The Last Lone Inventor: A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television

The Last Lone Inventor A Tale of Genius Deceit and the Birth of Television In a story that is both of its time and timeless Evan I Schwartz tells a tale of genius versus greed innocence versus deceit and independent brilliance versus corporate arrogance Many men have laid

  • Title: The Last Lone Inventor: A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television
  • Author: Evan I. Schwartz
  • ISBN: 9780060935597
  • Page: 311
  • Format: Paperback
  • In a story that is both of its time and timeless, Evan I Schwartz tells a tale of genius versus greed, innocence versus deceit, and independent brilliance versus corporate arrogance Many men have laid claim to the title father of television, but Philo T Farnsworth is the true genius behind what may be the most influential invention of our time.Driven by his obsessionIn a story that is both of its time and timeless, Evan I Schwartz tells a tale of genius versus greed, innocence versus deceit, and independent brilliance versus corporate arrogance Many men have laid claim to the title father of television, but Philo T Farnsworth is the true genius behind what may be the most influential invention of our time.Driven by his obsession to demonstrate his idea,by the age of twenty Farnsworth was operating his own laboratory above a garage in San Francisco and filing for patents The resulting publicity caught the attention of RCA tycoon David Sarnoff, who became determined to control television in the same way he monopolized radio.Based on original research, including interviews with Farnsworth family members, The Last Lone Inventor is the story of the epic struggle between two equally passionate adversaries whose clash symbolized a turning point in the culture of creativity.

    One thought on “The Last Lone Inventor: A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television”

    1. If you're like me, you'll put this book down amazed and invigorated at the scope of American technical innovation in the mid-Twentieth Century but a little disgusted at what RCA (parent of NBC) did to take Philo Farnsworth's birthright away from him. The little hick farmer's son from Utah made the cathode-ray tube capable of receiving televised images, and built a better picture tube than the one designed by the Russian inventor whom "General" Sarnoff of RCA imported. Drags a bit in the middle, [...]

    2. This was an amazing story. I was in awe of the genius of Farnsworth & saddened by his struggles. I also felt frustration & anger at Sarnoff for his dishonest & ruthless business tactics. It definitely felt like a David vs. Goliath tale & I wanted to much for the underdog to come out on top.

    3. This is the greatest story that was never told. This book is the tale of a farm boy from Idaho who invented the television. It was no easy task, as he had to fight a giant corporation with a ruthless megalomaniac president, David Sarnoff. That's not all, it is a tale of broken marriage, corporate espionage, deceit, courtroom drama and many more themes. It is so good that if someone comes to me with a script of this biography I will produce it to make a film (will have to sell my house, a couple [...]

    4. I picked this up for $5 at the Strand in the never-before-visited Science section - I was like Johnny 5 in Short Circuit when he goes into the bookstore and shouts "INPUT!!" Oh, so many wonderful things. Anyway.This book was very readable; the author organized the chapters so that you'd read a chapter about Philo T. Farnsworth, the farm kid who came up with the idea of electronic television in the 1920s, and then one about David Sarnoff, the head of RCA who wanted to be known himself as the Fath [...]

    5. I love studying the history of science and seldom has a book on this topic read more like a novel. The mind of young genius Philo T. Farnsworth seems to be overflowing with ideas almost from birth. The timing is right for he comes of age just as the information age is being transformed from the print medium that ruled the nineteenth century to audio and video that will rule the twentieth century. Many men have laid claim to the title "The Father of Television," but Philo T. Farnsworth is the tru [...]

    6. Aspiring screenwriters take note: the Philo T. Farnsworth story is an absolute goldmine. From his humble beginnings on a farm as a fan of science fiction magazines to his idea that the plow lines of a field could be used as a template for the transmission of images using electron beams directed in the same fashion across a luminescent screen, from his initial experiments with home-fashioned equipment to the eventual patent wars with RCA which nearly left him destitute, this guy did an amazing th [...]

    7. This is the amazing true story of the inventor of television, Philo Farnsworth, and his struggles to become successful with his team of electrical engineers who originated and perfected television. He was an American genius whose original design for television went to the moon with Apollo 11 in July, 1969 -- the first of six manned landings on the moon. He worked on automatic control systems for airplanes and even was working on generating electricity from nuclear fusion. The author has done a h [...]

    8. This book is about Philo T. Farnsworth, who invented television. It's how an individual inventor can basically no longer invent something and make money from it, as the big corporations must be involved. David Sarnoff, from RCA, stole Farnsworth's idea for TV, and made money from it. The nastiness of Sarnoff is portrayed well. The book tells about how NBC and CBS got started as television stations, which I found interesting. It talks about Einstein, Edison, Bell and Marconi as inventors and indi [...]

    9. Interesting to note that Philo became somewhat disenchanted to the point of being critical about how the use of television ultimately transpired and evolved as more of an entertainment and "spin" medium vs. what he had hoped would be more along the lines of pure and honest communication. His interest lied more in the technology and workings of the instrument than it's actual application over the long term.I enjoyed this book very much. I lived in the same neighborhood as Philo's widow (Elma "Pem [...]

    10. As a former Utahn, I knew of Farnsworth. This book was very good in discussing the development of the science of television (Farnsworth) and the corporate business of television (Sarnoff). Farnsworth was the idealist who provided the science, but society had changed from the older individualistic society to the corporate society that he could never really understand. Sarnoff was the egotistic plotter who sought and manipulated the new corporate power for the greater glory of Sarnoff. It all lead [...]

    11. This book tells the story of Philo T. Farnsworth, the true inventor of television, and his legal fight against David Sarnoff, who took his invention and made a fortune with it. The villainy Farnsworth has to face and the chapter after chapter when he and his family suffer because he is trying to get justice get a little tiresome after awhile, but it happenedd it may still be happening to the anonymous geniuses who originate innovation.

    12. A fascinating tale of a young boy with a brilliant idea who worked hard to bring his vision to fruition. I have always been fascinated by inventors and Schwartz does an excellent job of creating a juxtaposition between Farnsworth the brilliant inventor and Sarnoff the CEO who is brilliant at taking credit for other people's work.

    13. An absolutely fascinating bit of history, and extremely compelling in its writing. It's a glimpse into the monopoly that was RCA (and the egomaniac who ran it), the birth of NBC and CBS, and even the involvement of important people like Albert Einstein and multiple US Presidents. One of the best non-fiction books I've read in a long time.

    14. This was an interesting book is well written, but does give a lot of detail. I am related to Philo Farnsworth (my Grandpa's cousin) which made it more interesting to me. It is not a light read, but well done.

    15. Absolute amazing dramatic tale of the battle for the credit of inventing television - a classic tale of the little guy (Philo T. Farnsworth) who actually invented television, and David Sarnoff, head of RCA, who wanted the credit all for himself.

    16. Well researched and a fascinating study of both Farnsworth and Sarnoff. For someone like myself who is not scientifically minded, the details of the invention were educational!

    17. Made me really think are their anymore inventor/sceince geniuses out there that can have such an impact on nearly everyone. Maybe the world has gotten too big and complex, everything is now niche.

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