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PEOPLE

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Philo Farnsworth
The Inventor and Patent Holder of the Television

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FEATURE STORY
• 02. TIMELINE
03. ANTENNA'S
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PHILO T. FARNSWORTH
••• (AUGUST 19, 1906 - MARCH 11,1971)
••• FINANCING AND PATENTING THE TELEVISION TUBE
(EXCERPTS FROM TVI 1988 00198802; Television International Magazine; Vol. 32; No. 3; Winter-Spring Issue 1988 )

••• Television in the late nineteen-eighties has become an accepted part of everybody's lives. Viewed daily by millions of people the world over, television's presence is ubiquitous. Yet as familiar as it is to us, its origins lie in murky obscurity. Although there has long been a debate over who actually did invent television, the credit must go to hundreds of scientists whose research over the years gave rise to the most powerful medium in history. - CONTINUED

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1. Feature Story / (continued) - TVInews Report, In the late 1960's, our TVInews reporter, Bob Foster, was invited by Farnsworth's sister to visit the inventor at his home. At that time Farnsworth was a member of the board of International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) which had taken over the Capehart-Farnsworth Company. Wrote Foster, " ITT was trying to acquire the American Broadcasting Company (ABC).
••• 'When we get ABC,' Farnsworth told me, 'I think it will make for a better television network.' Nobody at ABC was very anxious for the merger. It was being forced to merge with ITT, but Farnsworth was pretty sure that the deal would go through any day. However, it turned out that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would not permit the merger because of ITT's foreign interests."
••• Foster continued, "It was very difficult to get Farnsworth to talk at all about television. He had been immersed in television from the time he was fifteen and he wanted to work on different projects. 'I have put television behind me. I would like to go on to other things.
••• My legal battles to get recognition took a lot out of me.' As we talked, Farnsworth told how disappointed he was with what had been done with the medium. 'I, of course, knew in the early days of television that it would become an entertainment medium, but I have been disappointed that television has not concentrated more on education, culture, and news.'"
••• "Farnsworth said at the time that if it had not been for the remarkable memory of Justin Tolman, his chemistry teacher at Rigby (Idaho) High School, he would never have won his patent suit. 'He was able to produce notes he had made when I described to him my ideas on an all electronic television system in detail in1922 when I was only fifteen years old. If it hadn't been for Mr. Tolman, I probably would have been denied the credit, and the financial rewards that went with it, for the invention of the television tube.'"
••• Turning away from the past, Farnsworth explained to Foster, " I'm working right now on the use of high energy sources in the southern Utah area, around St. George, to develop a low cost water desalination. I fear for the state of our water. There are just too many chemicals, due to our new technologies, in the water we must use for drinking and irrigation."
••• Foster wrote, " He wanted to locate his experiments in St. George because of the availability of low cost electric power from the Hoover and Glen Canyon dams, and was trying to buy land to build a laboratory. He became deeply interested in fusion (a system of producing energy from salt water).
••• 'He was hung up on that subject, and he used all of his savings trying to form a new company,' his sister, Mrs. Player, told me. 'He had been granted a pension, a handsome one by ITT, but when he decided to form a new Farnsworth company, ITT became annoyed with the idea and when he persisted, they took his pension away from him.'
••• Other family members further elaborated, 'He hired some of his people from his ITT laboratory in Fort Wayne. They came to Utah, but found that Philo was chasing a dream, and when he went broke, they were forced to return to their old jobs in Fort Wayne.'" It wasn't long after he returned to Salt Lake City and bought a home that he died on March 11, 1971.
••• Although there is no inventor single-handedly responsible for television, Farnsworth played an extremely important part in its history. As long as he received his due credit, he was content to share the limelight with his fellow inventors, Vladimir Zworykin and John Logie Baird.
••• Despite the fact that millions of people the world over watch the invention that grew from the works of these three instrumental men, few will know their names. Yet their work lives on, and sometimes tributes to their memories can be found, like the small postage stamp issued four years ago by the U.S. Post Office commemorating the life and work of Philo T. Farnsworth.
••• Sources : Everson, George The Story of Television
••• Foster, Bob "Philo T. Farnsworth's Role in the History of Television"
German physicist Heinrich Hertz first discovers Radio Waves. Proves Maxwell's theory that electricity can travel through the atmosphere in waves. He transmitted an electrical spark which was heard in a receiving circuit a few meters away, thus the term Hertzian Wave. Hertz demonstrated that the velocity of radio waves equaled the speed of light. The unit of frequency was named in his honor.
Philo Farnsworth was born to Lewis and Serena Farnsworth on August 19, 1906 in Beaver City, Utah. His parents' families were pioneers who had travelled across the United States on wagon trains to Utah to help found the Mormon religion. In order to broaden their children's educational backgrounds, Philo's parents subscribed to technical magazines which so much stimulated their son's interest that at the age of six, he declared he wanted to become an inventor.
