Philo Taylor Farnsworth, Sr. (1906 - 1971) MP

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Birthplace: Indian Creek, Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, United States
Death: Died in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Cause of death: pneumonia
Occupation: inventor of television (U.S. Patent 1,773,980), and recipient of 160 patents concerning television, radar, electron microscopes, astronomical telescopes and related electronic equipment
Managed by: Walter G. Ashworth
Last Updated:

About Philo Taylor Farnsworth, Sr.

Philo Taylor Farnsworth (August 19, 1906 – March 11, 1971) was an American inventor. He is best known for inventing the first completely electronic television. In particular, he was the first to make a working electronic image pickup device (video camera tube), and the first to demonstrate an all-electronic television system to the public.

In his later life, Farnsworth also invented a small nuclear fusion device known as a fusor.

History

Many inventors had worked on and built various electro-mechanical television systems prior to Farnsworth's seminal contribution (including Alexander Bain, Paul Nipkow, Aleksandr Stoletov, Karl Ferdinand Braun, Boris Rosing, Herbert E. Ives, and John Logie Baird). Several inventors also devised or built electronic apparatus prior to Farnsworth, including Boris Rosing, Alan Archibald Campbell-Swinton, Kalman Tihanyi, Vladimir Zworykin and Kenjiro Takayanagi. Farnsworth made the world's first working television system with electronic scanning of both the pickup and display devices, which he first demonstrated to news media on September 1, 1928, televising a motion picture film; and to the public at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on August 25, 1934, televising live images.

In 1930, after a visit to Farnsworth's laboratory, Vladimir Zworykin copied this apparatus for RCA. The U.S. Patent Office rendered a decision in 1935 that a machine built to Zworykin's electronic television patent design of 1923 would produce largely meaningless shades of darkness and light, and was "an entirely different design" from the one described by RCA witnesses. Priority of invention was awarded to Farnsworth, based on his 1927 patent application, issued in 1930. Key aspects of Farnsworth's 1930 camera and receiver designs remain in use today.

Early life

Farnsworth was born near Beaver, Utah on August 19, 1906. His father later moved the family to Rigby, Idaho, where he worked as a sharecropper. When they moved to their new home, Philo was apparently excited to find it was wired for electrical power, something that was still fairly rare at that point, at least in the countryside. Young Philo developed an early interest in electronics after his first telephone conversation with an out-of-state relative and the discovery of a large cache of technology magazines in the attic of the family’s new home. He excelled in chemistry and physics at Rigby High School, and produced sketches and prototypes of electron tubes. Philo took violin lessons from Reuben Wilkins in Ucon, Idaho. Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he decided to enroll in the church-run Brigham Young University in 1923.

After a brief stint in the Navy, Farnsworth returned to Idaho to help support his mother. He later moved to the San Francisco Bay area with his bride, Elma “Pem” Gardner Farnsworth (February 25, 1908 - April 27, 2006). A local philanthropist managing a community chest agreed to fund Farnsworth's early television experiments (see below).

In 1926, Farnsworth formed a research partnership with George Everson in Salt Lake City to develop Farnsworth's television ideas. Farnsworth moved to Los Angeles to carry out research.

On September 7, 1927, Farnsworth's Image Dissector camera tube transmitted its first image, a simple straight line, at his laboratory at 202 Green Street in San Francisco. The source of the image was a glass slide, backlit by an arc lamp. This was due to the lack of light sensitivity of the Image Dissector tube design. By 1928, Farnsworth had developed the system sufficiently to hold a demonstration for the press. The first image shown to them was a dollar sign. In 1929, the system was further improved by elimination of a motor generator; the television system now had no mechanical moving parts. That year, Farnsworth transmitted the first human images using his television system, including a three and a half-inch image of his wife with her eyes closed.

