Friday, September 19, 2008

Farnsworth the Inventor: Videos offers a collection of videos with Philo Farnsworth, one of the fathers of television. Especially ironic is the video of his appearance on a TV game show where contestant tried to guess who this unknown inventor was: the inventor of television. Since no one guessed it, he won $100 and a case of Winston cigarettes (perfect gift for a Mormon farm boy turned scientist!). His painful story of brilliance and error, success and failure is one worth studying. It is still a subject of debate and controversy as recent works, including a couple of plays, retell his story as a David against the RCA Goliath, an inventor who was deprived of the recognition he should have had for the development of the television. But these stories also miss the limitations in his work and underestimate the significance of what others such as Vladimir Zworykin achieved.

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