This Ain’t Yer Futurama’s Farnsworth

The Real Farnsworth

Philo T. Farnsworth?

I love that name. It’s history. This guy changed our lives. For real.

And it turns out, he and I had something in common.

Imagine growing up decades ago. Some of you can remember it. No internet. A couple of TV stations and mainly it was radio that you kept up with. Oh yeah–the seventies, in North Carolina–growing up on the farm. Spending hours and hours going back and forth over pieces of dirt about 4 feet in width, and what seemed like miles long….

Philo grew up like that, too, only decades earlier than me. He had practically no radio, and any TV available was capable of only 15 frames per second. Anything less than 30 is a waste of time, so really, he had no TV. But he had the idea of TV. And one day, going back and forth across miles and miles of aisles of his very own plough’s making… he got the weird idea of dragging electron beams back and forth across a field of phosphorous. 

He changed his world, and he made this one possible. Without him, you would not be sitting there, reading this. Every video screen used in the world today owes its existence to his idea. And though our screens look great today, imagine what it looked like at the very beginning. Below is just a few seconds of video simulated from 1927, to show you what electronic television looked like when it was all shiny and new!

Okay, I just have to add this. He figured this stuff out when he was 14 years old… here’s a video of his appearance on TV’s fun and funny show from the 50’s, “I’ve Got A Secret”. To some of my readers, this will be a re-run. To other, younger ones… who are we kidding, they won’t bother to look at it. I wonder if they would if they knew it was one of the top rated shows for most of the 50s and 60s?

None of my monitors drag electron beams anymore. I guess that’s progress…

Read more on Farnsworth HERE.