Phil Farnsworth

by Matty Gardner

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Early Life

I was born in 1906 in Utah. My grandfather followed Brigam Young, a Mormon minister, out west to Utah. Later on my father became a farmer living in a small log cabin where I was born. My father expected me to help on the farm and chores around the house. In my spare time I liked to take apart things to see how they worked. I also read popular-science magazines. One day, I attached a motor to the family's hand-cranked washing machine, and won a magazine contest.

Other Early Life Inventions

When I was growing up the telephone, and radio were invented. Ford was just starting the production of the automobile.


My family set of for a better life to a farm in Idaho. I had two brothers and one sister. I asked so many questions when the repair guy came to the house one time I tried to fix the generator myself. I cleaned it out and put it back together and it worked!

Amazing Chemistry Teacher

When I was 14, I drew a design for my high school chemistry teacher about my idea of an "image dissected tube ". This is the drawing below.
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Harvesting Ideas

A lot of times I missed school because of planting fields or harvesting them. One day when I was 14 years old, I was harvesting the rows and rows of potato crops and thought a lot about the things I had learned in science. This is when I came up with my new idea. I ran in the house to tell my dad about my idea of an image projector, but he yelled at me saying to finish up the harvest.

Get turned down

When I was 16, I was turned down by a scientist who looked a lot older then me. They said I was too little. He liked my idea but thought I was too young to invent.


In 1927, I moved to San Francisco in order to show off my new invention. At that point the television showed just a straight line but later on, we were able to show images. In California, I showed scientists my television. That next day I was in the newspaper! I made the front page saying, "Phil Farnsworth invents television!".
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Works Cited

1) The Boy Who Invented TV; The Story of Phil Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull