15 January 2012

Who Invented the Television?

Like many inventions, more than one inventor has worked on television almost simultaneously. This often creates a controversy as to who was the true inventor and is certainly the case with television. In this particular case, the controversy was hotly debated during the "cold war" as one of the inventors were born Russian (although it does become a naturalized U.S. citizen the year after filing his patent) while the the other was a farm boy of the State of Utah. So who invented the television? A son of Russian socialist or a true blue American capitalist?

The name of the inventor from Russia was Vladimir Zworykin. His contribution to the development of television was very important. It was the first person to apply for a patent for a scanning electron tube. He called her a "iconoscope" and was the basis for the play of television tube type of image that are still used to date! The problem with patents Zworykin was the device itself n ' has never really worked! The theory behind it was sound, however, and it was the first to patent the idea.

The name of American inventor Philo Farnsworth was. His contribution was that he actually got the TV to work, using his own version of a scanning electron tube. He did so by displaying the image of the world's first television September 7, 1927. Philo Farnsworth went further in its claim to have invented the television, however, as he said he had the idea of ​​the tube independently and much earlier than Vladimir Zworykin patents. In other words, he said he had not just improved on the design Zworykin.

To add to the "cold war" controversy mentioned above, Zworykin had filed his patent in 1923 but did not become a naturalized U.S. citizen until 1924. Therefore, it was still Russia at that time! So the argument (which continues to this day) is not just over who invented television, but also which nation gets the credit!

In 1930, Philo Farnsworth received a patent for his electron scanning tube. In his case, a working model came with his patent application. Also in 1930, Vladimir Zworykin visited Farnsworth's laboratory and copied its design. Zworykin was not able to get his "copy" of work until 1934, however, and could not get a patent for this version until 1938. Even then, the picture quality was terrible and his employers, even ordered him to "pass" to something more productive!

A lawsuit was initiated in 1938 between Zworykin (RCA and who now used it) and more Farnsworth who invented television. During the trial, Professor Farnsworth school testified that Farnsworth shared the basis of its scanning tube at the tender age of 14, confirming Farnsworth claim to have the first idea. Of course, we will never know what, if any, the extent that the testimony is true. The "cold war" aspect at a time would have been a great motivator for a "good" American wanting to help claim the invention for his country. Or, of course, the teacher may have been totally honest in their memory.

Nevertheless, Philo Farnsworth won the suit against the giant company (RCA) and Russian. RCA had to pay him royalties in 1939. In other words, the court ruled that Farnsworth was the one who invented television. Again, of course, we must keep in mind that it was a U.S. court!

So in conclusion, it appears that to determine who invented television, we would have to determine the following:

1. Who first developed the theory behind the operation of the scanning electron tube?

2. 1923 Zworykin patents is prevalent or not working model of Farnsworth and 1938 court decision?

3. The two substantive contributions inventors and therefore should be considered as co-inventors?