••• At twenty, Farnsworth started working as an office boy for George Everson, ( later his biographer) who was head of the Community Chest Drive in Salt Lake City. He mentioned his ideas about television to Everson who became enthused by the young man's genius and rounded up a group of San Francisco backers who put up $25,000. Six years later, in the summer of 1928, Farnsworth demonstrated for his backers his "image dissector" camera tube which offered a 150 line picture scanning at thirty times a second.
•••On January 7, 1927, Farnsworth filed for his first patent application. This was the beginning of a continuous series of patent applications which he had to file in order to protect each improvement on his invention. With this initial application, came his first time-consuming and financially draining battle with big business. Radio Corporation of America (RCA), working under Vladimir Zworykin's guidance towards a solution for electronic television was shocked by Farnsworth's application and filed suit in order to try to bring Farnsworth's dissector tube under their dominion. Everson and the San Francisco backers rallied to Farnsworth's aid, raising money from every source available to them, knowing that if the suit were lost Farnsworth's efforts and dreams would also be lost.
••• Witnesses came from all over the country to give testimony. An invaluable witness was Farnsworth's high school teacher, Mr. Tolman, who had been one of the very first to learn of the boy's original ideas on television.
••• Farnsworth and Zworykin were exhaustively grilled and the meticulous notebooks Farnsworth had kept for years to protect his inventions in case of potential lawsuits were pored over. Finally, on August 26, 1930 after many gruelling months of legal battles and financial worries (Farnsworth's backers spent over $30,000 on the case), the twenty-four year old Farnsworth was issued patent number 1,773,980 which covered broadly his system of television and reception.
••• In may, 1931 David Sarnoff, president of RCA paid a visit to Farnsworth's San Francisco lab to find out whether Farnsworth and his backers would consider selling the patent, laboratory and Farnsworth's services for $100,000. They were refused outright.
••• In June, 1931, Farnsworth and his backers entered into a licensing agreement which gave the Philco Company (the largest manufacturer of radios at the time) the licensing rights for television receiver sets. This necessitated a move to Philadelphia for Farnsworth and most of his staff where they occupied a Philco laboratory at the Ontario and C Street plant.
••• While working at Philco, Farnsworth began to develop his "multipactor" tube which had the ability to transmit television impulses and could be used as well as an amplifier, detector, rectifier, and multiplier tube. It was the first "cold cathode" tube and it was hailed by scientists and engineers as a major breakthrough,
••• In the summer of 1934, Farnsworth and his men decided to leave Philco and establish their own separate laboratory, while remaining in Philadelphia, which was then the center of the radio industry. They turned their attention towards developing a practical demonstration unit for television.
••• John Logie Baird, a Scotsman who was the other developer of a workable television system based on the revolving disk, heard about Farnsworth and invited him to England. At the Crystal Palace in London Farnsworth's demonstration (in which he transmitted a signal that was picked up 25 miles away) was such a success that Parliament voted to have the British Broadcasting Company (BBC ) start television service for the London area. The Baird Company and Marconi EMI were chosen by the BBC to be the suppliers for television.
••• Following his success in England, Farnsworth went to Berlin to make a licensing agreement with Fernseh AG, who worked closely with the Baird Company. Fernseh was headed by Dr. Paul Goerz who had been appointed by the German Reich as the co-ordinator for radio and television, although he was not a Nazi.
••• During Farnsworth's German trip, a disastrous fire swept through the Crystal Palace and destroyed all of the Baird equipment which had been based on Farnsworth's work. It was a huge disappointment for the inventor who returned sadly to Philadelphia with a distorted piece of melted glass. This represented all that was left of Farnsworth's dissector tube which would have been used in the camera made ready for the first broadcast.
••• For a long time, Fernseh had been broadcasting sports and news events with a mobile television truck. To do this, the Germans had been using scanning disk cameras which sometimes had problems with outdoor pictures taken in the sunlight. By utilizing Farnsworth's tubes they were able to overcome this problem.
••• After the Farnsworth company signed the contracts with Baird and Fernseh, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) signed an agreement on July 22, 1937 giving Farnsworth and AT&T the right to use each other's patents. These three agreements helped solidify Farnsworth's reputation with worldwide recognition. With the advent of World War II however, Farnsworth's close working relationships with the Germans and the British dwindled as the presidents of both of these companies were called to serve their countries.
••• For years Farnsworth and his partners had refused to get involved with the manufacturing of television sets, yet they finally broke this barrier when they bought the Capehart Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Up to that time , Capehart had been known best for its large coin music boxes installed in bars, dance halls, and restaurants.
02. TIMELINE / Philo T. Farnsworth (1906&endash;1971), circa 1926.
1906 - Philo T. Farnsworth (1906 - 1971), Photo: circa 1926. Courtesy Elma G. Farnsworth. Philo Taylor Farnsworth (August 19, 1906 - March 11, 1971) was an American inventor who was the first to demonstrate and patent a working electronic television system - CLICK FOR COMPLET FARNSWORTH TIMELINE 1906 TO 1971

