Farnsworth Questions

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
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Frank Sanns
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Frank Sanns » Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:33 pm

Nicolas

Here is an excerpt of the actual Philo Farnsworth vision of use of fusion energy. These are the dreams that I read and was impressed with. A vision for all. This is only the first part. There is much more but it is in his words and the part relevant to this thread.

I have the permission from the family to link to the full document so I will be putting that up in its own spot.
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Farnsworth Peacetime Uses of Fusion Energy.   Sanns Excerpt.  NOT ENITRE DOCUMENT.png

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Nicolas Krause
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Nicolas Krause » Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:06 pm

Thanks Frank! Always love to read the original stuff. After reading Joe and Richard's comments I remembered I'd downloaded an archive of documents that had been posted on Fusor.net awhile back (I can't remember who posted them, my apologies!), but with school and other work I'd simply forgotten about them. Now I'm slowly poking through them as time allows, I believe they come from the archives Joe mentioned at the Marriott Library.

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Frank Sanns
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Frank Sanns » Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:59 pm

Joe has indeed posted those. There are many though, like this post that, that are originals that come from the Farnsworth family and are NOT part of the UT archive. Thanks Jonathan Moulton!

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Richard Hull
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Dec 28, 2020 3:38 am

I have this document as well. I hope everyone knows this is part of a prospectus for PTFA. Don't let the 1965 date fool you. This was written after Phil's forced medical retirement in 1965 ( just left work and never returned...Went on a long bender and had to go to rehab). ITT was paying his salary on sick leave for a while, but soon sent him his notice of termination. ( I have this document as well) As he recovered, he was already figuring on PTFA back in Utah. The admiral did not survive the ITT purge of its fusion program either and was terminated.

In the document snippet that Frank sends, above, Phil always refers to "We", meaning PTFA and not ITT. This was pure fluff that he seemingly believed to be his and PTFAs mission. Again, always dreaming into the future. A future that was doomed from the outset. Any living entity that could take Phil's dream document as viable and at its face value, I am sure, already had in their possession, a deed to Brooklyn Bridge. I find it amazing that a man of Phil's supposed genius could pen something like this load of codswallop.

Once ensconced in Utah, Farnsworth asked ITT, in a letter, to sell the fusor patents to PTFA. ITT must have been stunned and had apparently read or had knowledge of this prospectus for PTFA. I don't know if they were worried that he could pull off a small fusion device if they sold or if they just did not normally sell or transfer patents. Some of the files I have contain two terse letters from ITT one telling him, NO, that they would not sell the patents and ITT attorneys forbidding him and his company, PTFA, from work on a fusion device that in any way trod on any part of the patents that ITT held.

This effectively blew Farnsworth's fusion dream to hell. I also have a letter from Gene Meeks of PTFA asking a company if they might be interested in contracting his labors in electronics and engineering skills from PTFA. This is how desperate PTFA was for money as it sank rapidly in the first year of operation in Utah. George Bain told me that Phil even asked him to farm himself out under contract so PTFA could get money!! In the end, Phil would drag his best ITT team members out to Utah and try and use them outside of PTFA to keep his dream floating. This speaks to his ability to attach people to himself and his dreams. In the end, they all left Utah and returned to Indiana. George said he and Eva had a rough go of it for a while. Much of this is in "Richard's attic" history.

Farnsworth like Tesla went from feast to famine all through his life with great dreams and pronouncements. Television was Farnsworth's peak in this world, Just as AC power was Tesla's peak and gift to the world. Everything that came after was an ever steepening inclined slide down into the rabbit hole of history with unfulfilled dreams and promises from both of these geniuses.

I am glad that folks are interested in the ITT - Farnsworth story. It is the origin of all of this that we now do here. The history of the origins of all of this is important.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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