Let Me Repeat That….

….for those of you on drugs:

Here, again, we see why ultimately this play serves the RCA party line, as yet another viewer who doesn’t know the real story comes away from the theater thinking they’ve just  seen its genuine re-enactment:

Even though Farnsworth sued Sarnoff and RCA, he eventually lost his patent claims on a technicality of a previous held patent by Zworykin from 1923

Now repeat after me:  Farnsworth WON all his litigation against RCA, he retained all his patents, and RCA was ultimately forced to pay him no less than $1-million to use those patents.  Three years later RCA snuck Zworykin’s 1923 application through a lay court on some technicality in order to spend the next (now) seventy years making the case that results in misconceptions like this writer’s — aided and abetted by "historical drama" like The Farnsworth Invention.

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Paul Schatzkin

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4 Comments

  • It’s an “historical drama,” absent, apparently, both history and drama.

    This is the first ‘popular’ retelling of an important, buried piece of recent history. Seems to me the least they could have done is gotten it right. I’ll calm down when they do.

  • well, I suppose there are no other important issues and nothing better to focus on in life than freaking out about this play.

  • “Important issues?” How about global warming? Is that an “important issue”?

    Unless you’re one of the Luddites who thinks global warming is a liberal Democrat conspiracy consider this: If things had gone differently for Philo Farnsworth, perhaps he would have had the means to complete his fusion work, demonstrate its practical viability, and we would no longer be choking on fossil fuels and fumes.

    Admittedly, it might be a stretch to suggest that David Sarnoff’s treatment of Philo Farnsworth is the reason the planet is melting, but if we don’t learn how to recognize and foster true genius on those rare occasions when it surfaces, how will we ever find solutions for those “important issues” you think are so much more worthy of our time and attention?

    Like it or not, the play is the popular portrayal of how one genius interfaced with society, and it does not help our understanding of the process that the play is, simply, wrong on countless fronts. And, if I read the critics right, not all that compelling as stagecraft, too boot. How did one critic put it? “Dynamic… but not very moving.”

    Besides, this is my blog, I’ll rant about whatever I want to. That’s what blogs are for. If that’s a problem for you, why not start your own blog and use it to level your mindless vitriol at me. That would at least be original.

    –PS

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