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Philo Taylor Farnsworth

Philo Taylor Farnsworth

Male 1906 - 1971  (64 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document    Has 68 ancestors and 4 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Philo Taylor Farnsworth 
    Born 19 Aug 1906  Beaver, Beaver, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Initiatory (LDS) 27 May 1969  SLAKE Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 11 Mar 1971  Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 17 Mar 1971  Provo City Cemetery, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I95023  mytree
    Last Modified 4 Oct 2015 

    Father Lewis Edwin Farnsworth,   b. 30 Jul 1865, Beaver, Beaver, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jan 1924, Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years) 
    Mother Serena Amanda Bastian,   b. 21 Jan 1880, Washington, Washington, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 May 1960, Atherton, San Mateo, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married 28 Dec 1904  St. George, Washington, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F30054  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elma "Pem" Gardner,   b. 25 Feb 1908, Jensen, Uintah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Apr 2006, Bountiful, Davis, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 98 years) 
    Married 27 May 1926  Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Philo Taylor Farnsworth,   b. 23 Sep 1929, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Feb 1987  (Age 57 years)
     2. Kenneth Gardner Farnsworth,   b. 15 Jan 1931, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Mar 1932, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 1 years)
     3. Living
     4. Living
    Last Modified 8 Nov 2021 
    Family ID F30057  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 19 Aug 1906 - Beaver, Beaver, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 27 May 1926 - Provo, Utah, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsInitiatory (LDS) - 27 May 1969 - SLAKE Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 11 Mar 1971 - Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 17 Mar 1971 - Provo City Cemetery, Utah, Utah, United States Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Farnsworth, Philo T b1906 - Portrait
    Farnsworth, Philo T b1906 - Portrait

    Headstones
    Farnsworth, Philo T b1906 - Gardner, Elma b1908
    Farnsworth, Philo T b1906 - Gardner, Elma b1908

  • Notes 
    • He was an American inventor and television pioneer. He made many contributions that were crucial to the early development of all-electronic television. He is perhaps best known for inventing the first fully functional all-electronic image pickup device (video camera tube), the "image dissector", as well as the first fully functional and complete all-electronic television system. He was also the first person to demonstrate such a system to the public. Farnsworth developed a television system complete with receiver and camera, which he produced commercially in the firm of the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corporation, from 1938 to 1951, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

      In later life, Farnsworth invented a small nuclear fusion device, the Farnsworth–Hirsch fusor, or simply "fusor", employing inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC). Although not a practical device for generating nuclear energy, the fusor serves as a viable source of neutrons. The design of this device has been the acknowledged inspiration for other fusion approaches including the Polywell reactor concept in terms of a general approach to fusion design. Farnsworth held 165 patents, mostly in radio and television.

      Bio by Kit and Morgan Benson
      Inventor. He is best remembered for his contributions to television, radar, and the nuclear industry. Born in Beaver, Utah, he became interested in science and technology at age 12, when his father moved the family to Rigby, Idaho, where the family worked a farm. Young Philo’s interest in electronics started with a long distance telephone call to a relative, and was further peaked by the discovery of a large box of technology magazines in the attic of the family’s new home. In 1922, at the age of 16, he developed the idea of the image dissector, which he would later state came to him in an inspiration while plowing a potato field, row by row. He realized that an electron beam could scan an image in much the same way, line by line, just as people read a book. He patented the idea of the Cathode Ray Tube just six years later. He was further inspired by his high school chemistry teacher, Justin Tolman, who gave him extra instruction. At age 16, he was accepted to Brigham Young University, but was forced to leave after his sophomore year, when his father died suddenly. After a brief stint in the US Navy, Philo returned to Idaho to support his mother. In 1926, he formed a partnership with George Everson, moving to San Francisco to set up a lab, where he worked on his television. On September 7, 1927, he demonstrated the principle of television by sending an image from one room to another, proving that television was possible. By 1936, Farnsworth’s company was transmitting regular entertainment programs, and shortly after, he signed a deal to form standard television programs for Great Britain. After inventing a camera tube he called the Iconoscope and setting up his own television manufacturing company, Farnsworth was sued by the RCA Corporation over royalties, contending that RCA inventor Vladimir Zworykin had invented the tube in 1926. Farnsworth’s high school teacher, Justin Tolman, proved the case by showing the court a drawing Philo had made at age 16 while in high school; the drawing was an almost exact replica of the Image Dissector. RCA paid Farnsworth royalties for only two years. During World War II, the US Government suspended sales of television sets, and Philo’s patents expired at the end of the war. After the war, RCA quickly took over the television market, without having to pay Philo any additional royalties. In 1947, he suffered a nervous breakdown, made worse by excessive drinking. Philo Farnsworth went on to invent over 165 different devices including equipment for converting an optical image into an electrical signal, amplifier, cathode-ray, vacuum tubes, electrical scanners, electron multipliers and photoelectric materials. Following the war, Philo worked on a fusor, an apparatus designed to create nuclear fusion, which he hoped would make electricity virtually cost free. When introduced into the nuclear research world in the late 1960s, many hoped the fusor would lead to a practical neutron source, and it has been commercially produced for this role. He died in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1971. Farnsworth has been honored several times: a plaque honoring him as “the Genius of Green Street” is at 202 Green Street, the site of his San Francisco laboratory, and a statue of Farnsworth represents the state of Utah in the hall of fame in the US Capitol building. In December 2005, the Boy Scouts of America posthumously honored him with his Eagle Scout Badge, which he had not received during his childhood, caused by the family move to Idaho.