Rediscovering The Forgotten Genius of Television. Those of us who grew up in the 20th century all had one thing in common. The center of our world was not school, family or religion… it was television. 

We grew up together with TV as our common voice. It became our oldest and dearest friend.  We saw things we couldn’t experience in a thousand lifetimes. Television has taken us to the heavens, the deepest seas and inside our own bodies. How many of us wouldn’t trade our parents for the ones we saw on our favorite comedies?  How many of us wanted to be doctors, lawyer, or Indian chiefs because we saw it on TV?  Television became the greatest influence on our lives, society and thoughts.  As for me, I spent my career creating television programs. I owe everything to the guy who thought this whole crazy thing up. 

So… Who came up with the idea for television?

There are many right answers to the question.  But the best and most amazing one is the true story of Philo Taylor Farnsworth. He was the 14 year-old Utah farm boy plowing a field of beets behind a horse in 1922 when he first imagined a mechanism for sending pictures through the air. 

Within five years, he had accomplished what the scores of scientists at RCA, Westinghouse, and labs in Germany, Russia, and Japan could not. On September 7, 1927, he transmitted the first all-electronic television image. 

He should be the most famous man in the world, but he’s not. He was all but forgotten to history, squeezed out by the industry his invention spawned.  Instead of being a household name and getting a royalty on every TV set ever made, he died drunk, in debt, and heartbroken.  His family was left with almost nothing but a fading legacy. 

It just didn’t seem right.  So I set out on a quest to find out what happened to Philo Farnsworth and his inventions.  

Over the next few weeks, I will be recounting my adventures meeting, helping, and honoring the Farnsworths while hatching a plan to celebrate the great man.  

We at thehistoryoftv.com will be releasing many rare and historic photographs, videos, and stories about the boy genius and his “big Idea”.  You are free to share them with your supporters and online followers.  You may use them for your research and archival purposes. We are sharing the Farnsworth archives for the first time.  Including…

For the first time ever, we will publish Dr. Farnsworth’s daily experiment journals and recreate THE DAY TELEVISION WAS BORN. 

All those of you who love television and want to pay homage to Farnsworth and his invention are invited to participate and share our live webcast on September 7, 2017, celebrating the 90th Birthday of Television. 

To learn more about this remarkable story, watch our short video narrated by Philo’s great-granddaughter Jessica.

His widow Elma also appears in the video recounting the excitement of living on the edge of discovery and invention. 


More to come next week…