the electronic TV a reality.
Farnsworth was in his early twenties before he was able to bring his idea to fruition. His first broadcast was a flickering 60-line image of a dollar bill. He had hoped TV would bring news, education, fine art and music into people’s homes.
“He said there would be a time when we would be able to see and learn about people in other lands,” Farnsworth’s wife, Pem, said after his death in 1971. “If we understood them better, differences could be settled around conference tables, without going to war.”
But in later years, despite how his invention had revolutionized the world, he saw it mostly as a way for people to waste time. He eventually banned in his own home the use of the very thing he’d become best known for.
But it wasn’t the only thing Farnsworth had his hands in. The hundreds of patents he held are a testament to that. He developed the first primitive electron microscope. He invented the Isolette, the world’s first baby incubator. He was responsible for the basics of radar, night vision and infrared telescopes. And he spent the last years of his professional life devoted to the study of atomic energy and to nuclear fusion.
Later in life, while watching TV images of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Farnsworth had a change of heart about TV. His wife said he turned to her and told her the coverage had “made it all worthwhile.”
At Infinite Energy, innovation and a love for science and discovery excite us. And we’re looking forward to the next generation of Philo T. Farnsworths.