Feature Post

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Previously, the TV equipment was based on an 1884 invention called the scanning disk patented by Paul Nipkow. Full of holes, large disc spun in front of an object while a photoelectric cell recorded changes in light. Depending on the power supply photoelectric sensor, a number of bulbs would glow or remain dark. Although mechanical Nipkow would not be able to acquire and deliver a clear, live-action image, most of the TV inventors still hoped to complete potential.

Not Philo Farnsworth. In 1921, the Mormons of 14 years had an idea while working at his father's farm in Idaho. Mowing hay in rows, Philo realized an electron beam can scan an image in horizontal lines, reproducing the image almost immediately. It will prove to be a crucial breakthrough.

But young Philo was not alone. At the same time, Russian immigrant Vladimir Zworykin also developed a camera that focused an image through a lens on a variety of photoelectric cells coating the end of a tube. The electrical image formed by the cells are scanned line by line by an electron beam, and transferred to a cathode ray tube.

Instead, the electron beam, Farnsworth dissector device for the images used for "anode finger" - a pencil-sized tube with a small opening at the top - to scan the image. Magnetic coils sprayed with electrons emitted from electrical image left to right and line by line over the hole, where they became electric. Zworykin and Philo devices is then delivered to the cathode ray tube power, which reconstruct the image scanning on a fluorescent surface.

Farnsworth applied for a patent for his image dissector in 1927. The development of the television system was plagued by a lack of money and the challenges to patent Farnsworth giant Broadcasting Corporation of America (RCA). In 1934, bought the British company British Gaumont communications license Farnsworth to make systems based on his creations. In 1939, the American company RCA once. The two companies had developed systems of their own television and recognized Farnsworth as a competitor. World War interrupted the development of television. When television became a regular event after the war, Farnsworth was not involved. Instead he spent his time trying to perfect the devices he had designed.

David Sarnoff, vice president of Radio-powerful United States, later hired Zworykin to ensure that RCA would control the technology of television. Sarnoff and Zworykin visited Farnsworth's lab messy, but the entrepreneur to the inventor of Mormon was making fun of the sale of the company - Farnsworth and services - to RCA for a lousy $ 100,000. So Sarnoff pride downplayed Philo's innovations, saying: "There is nothing here, we will need."

In 1934, RCA demonstrated tube "iconoscope" image dissector room very similar to Farnsworth. RCA claimed that Zworykin was based on trying to patent the device in 1923 - even though Russia has used the old design Nipkow spinning disk until after he visited the laboratory of Philo.

The patent war had really begun - and Phil, as Farnsworth adults preferred to be called, was in a dilemma. He could not license inventions, while the case was in court, and he has struggled with its lenders on the control and manage its own affairs. Farnsworth men "gang laboratory" faithful were fired and rehired several times during its economic fluctuations, but retained the confidence of Phil. When the financial Farnsworth refused his request for a radio studio, the inventor and a partner built a studio on your own.

Meanwhile, back at RCA, Sarnoff had spent more than $ 10 million in a major R & D efforts at the Expo TV 1939 New York World, Sarnoff announced the launch of commercial television - even if the camera was RCA insufficient and that the company had a single patent on television. Later that year, the company was forced to pay royalties to Farnsworth Radio and Television.

With World War I started, Farnsworth realized that the future of commercial television was in the hands of entrepreneurs - hard work is not a lone inventor in his lab. Its patent expires, Phil grew depressed, drunk and addiction to painkillers. In 1949, Farnsworth reluctantly agreed to sell radio and television.

Philo T. Farnsworth has always been an outsider, a bright flaming star at the beginning of a new electronic age. His adventure with the electron was a private affair, a celebration of the spirit of the lone inventor.

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