In 1930, Vladimir Zworykin, who had been developing his own all-electronic television system at Westinghouse, in Pittsburgh, since 1923, was recruited by RCA and visited Farnsworth's laboratory under false pretenses. Zworykin was impressed with the performance of the Image Dissector and had his engineers make a working copy of it. In 1931, David Sarnoff of RCA offered to buy Farnsworth's patents for $100,000, but was refused; in June of that year Farnsworth joined the Philco company and moved his laboratory to Philadelphia, along with his wife and two children.

When Farnsworth traveled to England in 1932 while raising money in his legal battles with RCA, he met with John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor who had developed mechanical-scan cameras, and was seeking to develop electronic television receivers. Baird demonstrated his mechanical system for Farnsworth. According to Farnsworth accounts, Baird explained "the superiority of his system to Farnsworth", but after watching several minutes of Farnsworth's version, he left the room without a word, "having realized the futility of his efforts". Baird had in fact supported a merger with Farnsworth's competitors in the U.K., Marconi. Marconi had a patent-sharing agreement with RCA, however Baird company directors decided instead to merge with Farnsworth. Baird's company directors paid Farnsworth $50,000 to supply electronic television equipment, and provide access to Farnsworth's television patents. Baird and Farnsworth competed with EMI for forming the standard UK television system. EMI however, merged with Marconi in 1934, gaining access to the RCA patents. After trials of both systems, the BBC committee chose the Marconi-EMI system, which was by then virtually identical to RCA's (Zworykin's) system.

Philco denied Farnsworth time to travel to Utah to bury his young son Kenny, who died in March 1932; this death put a strain on Farnsworth's marriage and may have marked the beginning of his struggle with depression. Since RCA controlled key patents and manufacture of radio tubes, Philco was persuaded to sever its relationship with Farnsworth in 1934.

By 1936, Farnsworth's company was transmitting regular entertainment programs experimentally. In 1939, Farnsworth sold his television patents to RCA Victor for $1 million. The New York World's Fair showcased electronic television sets in April 1939, and soon afterward, RCA electronic televisions went on sale to the public.

Inventions

Electronic television

Farnsworth worked out the principle of the image dissector television camera at age 14, and produced the first working version at age 21. A farm boy, his inspiration for the scanning lines of the cathode ray tube came from the back-and-forth motion used to plow a field. During a patent lawsuit against RCA in 1935, his high school chemistry teacher, Justin Tolman, reproduced a drawing that Farnsworth, when he was just 14, had made on the blackboard at the school. Farnsworth won the suit and was paid royalties but never became wealthy. The video camera tube developed from a combination of the work of Farnsworth and Zworykin, was used in all television cameras until the late 20th century, when alternate technologies such as charge-coupled devices started to appear.

Farnsworth developed the "image oscillite", a cathode ray tube receiver that could display images captured by the image dissector.

Fusor

The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor, or simply fusor, is an apparatus designed by Farnsworth to create nuclear fusion. Unlike most controlled fusion systems, which slowly heat a magnetically confined plasma, the fusor injects high temperature ions directly into a reaction chamber, thereby avoiding a considerable amount of complexity.

When Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor was first introduced to the fusion research world in the late 1960s, the Fusor was the first device that could clearly demonstrate it was producing any fusion reactions at all. Hopes at the time were high that it could be quickly developed into a practical power source. However, as with other fusion experiments, development into a power source has proven difficult. Nevertheless, the fusor has since become a practical neutron source and is produced commercially for this role.

Appearances on television

Although he was the man responsible for its technology, Farnsworth appeared only once on a television program. In 1957, he was a mystery guest on the TV quiz show I've Got A Secret. He fielded questions from the panel of celebrities as they unsuccessfully tried to guess his secret ("I invented electronic television."). For stumping the panel, he received $80 and a carton of Winston cigarettes.

In a 1996 videotaped interview by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, available on Google video, Elma Farnsworth recounts Phil's change of heart about the value of television, after seeing how it showed man walking on the moon, in real time, to millions of viewers:

Interviewer: The image dissector was used to send shots back from the moon to earth.

Elma Farnsworth: Right.

Interviewer: What did Phil think of that?

Elma Farnsworth: We were watching it, and, when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, Phil turned to me and said, "Pem, this has made it all worthwhile." Before then, he wasn't too sure.

In 2006, Farnsworth was posthumously presented the Eagle Scout award when it was discovered he'd earned it but had never been presented with it. The award was presented to his wife, Pem, who died four months later.[2]

Philo's wife, Elma Gardner "Pem" Farnsworth, died on April 27, 2006, at the age of 98.[3] Farnsworth always gave his wife equal credit with himself for creating television, saying "my wife and I started this TV." It was Elma who fought for decades to assure Farnsworth's place in history after his death in 1971.

A statue of Farnsworth represents Utah in the National Statuary Hall Collection, located in the U.S. Capitol building.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission marker located at 1260 E. Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania commemorating the "Farnsworth Television" shop established there in the summer of 1933. The Plaque reads "Inventor of electronic television, he led some of the first experiments in live local TV broad-casting in the late 1930s from his station W3XPF located on this site. A pioneer in electronics, Farnsworth held many patents and was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame."

A plaque honoring Farnsworth as The Genius of Green Street is located on the 202 Green Street location (37.80037N, 122.40251W) of his research laboratory in San Francisco, California.

The scenic "Farnsworth Steps" in San Francisco lead from Willard Street (just above Parnassus) up to Edgewood Avenue, passing Farnsworth's former residence at the top.

A plaque honoring Farnsworth is located near his former home in a historical district in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Farnsworth's television-related work, including an original TV tube he developed, are on display at the Farnsworth TV & Pioneer Museum at 118 W. 1st S. Rigby, Idaho.

A Farnsworth image dissector is on display at Fry's Electronics in Sunnyvale, California, along with other artifacts of the history of electronics in Silicon Valley.

The Philo Awards named after Philo Farnsworth is an annual Public access television competition where the winners receive notice for their efforts in various categories in producing Community Media.

The West Wing writer Aaron Sorkin has written a screenplay about Farnsworth's and RCA's conflict, The Farnsworth Invention. It was originally to be produced as a film, however production was abruptly cancelled in 2005 with no explanation. It is now been produced as an experimental play for the La Jolla Playhouse, California, which opened to a standing ovation on February 20, 2007. Sorkin's earlier work, Sports Night, features William H. Macy telling a fictionalized anecdote about Farnsworth.

The character Professor Farnsworth on the popular animated series Futurama was named after him. The character Philo from UHF was also named after him, as he works in a television station. Oliver Farnsworth, a character in the Walter Tevis novel The Man Who Fell to Earth was also named after him.

Farnsworth appears as a fictionalized character in Glen David Gold's novel Carter Beats the Devil, in which television gets its first application as part of a magician's stage show.

-------------------- "Philo Taylor FARNSWORTH (1906-1971), inventor of television (U.S. Patent 1,773,980), and recipient of 160 patents concerning television, radar, electron microscopes, astronomical telescopes and related electronic equipment, married Elma 'Pem' Gardner on May 27, 1926 in Provo, Utah County, Utah."

[following downloaded 2009 from Wikipedia]

Philo Taylor Farnsworth (August 19, 1906 – March 11, 1971) was an American inventor. He is best known for inventing the first completely electronic television. In particular, he was the first to make a working electronic image pickup device (video camera tube), and the first to demonstrate an all-electronic television system to the public.

In his later life, Farnsworth also invented a small nuclear fusion device known as a fusor.

Career

Within months, Farnsworth was ready to demonstrate his models and blueprints to a patent attorney who was a national authority on electrophysics. Everson and Gorrell agreed Farnsworth should apply for patents, which became critical to later disputes with RCA. To that point the development of television relied on mechanical whirling disks to scan the image. Farnsworth's innovation was to recognize that a satisfactory image, using whirling disks, would require a speed that was a mechanical impossibility, and that his own all-electronic system could produce an image for broadcast much more effectively.

On September 7, 1927, Farnsworth's Image dissector camera tube transmitted its first image, a simple straight line, at his laboratory at 202 Green Street in San Francisco. The source of the image was a glass slide, backlit by an arc lamp. This was due to the lack of light sensitivity of the tube design, a problem Farnsworth never managed to resolve independently. By 1928, Farnsworth had developed the system sufficiently to hold a demonstration for the press—2 years after John Logie Baird had demonstrated his mechanical Television system in London. His backers had demanded to know when they would see dollars from the invention.[8] The first image shown to them was a dollar sign. In 1929, the system was further improved by elimination of a motor-generator; the television system now had no mechanical moving parts. That year, Farnsworth transmitted the first live human images using his television system, including a three and a half-inch image of his wife, Pem—with her eyes closed because of the blinding light required. (See Kenjiro Takayanagi for description of his all-electronic television demonstration on 25 December 1926 in Japan.)

In 1930, Vladimir Zworykin, who had been developing his own all-electronic television system at Westinghouse, in Pittsburgh, since 1923, was recruited by RCA and visited Farnsworth's laboratory. Zworykin was impressed with the performance of the Image Dissector and had his engineers make a working copy of it, though he saw that the dissector's need for excessive light requirements made it impractical. In 1931, David Sarnoff of RCA offered to buy Farnsworth's patents for USD$100,000, with the stipulation that Farnsworth become an employee at RCA, but Farnsworth refused; in June of that year Farnsworth joined the Philco company and moved his laboratory to Philadelphia, along with his wife and two children.

In 1932, while in England to raise money for his legal battles with RCA, Farnsworth met with John Logie Baird. Baird was a Scottish inventor who had developed mechanical-scan cameras and was seeking to develop electronic television receivers, having made the worlds first public demonstration of mechanical Television in London in 1926. Baird demonstrated his mechanical system for Farnsworth. According to Farnsworth accounts, Baird explained "the superiority of his system to Farnsworth," but after watching several minutes of Farnsworth's version, he left the room without a word, "having realized the futility of his efforts."[citation needed] Baird himself had supported an earlier merger with Farnsworth's competitors in the U.K., the Marconi Company; the merger did not succeed. Marconi had a patent-sharing agreement with RCA. Baird company directors decided later to merge with Farnsworth. Baird's company paid Farnsworth $50,000 to supply electronic television equipment, and provide access to Farnsworth television patents. Baird and Farnsworth competed with EMI for forming the standard U.K. television system. EMI however merged with Marconi in 1934, gaining access to the RCA Iconoscope patents. After trials of both systems, the BBC committee chose the Marconi-EMI system, which was by then virtually identical to RCA's (Zworykin's) system. The Image dissector camera scanned well, but had poor light sensitivity compared to the Marconi-EMI Iconoscopes, which were called Emitrons. Farnsworth's old adversary, Vladimir Zworykin, also made an appearance at the BBC television trials.

After sailing to Europe in 1934, Farnsworth also secured an agreement with the Goerz-Bosch-Fernseh interests in Germany.[7] Some image dissector cameras were used to broadcast Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Philco denied Farnsworth time to travel to Utah to bury his young son Kenny, who died in March 1932; this death put a strain on Farnsworth's marriage and may have marked the beginning of his struggle with depression. In 1934, because Farnsworth was making poor progress with in his television work, Philco severed their relationship.

Farnsworth returned to his lab. By 1936, Farnsworth's company was transmitting regular entertainment programs experimentally. In addition, Farnsworth, working with University of Pennsylvania biologists, developed a process to sterilize milk by passing radio waves through it. He had also invented a fog-penetrating beam for ships and airplanes.

In 1938, he established the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with E.A. Nicholas as president, and himself as director of research. In 1939, Farnsworth sold his television patents to RCA Victor for $1 million. The New York World's Fair showcased electronic television sets in April 1939, and soon afterward, RCA electronic televisions went on sale to the public.

Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation was purchased by International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) in 1951. During his time at ITT, Farnsworth worked in a basement lab known as “the cave” on Pontiac Street in Fort Wayne. From here he introduced a number of breakthrough concepts, including: a defense early warning signal, submarine detection devices, radar calibration equipment, and an infrared telescope. “Philo was a very deep person – tough to engage in conversation because he was always thinking about what he could do next,” says Art Resler, an ITT photographer who documented Farnsworth’s work in pictures. One of Farnsworth's most significant contributions at ITT was the PPI Projector, which allowed safe control of air traffic from the ground. This system developed in the 1950s was the forerunner of today’s sophisticated air traffic control systems.

In addition to his electronics research, ITT management agreed to nominally fund Farnsworth's controlled fusion ideas. He and staff members invented and refined a series of fusion reaction tubes called "fusors." For scientific reasons unknown to Farnsworth and his staff, the necessary reactions lasted no longer than thirty seconds. In December 1965, ITT came under pressure from its board of directors to terminate the expensive fusion research and sell the Farnsworth subsidiary. It was only from the urging of President Harold Geneen that the 1966 budget was accepted, permitting ITT's fusion research one additional year. However, the stress associated with this managerial ultimatum threw Farnsworth into relapse. One year later he was terminated and eventually allowed medical retirement.

In the spring of 1967, Farnsworth and his family moved back to Utah to continue his fusion research at Brigham Young University, which presented him with an honorary doctorate. The university also offered him office space and an underground concrete bunker location for the project. Realizing the fusion lab was to be dismantled at ITT, Farnsworth invited staff members to accompany him to Salt Lake City as team members in his planned Philo T. Farnsworth Associates (PTFA) organization. By late 1968 the associates began holding regular business meetings and PTFA was underway. However, although a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was promptly secured and more possibilities were within reach, the financing needed to pay the $24,000 in monthly expenses for equipment rental and salaries was stalled.

By Christmas 1970, PTFA had failed to secure the necessary financing, the Farnsworths had sold all their own ITT stock and cashed out Philo's life insurance policy to maintain organization stability. The underwriter had failed to provide the financial backing that was to have supported the organization during its critical first year. The banks called-in all outstanding loans. Repossession notices were placed on anything not previously sold and the Internal Revenue Service put a lock on the laboratory door until delinquent taxes were paid. During January 1970, Philo T. Farnsworth Associates disbanded. Farnsworth became seriously ill with pneumonia and died on 11 March 1971.

Farnsworth's wife Elma Gardner "Pem" Farnsworth fought for decades after his death to assure his place in history. Farnsworth always gave her equal credit for creating television, saying "my wife and I started this TV." She died on April 27, 2006, at the age of 98. The inventor's long-lived wife was survived by two sons, Russell (then living in New York), and Kent (then living in Fort Wayne, Indiana).

Philo Farnsworth had been credited as the "father of television."

Scientific American Magazine called him one of the ten greatest mathematicians of his time.

Inventions

Electronic television

Farnsworth worked out the principle of the image dissector television camera at age 14, and produced the first working version at age 21. A farm boy, his inspiration for the scanning lines of the cathode ray tube (CRT) came from the back-and-forth motion used to plow a field. During a patent lawsuit against RCA in 1935, his high school chemistry teacher, Justin Tolman, reproduced a drawing that Farnsworth, when he was just 14, had made on the blackboard at the school. Farnsworth won the suit and was paid royalties but never became wealthy. The video camera tube developed from a combination of the work of Farnsworth and Zworykin, was used in all television cameras until the late 20th century, when alternate technologies such as charge-coupled devices started to appear.

Farnsworth developed the "image oscillite", a cathode ray tube receiver that could display images captured by the image dissector.

Fusor

The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor, or simply fusor, is an apparatus designed by Farnsworth to create nuclear fusion. Unlike most controlled fusion systems, which slowly heat a magnetically confined plasma, the fusor injects high temperature ions directly into a reaction chamber, thereby avoiding a considerable amount of complexity.

When Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor was first introduced to the fusion research world in the late 1960s, the Fusor was the first device that could clearly demonstrate it was producing any fusion reaction.

Other Inventions

At his death, Farnsworth held 300 U.S. and foreign patents. His inventions contributed to the development of radar, the infra-red night light, the electron microscope, the baby incubator, the gastroscope, and the astronomical telescope.

Appearances on television

Although he was the man responsible for its technology, Farnsworth appeared only once on a television program. On July 3, 1957, he was a mystery guest ("Doctor X") on the TV quiz show I've Got A Secret. He fielded questions from the panel as they unsuccessfully tried to guess his secret ("I invented electronic television."). For stumping the panel, he received $80 and a carton of Winston cigarettes.

In the interview with host Garry Moore, Dr. Farnsworth said: "There had been attempts to devise a television system using mechanical disks and rotating mirrors and vibrating mirrors — all mechanical. My contribution was to take out the moving parts and make the thing entirely electronic, and that was the concept that I had when I was just a freshman in high school [in 1922, at age 14]." When Moore asked about others' contributions, Dr. Farnsworth agreed, "There are literally thousands of inventions important to television. I hold something in excess of 165 American patents." The host then asked about his current research, and the inventor replied, "In television, we're attempting first to make better utilization of the bandwidth, because we think we can eventually get in excess of 2000 lines instead of 525 ... and do it on an even narrower channel ... which will make for a much sharper picture. We believe in the picture-frame type of a picture, where the visual display will be just a screen. And we hope for a memory, so that the picture will be just as though it's pasted on there."

In a 1996 videotaped interview by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, available on Google video, Elma Farnsworth recounts Philo's change of heart about the value of television, after seeing how it showed man walking on the moon, in real time, to millions of viewers:

   Interviewer: The image dissector was used to send shots back from the moon to earth.
   Elma Farnsworth: Right.
   Interviewer: What did Phil think of that?
   Elma Farnsworth: We were watching it, and, when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, Phil turned to me and said, "Pem, this has made it all worthwhile." Before then, he wasn't too sure.

A letter to the editor of the Idaho Falls-based Post Register disputed the single television appearance claim. Published in the December 10, 2007 edition (page A4, digital version requires subscription), Roy Southwick claimed "... I interviewed Mr. [Philo] Farnsworth back in 1953 - the first day KID-TV went on the air." KID-TV later became KIDK-TV, and was the first local broadcaster in southeast Idaho. The KID-TV affiliate is located a 15 minute drive from the Rigby area where Farnsworth worked in the potato fields and struck on his idea for electrons forming an image. -------------------- Philo Taylor Farnsworth Co-inventor of the television

Hence the name "PHILCO"

In 1931, David Sarnoff of RCA offered to buy Farnsworth's patents for $100,000 (USD), with the stipulation that he become an employee of RCA, but Farnsworth refused. In June of that year, Farnsworth joined the Philco company and moved to Philadelphia along with his wife and two children. RCA would later file an interference suit against Farnsworth, claiming Zworykin's 1923 patent had priority over Farnsworth's design, despite the fact it could present no evidence that Zworykin had actually produced a functioning transmitter tube in 1923. Farnsworth had lost two interference claims to Zworykin in 1928, but this time he prevailed and the U.S. Patent Office rendered a decision in 1934 awarding priority of the invention of the image dissector to Farnsworth. RCA lost a subsequent appeal, but litigation over a variety of issues continued for several years with Sarnoff finally agreeing to pay Farnsworth royalties. Zworykin eventually received a patent for his 1923 design, issued in 1938 by the Court of Appeals on a non-Farnsworth related interference case, and over the objection of the Patent Office.

