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Statue of Farnsworth in San Francsico

Posted: Tue May 10, 2022 1:01 pm
by Dennis P Brown
While in San Francsico I noticed that there is a statue dedicated to Philo Farnsworth. So, took a pic of it.

Re: Statue of Farnsworth in San Francsico

Posted: Sun May 15, 2022 3:29 pm
by Paul_Schatzkin
Thanks for that post, Dennis.

Did a little poking around the web and found some more info about that statue:

A couple of curiosities in that article:

1) The article notes that Farnsworth's invention was "the image dissector tube." That is correct; the 'electrical image' claim in the Dissector patent announces the arrival of electronic video on the planet: it is the ability to create that purely electronic signal that delineates everything that came after 9/7/27 from everything that came after it.

I cannot stress everything in this context enough: as I tell people often, every video screen on the planet – including the one you are looking at now, including the one in your pocket – can trace its origins to the sketch that Philo Farnsworth drew for his high-school science teacher in 1922 (attached). Yes, all the technology has changed and advanced since then, modern LED displays bear little resemblance to the CRTs of yesteryear. But it was not until the 'electrical image' was introduced in Claim 15 that all of this became possible.

So it is curious that the sculptor chose to portray Farnsworth holding a Cathode Ray Tube. That is not the invention for which he should be remembered.

2) The article makes a reference to the 'horizontal and vertical' stabilization controls on the back of the receiver shown in the sculpture, adding "This was a fine-tuning necessity for the first half century of television, not just a Rod Serling rant." But I'm pretty sure the line about "... we control the horizontal, we control the vertical...' was from the intro to episodes of 'The Outer Limits," not Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone."

These are the little things I am plagued to notice...

Here, the sketch that started it all: