The Journal Gazette
Thursday, October 14, 2021 1:00 am

Oct. 30, 1957: Honoring inventor Philo T. Farnsworth

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

In 1957, inventor Philo T. Farnsworth was honored by the Central Lions Club in Fort Wayne.

Farnsworth, whose inventions included electronic television, manufactured televisions and other devices in the city. Farnsworth Radio and Television produced its first TV set in 1947.

Philo's home at St. Joseph and E. State boulevards is marked with a state historical marker by the Indiana Historical Bureau that was erected in 1992. According to the marker, the Utah native lived in the Fort Wayne home from 1948 to 1967.

Farnsworth died in Salt Lake City in 1971.

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“Inventor Of TV Honored Today” (Oct. 30, 1957)

Central Lions Club honors Philo T. Farnsworth at a noon dinner at the Chamber of Commerce today and during the ceremonies the inventor of electronic television will receive a plaque for his contributions to mankind and will have a street in a new sub-division named for him.

The street will be located in Brentwood Park and will be known as Farnsworth Drive. Behind the speakers table at today's dinner will be a large colored plat of Brentwood Park with the Farnsworth Drive route marked in gold.

Joining in the tribute to be paid to Dr. Farnsworth will be the Farnsworth Electronics Co., a division of International Telephone & Telegraph Corp. The firm's predecessor company, Farnsworth Television and Radio Co., was founded on the basis of the Farnsworth patents from which the television industry originated.

The Lions will honor the famous inventor both for his contributions of the invention, at the age of 15, of electronic television and for his important assistance to national security through the medium of electronics.

Rep. E. Ross Adair, Fourth District Congressman, will discuss Dr. Farnsworth's work in regard to electronics and national security. J. Calvin Hill, Fort Wayne Division manager for the Indiana & Michigan Electric Co., will speak on Dr. Farnsworth's contributions to the general public.

Mayor Robert Meyers will speak on behalf of the citizens of Fort Wayne. Fellow Farnsworth executives will also pay tribute including L. G. Haggerty, president; I. C. Hunter, assistant to the president; C. D. Thornton, director of research and development; and William Heckman, director of industrial relations.

When but 15 years old he drew on the blackboard, as his high school teacher, Justin Tolman, looked on, the basic concepts of electronic television. In subsequent patent suits Tolman's testimony conclusively proved Farnsworth had conceived modern television as early as 1922.

At the age of 19, in 1926 Farnsworth showed his models and blueprints to two experts in San Francisco and received backing for his own company.

His television patents covered the field so extensively that all TV sets had to be manufactured under them.

Dr. Farnsworth is also a noted inventor in other fields of electronics. His additional inventions include fog penetrating electronic beams aiding pilots of ships and planes in navigation, a milk sterilizing process utilizing radio waves, the black light infra-red process used during World War II and others.

The plaque which the Lions Club will present to the distinguished inventor will be awarded by William Gingher, district governor of the Lions.

Serving as banquet chairman will be Virgil E. Freeman, assisted by L. C. Baker, I. C. Hunter, and Dale Parkerson, Central Lions Club president.

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