In July 1957, Farnsworth appeared on the CBS quiz show I've Got A Secret, hosted by Garry Moore. Moore identified Farnsworth as "Dr. X" and his secret ("I invented of electronic television") flashed on television screens. The panel failed to guess his secret. Moore then spent a few minutes discussing with Farnsworth his research on such projects as high definition television, flat screen receivers, and fusion power.

He was an American research engineer and an industrial executive. He was responsible for the development of modern television. Philo was just thirteen, Philo dreamed of trapping light in an empty jar and transmitting it, one line at a time, on a magnetically deflected beam of electrons. When he put the blue print on the board at school for the early version of the television, the teacher he showed it to was named Justin Tolman. This man would later be a witness at a trial giving credit to Philo for the development of the television.

Philo Taylor Farnsworth Credit: invent.org At the center of Philo's diagram were two devices, a photoelectric cell and a cathode-ray tube. The photoelectric cell, a major part of his television camera, could change light into electrical energy. The cathode-ray tube, a major element of the receiving set, could change electrical current into glowing fluorescence, therefore painting pictures on the television screen.

He was unable to pay for his college education at Brigham Young University in Utah (The United States). He joined the Navy, but was discharged when his father died in 1924. His mother needed him at home to help support his younger brothers and sisters. Philo found work at a community chest campaign to get funds to support welfare agencies. At this job he met two men who would later help him get money to continue his research on his television. The men were George Everson and Leslie Gorrell.

The two would be investors questioned Philo how this idea of his worked. He described how pictures taken by a camera can be converted into electrical current and how, at the receiving end of the system, this current can be converted back into images moving on a screen. Other large companies such as Bell Telephone and General Electric and other inventors were also working on the idea of the television.

Philo explained that these people were going to work in the same way he was, but for one important detail that only he thought about. This was a device known as a scanner. Every other person working on the television was using a mechanical disk that was a moving part. To produce clear pictures, a television system must operate at a very fast speed that no moving parts can be used. Farnsworth system was all electric and not moving parts. The real trial and error part for Farnsworth was started in California in 1926. He married Elma Gardnerer on May 27, 1926 in Provo, Utah County, Utah and moved his new bride and his test equipment into their new apartment. The first electronic transmitter tube was built in this apartment. This tube would later be known as the image dissector tube. It would be the major feature of the Farnsworth television camera. The real problems were still ahead. He was running out of money, his apartment was to small for all the equipment, and experts in several different fields were needed. His friend and partner Everson came to his rescue and the work moved steadily along. It was twelve more years before an actual clear picture was seen on the television. What his backers and supporters saw at his early viewing was the first motion picture to be broadcast over a television. The work was now moving at a quicker pace. In 1931 he had moved his family to Pennsylvania to continue work in his own workshops. There he met Vladimir Zworykin, a physicist who was also working on the television. These two men showed each other their designs. Farnsworth stated that some of Zworykin's parts were better. Several of the major parts of the television come from Zworykin.

Philo had to start making money for his backers. He sold the rights to a number of his electronic inventions to the Atlantic Telephone and Telegraph Company. The second World War held up the final completion of the television. In the late 1940's and early 1950's, the television system began in operation.

Other inventions

At his death, Farnsworth held 300 U.S. and foreign patents. His inventions contributed to the development of radar, the infra-red night light, the electron microscope, the baby incubator, the gastroscope, and the astronomical telescope.

Posted by Walter G. Ashworth • Philo Taylor Farnsworth ^ is my 7th cousin. -------------------- Inventor of television

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo_T._Farnsworth

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Philo Taylor Farnsworth, Sr.'s Timeline

1906
August 19, 1906
Beaver, Beaver County, Utah, United States
1926
May 27, 1926
Age 19
Provo, Utah, UT, USA
1929
September 23, 1929
Age 23
San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
1931
January 15, 1931
Age 24
San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA
1971
March 11, 1971
Age 64
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
????
Provo, Utah County, Utah, USA