Link: Big Action!: The Farnsworth Invention. The LaJolla Playhouse, which is presenting Aaron Sorkin’s play, The Farnsworth Invention until March 2, asks that this "page to stage" workshop production not be formally reviewed in the press. However, that doesn’t mean that people who see the play can’t post their comments and observations to their blogs. …
Month: February 2007
I recently posted an item here about the Early Television Museum in Hilliard, Ohio. This morning somebody sent me a link to this clip of footage from a convention and swap meet at the Museum in 2003. Interesting stuff… a rapid fire look at “pre-historic” television. See www.earlytelevision.org for more information. A DVD video of …
Harold Evans is the author of a pretty good (i.e. mostly accurate) account of the history of invention in America, They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators. He wrote this column for the Wall Street Journal last week, which includes this assessment of the contributions of a …
Link: Aaron Sorkin: The Father of ‘Invention’. On Tuesday, the La Jolla Playhouse will open its workshop production of “The Farnsworth Invention,” Sorkin’s first new play since “A Few Good Men” premiered on Broadway 18 years ago. With 17 actors playing 100 roles, Sorkin’s sweeping work about the birth of television may be one of …
Link: Inventor of the TV Remote dies Hit the mute button for a moment of silence: The co-inventor of the TV remote, Robert Adler, has died. Article Tools Adler, who won an Emmy Award along with fellow engineer Eugene Polley for the device that made the couch potato possible, died Thursday of heart failure at …
Let’s call this the "FarnoVideo of the Week." It’s a video featuring music by a duo called "The Weepies" that we think rather highly of. The tune is called "Nobody Knows Me At All." The video was produced by Ashli Cole and Zac Benjamin, a couple that goes by the combined name of "Shlizak" Congratulations, …
I used to get an e-mail from somebody like every other week reminding me that John Logie Baird demonstrated a mechanical television system in 1926, and that he should be therefore regarded as the "inventor of television." But until this morning It had been so long since I’d gotten one, I thought maybe the Baird crowd had finally seen the light (as it were). So imagine my surprise when this showed up in my e-mail this morning:
– – – – –
From: "Bernard V. de Lara"
just a few questions
inventor of television, I found this British website that seems even
more convincing about Baird being the real inventor of television. I’m really
honest in trying to find the truth, but how do you account for the following
Logie Baird. And what he showed on screen, 19 months before Farnsworth, was far
superior to Farnsworth’s "blob of light", as it was famously described by
Albert Abramson in The History
— When Neil Armstrong set
foot on the moon, the camera used to transmit the live pictures was based on
Baird’s Field Sequential Colour System, because this was the best and most
— Virtually nothing of Farnsworth’s technology is
delivered to our living rooms today.
– – – –
To which I have replied:
As the website you mention points out, Baird’s system was mechanical. It was obsolete the moment it was demonstrated. Saying Baird invented television is sorta like saying that the first guy who hooked a horse up to a cart invented the motor car. Or that the first person who put a match to a candle invented the light-bulb.
Farnsworth’s contribution was seminal: it removed all the mechanical contrivances, and demonstrated a mastery of quantum physics previously unknown. I like to call it "the leap from parts to particles." I find Abramson’s assessment of a "blob of light" particularly laughable. That "blob of light" proved a principal, and had Abramson’s own patrons — Zworykin, RCA — clamoring for the patent rights to that principal.
No word yet on when this will be available at CompUSA, but I sure want one.
A new video has been added to the FarnoVideos Library: Here we see Cliff Gardner building the replica of the Image Dissector tube that was used in the "Golden Anniversary" celebration in 1977. Cliff, who was Philo Farnsworth’s brother in law (Pem’s brother), was the self-taught glass blower who built all the tubes that were …
I am often asked, where did the term "television" actually come from. There are numerous accounts of the origin of the term. One of them attributes its first use to the writings of one Hugo Gernsback, who published numerous magazines about science and invention during the early 20th century. I recall the first time I …