Back to Inductee Search

Philo Taylor Farnsworth

Television System

U.S. Patent No. 1,773,980
Inducted in 1984
Born Aug. 19, 1906 - Died March 11, 1971

Philo Taylor Farnsworth's electronic inventions made possible today's TV industry, the TV shots from the moon, and satellite pictures. Born in Beaver, Utah, Farnsworth, while still in high school, delved into the molecular theory of matter, electrons, and the Einstein theory. In 1924 he enrolled in Brigham Young University, but left at the end of his second year.

In 1926 Farnsworth joined the Crocker Research Laboratories in San Francisco. At the age of 21 he produced the first all-electric television image. Crocker Research Laboratories was reorganized as Television Laboratories, Inc., and was renamed Farnsworth Television Inc., of California.

Farnsworth's television patents covered scanning, focusing, synchronizing, contrast, controls, and power. He also invented the first cold cathode ray tubes, the first simple electronic microscope, used radio waves to get direction (later called radar), and black light for seeing at night. During the 1960s he worked on special-purpose TV, missiles, and peaceful uses of atomic energy. He also worked on a nuclear fusion process to produce clean, virtually unlimited energy.

At his death, he held more than 300 U.S. and foreign patents. In 1983 he was honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a stamp bearing his portrait.

Related Inductees