Philo T. Farnsworth’s contributions to electronics made the modern television possible. Yet while his invention is in nearly every American household, his name has all but been forgotten by many who laze before the ubiquitous boob tube.
The “father of modern television,” who had been tinkering with electronics since he was a teen, transmitted the first electronic television picture in 1927. By the time of his death in 1971, every TV produced contained around 100 items for which he held the patent.
The inventor from Utah is not wholly forgotten. It is the tradition that each state may send two statues of its prominent citizens to the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., to be displayed. Today, the statue of the man who invented the first fully electronic TV stands prominently next to where tour groups line up to enter the building.
Some modern Americans may have heard the name Farnsworth in the TV show Futurama, a show where Professor Farnsworth is supposedly descended from the inventor of the TV.