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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For television buffs who want to learn how it all began
The Boy Who Invented Television is the astonishing biography of Philo T. Farnsworth, who at age 14 dreamed of trapping and transmitting light, and while plowing on his father's farm looked at the parallel rows he had been making and conceived of a practical and effective way to wirelessly beam information from one point to another which concept resulted in his 1930...
Published on November 14, 2002 by Midwest Book Review

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who Invented the Remote Control?
We know the inventor of electric lighting, and we know who turned mass production assembly lines into affordable automobiles. Nicola Tesla invented the alternating current motors we use today, invented radio, invented fluorescent lighting, discovered X-rays, and yet failed to cash in or get credit, and wound up dying at an advanced age in a transient hotel...
Published on May 18, 2003 by Holy Olio


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For television buffs who want to learn how it all began, November 14, 2002
The Boy Who Invented Television is the astonishing biography of Philo T. Farnsworth, who at age 14 dreamed of trapping and transmitting light, and while plowing on his father's farm looked at the parallel rows he had been making and conceived of a practical and effective way to wirelessly beam information from one point to another which concept resulted in his 1930 fundamental patent for modern television. Farnsworth's struggle against challenges from the Radio Corporation from America, his fight to protect his vision from reticent investors, and his work that would forever change the world and modern communications, is presented in a highly readable narrative enhanced with black-and-white photographs. The Boy Who Invented Television is very highly recommended reading -- especially for television buffs who want to learn how it all really began!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn off the TV and read this book, October 16, 2002
By 
Ted Paone (Cedar Park, TX USA) - See all my reviews
The story of television known to most people is a lie. An example of corporate greed kept down the inventor of electronic TV and stifled the potential of one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. Philo Farnsworth is one amazing man and this book fills us with the excitement of his life and discoveries. Whether it was author Paul Schatzkin style or Philo's adventures, I was drawn to keep reading this book long after I should have been asleep.
The triumphs are all marked as well as the tribulations as Philo struggled against the odds as a "lone inventor". You get a sense of how advanced he was in his thinking and how his love of Pem brought him back on track after his disappointments. Philo's life is an inspiration and I feel that Paul Schatzkin captured it well in this book. I fully recommend it to anyone interested in human nature.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a Reluctant Genius, September 10, 2002
By 
Todd Hawley (San Francisco CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
One of the inventions of the twentieth century that had the greatest impact on how we live was television. And yet very few really know who was the "father of television?" I certainly didn't until I read this book. None other than Philo T Farnsworth was the man who at age 14 first thought up the ideas in a sketch that would later lead to the invention of the "boob tube" we know and love today. This book (a project some 25 years in the making as the author describes it), describes Philo's struggles with bringing his invention to fruition, his battles with RCA over patents relating to his invention, and his lack of deserved recognition, and later his frustrating attempts to harness fusion energy as a source of electrical power.
One thing I wondered about as I read the book was how many other inventors through time have faced the same struggles that Philo did, and how some of them dealt with that struggle. I can only imagine the stress and strain Philo went through and what he might think of how his invention is being used today, some 75 years after his first experiments.
Hopefully this book will help in recognizing the man who invented an appliance we all take for granted in today's world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boy who invented television, September 12, 2002
By 
Paul Schatzkin has done a wonderful and thorough job of tracing the path taken by the American genius, Philo T. Farnsworth, in producing the first usable, all electronic television transmission and public demonstration...P>The details of this final, virutally unknown, saga are almost as sad as that of his television effort.
A superb book that covers the full breadth of Farnsworth's life, not just his television effort. Well worth the thrifty price and a joy to read.
Richard Hull
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timely, Richly Written Biography, September 7, 2002
By 
Paul Schatzkin may have spent longer researching the subject of this fine new biography of Philo T. Farnsworth than any other single writer. He has spent years of intensive research, finessing all the data and finally producing one of the more entertaining yet fully factual stories of a relatively uncelebrated man. Philo Farnsworth very quietly invented Television, and while much intrique and quasi-scandal surrounds the facts of this 20th century giant, Farnsworth is finally gaining the recognition he deserves for his miraculous invention. The author allows the story of his hero to unfold simply and without brouhaha, introducing this strange young inventor in a way that fully suits his life style. There is much to be learned here about the very physics and technical aspects of the miracle of television - how the idea was born, tested, then all but stolen. We come away from this fine book with a sense of the underdog genius who represents the finest aspect of 'The American Dream' and Schatzkin aptly subtitles his book 'A Story of Inspiration, Persistence, and Quiet Passion.' That about says it all. A must read for curious minds who thought they could never understand how television works.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A broad perspective on Philo T. Farnsworth, October 17, 2002
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I enjoyed the riveting story. I also got the sense, with all the references and footnotes, that this was a carefully researched book. Being an electrical engineer myself, I appreciated that there was enough technical information without loosing the understanding of lay readers. I found no technical
blunders, that often come in biographies of technical wizards.
In this book, it becames clear that there are technological breakthroughs that can only come from a great mind, and not from the "inevitable" march of technology.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give your TV a rest and read this book, September 24, 2002
By 
Mike Simmons (Nashville, TN USA) - See all my reviews
Paul Schatzkin's engaging and thoroughly-researched book chronicles the life of a brilliant but largely overlooked inventor, the man who not only brought forth myriad patents forming the basis of modern television technology, but who also demonstrated sophisticated working television systems superior to those of competitors who now are accorded most of the credit. In reading this delightful book, you'll get both the personal and technical stories behind one of the most influential inventions in human history. Moreover, Farnsworth's later work in nuclear fusion is a compelling read, given that he was given encouragement by the likes of Albert Einstein in his quest to pursue a cheap and safe method of producing virtually inexhaustible power.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting biography, November 7, 2002
I really enjoyed this engaging biography of Philo T. Farnsworth. The science of the book was mostly understandable to a layperson, and I found myself rooting for Farnsworth all the way. I could really sympathize with his triumphs and his losses, and I was so saddened and angry at the way he was treated toward the end of his life. It seems a real shame that he has not gotten the recognition he deserves, and I'm glad this book is out to give him the publicity due him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a near-definitive biography..., September 29, 2002
By 
Larry Groebe (Dallas, TX United States) - See all my reviews
I only wish this volume was longer and more detailed. Even so, Schatzkin has done an excellent job in covering the breadth of Farnsworth's life -- not just the battle for television, but his never-realized battle for successful fusion power as well. Even Godfrey's scholarly opus barely covers this latter phase of his life, which makes "The Boy Who Invented Telelvision" a vital addition to the Farnsworth canon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Individual Patent Owner vs. Large Government Spawned - Corporat-crats, May 19, 2008
This review is from: The Boy Who Invented Television: A Story of Inspiration, Persistence, and Quiet Passion (Paperback)
This book gave an in depth of how TV was invented, who invented it, and the corporate war with the big monopoly based/financed by government companys like R.C.A, AT&T, G.E, etc.