CLICK FOR NB STUBBLEFIELD TIMELINE 1888 TO 1928

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EDITORS NOTE / 2002 AP/ TVInews Article: Take last May, 2002," says AP writer, Frazer Moore, "when NBC aired specials celebrating 75 years as a radio and television network, 20 years of "Must-See TV," and a decade each of "Dateline NBC", why wern't the Smart Daaf Boys speaking out?
••• But now, says Pete Allman, of TVInews, in his "100th years celebration at K-surf and Kmozart station in Beverly Hills," -- and Frazer Moore writes in his "TV goes nuts for anniversaries," how about some shows to give viewers the big picture in Historical terms?
••• How about celebrating the birth of NBS radio and Farnsworth television and paying a delayed tribute to the creator's or the Wireless Telehone™, radio and television?
••• It seems to have escaped the networks' notice, but Saturday is the 75th anniversary of the first successful demonstration of television. Making it happen was Philo T. Farnsworth, who, hardly a household name, remains television's invisible inventor.
••• Since the networks won't likely re-enact Farnsworth's big moment, you'll have to visualize it for yourself. The setting: his modest San Francisco lab where, on Sept. 7, 1927, the 21-year-old self-taught genius transmitted the image of a horizontal line to a receiver in the next room.
••• Later that day, he triumphantly wired one of his backers in Los Angeles: "THE DAMNED THING WORKS!"
••• It worked -- just like Farnsworth had imagined when, as a 14-year-old Idaho farmboy already obsessed with inventing television, he had been plowing a field and realized an image could be scanned onto a picture tube the same way: row by row.
••• It worked -- yet Farnsworth would be denied credit, fame and wealth befitting the father of the world's most powerful communications tool.
••• His sole appearance on national television was as a mystery guest on the CBS game show "I've Got a Secret" in 1957. He fielded questions from the celebrity panelists as they tried in vain to guess his secret ("I invented electronic television"). For stumping them, Farnsworth took home $80 and a carton of Winston cigarettes
••• Forty-five years later (and three decades after his death in 1971), "I've Got a Secret" could still be the slogan for Farnsworth, and his 94-year-old widow, Pem, who worked at his side through much of his career.
••• How ironic! In this media-savvy age, not only should his name be as widely known as Edison's or Ford's, but his long, lean face with the bulbous brow should be as familiar as any pop icon's.
••• Saturday would have been a great day for TV to tell Farnsworth's story.
••• Picture it! Live coverage originating from his laboratory space. A musical-variety special with TV's biggest stars paying homage to the man they owe for their livelihood. Every network briefly going to black to acknowledge where they'd be without Farnsworth. (And that's just for starters!)
••• Picture it, but don't bet on it. By now TV is generally assumed to be naturally occurring, like water or air.
••• And anyone who suspects otherwise likely believes that TV's creator was a then-mighty company called RCA.
••• This is a version of history RCA was pushing even as its boss, David Sarnoff, tried to crush "The Last Lone Inventor" (aptly dubbed by a recent Farnsworth biography of that title). It's a version of history that NBC, which Sarnoff founded, clearly has no incentive to revise, even today.
••• Never mind the record says different. In 1935 the courts ruled on Farnsworth's patent, which RCA was contesting as part of Sarnoff's endless campaign of litigation, propaganda and dirty tricks. The decision, upheld on appeal: Farnsworth, not RCA's chief television engineer Vladimir Zworykin, is the father of TV.
••• Now, 75 years after a fuzzy line sparked a revolution, television, like the nation, is focused on the anniversary that trails Sept. 7 by four days.
••• Of course, remembering the 9/11 attacks provides added reason to appreciate, not overlook, Farnsworth. When covering that tragedy, TV was at its finest and most indispensable. However unsung, Farnsworth was part of the effort.
••• But waiting two more weeks won't make much difference. What about the "Primetime Emmy Awards"? Airing Sept. 22 on NBC, it would be a fitting occasion for a give-the-man-his-due show of thanks.
••• At least, that's the sentiment some Philophiles have conveyed to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Emmycast's executive producer, Gary Smith.
••• "We are sympathetic to the desire to honor Farnsworth's accomplishments. They're huge," said academy Chairman Bryce Zabel.
••• How exactly to do it, he added, "is something that's being talked about."
••• Maybe so. But as Farnsworth showed in many ways, what counts is what people can see.

