Happy 87th birthday, Television

Inventor Philo T. Farnsworth was 21 when he developed TV

This is a reproduction of a photo transmitted by electrical scanning in the Philo T. Farnsworth Laboratories in Philadelphia, Nov. 20, 1935. The original, which appeared on the flat end of a cathode ray tube, measured 6 by 8 inches, had 240 lines and was transmitted at the rate of 24 frames per second. (AP Photo/Pix Inc.)
This is a reproduction of a photo transmitted by electrical scanning in the Philo T. Farnsworth Laboratories in Philadelphia, Nov. 20, 1935. The original, which appeared on the flat end of a cathode ray tube, measured 6 by 8 inches, had 240 lines and was transmitted at the rate of 24 frames per second. (AP Photo/Pix Inc.)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Happy birthday, television.

On September 7, 1927, inventor Philo T. Farnsworth succeeded in transmitting the image of a line through purely electronic means with a device called an “image dissector.

We know it better as television.

Farnsworth was only 21 when he brought moving images to a small screen.

He came up with the idea in his high school chemistry class, and sketched out his vacuum tube idea. No one grasped his concept.

Farnsworth, a Utah native, went to Brigham Young University, but dropped out when his father died. He continued experimenting, and later took a job with Philco. There were legal challenges that his TV concept was already patented by another inventor who worked for RCA, but he successfully defended his ideas.

He left Philco in 1933 and continued his work on inventions, including a process to sterilize milk using radio waves. In 1938, he founded the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation, and then received $1 million from RCA — who then marketed the device.

By 1967, he moved back to Utah to continue his work on nuclear fusion. But his debt was piling high and he stopped his research in 1970. He was depressed and drank heavily, and died in debt in Salt Lake City in 1971.

But when you’re flipping through the 500 channels of high-definition sports, programs and movies, think about Philo T. Farnsworth, the man who invented television.

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