Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hail to Thee, O Father of TV

On our trip to Virginia, we spent one foot-weary day in Washington D.C., where we took the official tour of the U.S. Capitol. Since Congress was not in session, there were no thieves or pirates to photograph, so I had to be content taking pics of statues.

Each state, it seems, is allowed to display statues of its two favorite heroes of the moment. There were many familiar names, and many I'd never heard of, but this dude struck me as one of the most important. He's one of Utah's picks. (The other is Brigham Young.)

Here's the poop on him from the official government website:

Philo T. Farnsworth was born on August 19, 1906, on Indian Creek in Beaver County, Utah. His parents expected him to become a concert violinist, but his interests drew him to experiments with electricity. At the age of 12, he built an electric motor and produced the first electric washing machine his family had ever owned.

Farnsworth is called "the father of television" for his invention of an early electronic television system, which he first visualized when he was in high school. He transmitted his first electronic television picture in 1927. Although he won an early patent for his image dissection tube, he lost later patent battles to RCA. He received some 160 patents during his career for many important inventions, which played roles in the development of radar, the infra-red night light, the electron microscope, the baby incubator, the gastroscope, and the astronomical telescope.

Farnsworth died on March 11, 1971, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Television receivers in production at that time carried approximately 100 of his patents.


Richard R, said...

I wasn't sure what he was holding there, but your caption saved me from any bad thoughts, like him being the father of the Mormon Salami.

Never heard of the fellow, fascinating stuff, eh?

Deka Black said...

2 statues for every state. that's a lot of people!

Charles Gramlich said...

I did not know that. I wonder if in the future he'll be remembered well for TV or soundly cursed.