Paul discusses early attempts to invent television and create a marriage of radio and motion pictures. From there, we discuss how Farnsworth came up with a completely new, and much more feasible, method of inventing television. Paul tells us about the period of time between the conception of Farnsworth's television concept and when he actually got funding to make it, and the various trials and tribulations involved with getting the opportunity to make the television. He also shares the story of the first official demostration of the television to the financial backers, marking the birth of TV.
From there we talk about the early days of designing and fine tuning the invention of television, including Farnsworth's "lab gang" and what made the gang such a pioneering workforce. Paul emphasizes the contribution of Farnsworth to the history of television, as once his electrical TV was conceived of and built, the science of television changed completely, leading right up until today.
We discuss the almost immediate difference of opinion between Farnsworth and his backers over what to do with television upon it's invention : sell it outright v. continuing developing the technology and accumulate more patents. Moving on, Paul goes in-depth on RCA and its attempts to control the emerging television industry, including the remarkable story of industrial spying on Philo Farnsworth by RCA's chief television man, Vladimir Zworykin.
The story continues into the post-invention period for television, how it became more a matter of business and patent litigation as opposed to science of creating the new invention, and the effect that had on Farnsworth. We talk about a key event that stood as the proverbial "shattering of the dream" for Farnsworth as an inventor.
Moving on, we talk about Philo Farnsworth's proverbial second wind, with his work on fusion, in the form of a hot fusion device called "the fusor". Paul gives a great explanation on what fusion is and the difference between cold and hot fusion. He then details Farnsworth's groundbreaking work on Fusion in the 1950's, including the influence and advice Farnsworth got from Albert Einstein. He also tells us the many reasons why the Fusor didn't end up a household item like the television.
Closing out the show, we find out Farnsworth's thoughts on what television became, including a great anecdote about the Farnsworth family's television when Paul first met them. Wrapping it all up, we discuss why the story of Philo Farnsworth has been seemingly lost to history and Paul gives us three key reasons for this turn of events. It all comes together with what Paul thinks is the key to the story of Philo Farnsworth.
Paul Schatzkin has led a life of multiple and diverse pursuits. After graduating from Antioch College in 1973 with a degree in communications, he worked in the television industry in Hollywood, and earned an Emmy Award nomination for his pioneering work in computerized video tape editing on the ABC-TV comedy ‘Barney Miller.
His first book, published in 2002, was a biography of Philo T. Farnsworth, The Boy Who Invented Television who also developed an unorthodox and still promising approach to thermonuclear fusion. He is now researching and writing Defying Gravity: The Parallel Universe of T. Townsend Brown, which was originally envisioned as a sequel to the Farnsworth biography but has since taken on an almost unimaginable life of its own.
A native of New Jersey, Schatzkin now lives with his wife Ann, three cats, and an old pickup truck near Nashville. (Bio via the UFO CRC website)
His website is www.49chevy.com and his Philo Farnsworth website is www.farnovision.com