03 / QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT ANTENNA'S / This introduction is a brief guide to Q&A most about Nathan and the antenna's he used to transmit voice through space. The complete answers are found in Part 02 of the Antenna. • MORE ABOUT THE ANTENNA - Part 02
WAS IT REALLY A WRITER'S PEN WHO BECAME THE FATHER OF RADIO AND THE RADIO ANTENNA?
Yes - The attorney for DeForest changed the name from "wireless" to "Radio" when incorporating his stock company in 1907. The DeFerest Group knew they had to break away from the control of the NBS Wireless Telephone™ Patents and AT&T's control of Land-lines. - SEE THE FESSENDEN vs AT&T 1928 LAW SUIT. SEE ALSO Smart-Daaf Boy TIMELINE.
Why all this bother about a Radio ground connection?
But how did Nathan plug his RF circuit - the transmitter/receiver combo into space and ground at the same time?
But how could a potential exist when the entire signal flows through the air?
What Is Induction Radio? MORE ABOUT THE ANTENNA - Part 02

Related Stories

MORE ABOUT THE ANTENNA - Part 01
MORE ABOUT THE ANTENNA - Part 02

If you quiz a television producer of a documentary --
like Ken Burns, or many college professors or students with the same question, you will more than likely hear the names, James Clerk Maxwell, Heinrich Rudolph Hertz, David Sarnoff, Marconi, DeForest, Armstrong, GE, RCA or NBC as your answer.
If you question a grammar school student as to who invented "radio" or discovered Maxwell's "ether wind" theory, the student will most likely answer, Marconi. If the student is particularly bright he or she may include the inventor's first name, Guglielmo and his native land, Italy. MORE ABOUT THE ANTENNA - Part 02

Consider a transmitter perpendicular to the ground. The electrons in the antenna, when a signal is applied, are changing their velocities continuously (i.e. moving up and down very quickly) in response to the applied signal.
• • For a station that broadcasts at a wavelength of 1500m, the antenna needs to be 750m long. This is because there is a 'virtual antenna' caused by the aerial being earthed in the ground: About sub-TV and the EditorOther Pages The Physics of Aerial Design - an Introduction Have you ever wondered why radio and television aerials are the shape and size that they are? MORE ABOUT THE ANTENNA - Part 01

Basic Antenna Theory Radio waves are generated by electrons accelerating in the antenna. http://www.sub-tv.co.uk/antennatheory.asp

Timeline / Inventions

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Troy Cory-Stubblefield and Josie Cory, Disappointments Are Great! Follow the Money... Smart Daaf Boys, The Inventors of Radio & Television and the Life Style of Stubblefield,
Marconi, Ambrose Fleming, Reginald Fessenden, Tesla, ... DeForest, Armstrong, Alexanderson and Farnsworth, 2003, Library of Congress Catalog Card #93-060451, ISBN 1883644348, (SMART denotes Stubblefield, Marconi, Ambrose Fleming, Reginald Fessenden and Tesla, and DAAF denotes, DeForest, Armstrong, Alexanderson and Farnsworth) This is a bibliography of manuscripts of these inventors.

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