At his father’s farm in Rigby, Idaho, 14-year-old Philo Farnsworth wasn’t gazing up at the sky as he plowed the ground. He was seeing the horizontal straight furrows that cut across it. He had a realization at that point.
A picture might be electronically scanned and then communicated line by line, similar to how a plow would travel back and forth across a field. The first TV image to be transmitted was seen in that vision.
Philo was an inquisitive child who frequently got lost in thinking. When he was 12 years old, his family moved into a farmhouse, and he was thrilled to discover that the house was wired for electricity. In addition, he found lots of tools and parts to play with, a collection of electronics publications, and a burned-out electric motor in the house.
He repaired the motor and gave his mother’s manually operated washing machine an electric motor.
At the age of 14, he displayed some designs of an electronic television system that were modeled after the furrows in a field to his high school instructor. Philo was inspired to draw diagrams on multiple blackboards by his science teacher.
When Philo was a senior in high school, his father passed away, and the youngster went to work to help his mother and siblings while continuing his education. He attempted to create a radio repair company, but it failed.
He attended college for a short while, but his focus was on television, so he left and started seeking for someone to back his ideas. When the chance arose, he and his newlywed Pem went to Berkeley, California, to open their business.
The TV tube that Philo invented would end up becoming the norm in broadcasting. However, Philo Farnsworth spent years protecting his patent and reestablishing his company following a financial crisis.
He faced difficulties much like the rest of us, maybe even more, yet he persisted and filed hundreds of patent applications.
Ultimately, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong exited Apollo 11 and landed in the Sea of Tranquility zone of the moon.
Philo Farnsworth and his wife Pem were watching the live stream while seated in their living room. Row after row, like the furrows in a field, the picture is being sent fast. “Pem, This has made it all worthwhile,” he added as he turned to face her.