchie, Farnsworth had perfected the fax machine during World War Two. However at the time messenger boys were cheap to use and phone lines were VERY expensive. Still remember my late grandmother telling me during that war she was living in Pittsburgh. One day in 1943 she had received a phone call from another family member in Denver. For her it was a thrilling experience !! Today we take such things for granted.
    Last edited by choff; 06-28-2013 at 05:49 PM.

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