Year of Invention: 1927
What Is It? An electronic system for recording, instantly transmitting, and dis-
playing moving images.
Who Invented It? Philo Farnsworth (in San Francisco)
Television radically changed the way we market ideas and products; the way we seek news, information, education and entertainment; and the way we use and allocate free time. Television has connected the world in a way neither still pictures nor radio could do. It has shown us what the rest of world looks like and how other peoples live and act.
On the down side, television has contributed to a sedentary life style. The term “couch potato” was created to describe those who watch large amounts of TV. Many studies have linked television to an increased prevalence of eating disorders, indifference to violence, fear of the outside world, and reduced self-image. For good and for bad, television has changed modern lives, attitudes, and values.
From earliest times, traveling minstrels and storytellers delivered news and entertainment. By 1500, masses of books existed thanks to the printing press. Newspapers followed in the seventeenth century.
In the late 1800s, publishers added magazines to their offerings to meet the information and entertainment needs of the public. By the first years of the twentieth century, commercial radio had come of age. Movies joined the popular entertainment choices in the 1920s with the advent of sound.
Three men claimed to be the father of television. Two worked in America, one in England. The Englishman, John Baird, technically was the first to build a working television. However, his system was a mechanical system that depended on two synchronized spinning disks, similar in concept to the picture produced by flipping through pages of cartoon drawings to create motion. It was a dead-end technology, completely abandoned by 1936.