Here is some excerpts of this book:
"Only one man stood between David Sarnoff and his dreams of an ethereal empire-Philo T. Farnsworth. Sarnoff knew that in order to add television to the existing cross-licenses, each side would have to have patents central to the new art to exchange. AT&T was well prepared to begin negotiating around its contribution, the coaxial cable, and apparently RCA was expected to deliver its end of the bargain in the form of patents that covered the art of sending and receiving video signals. But as things stood in the middle of 1937, RCA didn't own any of those patents. They belonged to Philo Farnsworth. " -- David Sarnoff was the President and CEO of R.C.A. at that time.

Here is another quote:
"Thus RCA started out with a comprehensive pool of patents, combining those of Marconi with those of Hertz, Tesla, DeForest, Fessenden, Alexanderson, Armstrong, and other lesser known pioneers of radio, giving RCA a virtual lock on all aspects of the art & science of radio. RCA was, in other words, a government-spawned and sanctioned monopoly." - page 85 in book.

Extra Bonus: Conspiracy within the Big 3 Electronic Giants -
"The relationship between the corporate elders of electrical industries -- AT&T, GE, and Westinghouse -- with the new kid on the block -- RCA -- was always an incestuous one. These companies pooled their patents, and then agreed on which businesses each would pursue to exploit those patents. Still there were great rivalries between them over which companies would control the emerging new field of radio broadcasting. "

I highly recommend reading this book...what you see back at that time is what we are witnessing right now...or what goes around, comes around...!
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The Boy Who Invented Television: A Story of Inspiration, Persistence, and Quiet Passion
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