Archive for the ‘Television Technology’ Category

John Bartley Interview Now Online— “X-Files” and “Lost” Director of Photography

Monday, July 12th, 2010

“I like the camera to be moving. I’ve gone to work on a couple of shows part time, and they   get a little surprised when you say, ‘let’s lay down some track’… ‘Well, we don’t usually do  that.’ ‘Well, let’s lay some track today.’”

Click here to access John Bartley’s newly posted Archive of American Television Interview.

Interview Description:
On his approach to The X-Files, John Bartley says: “They thought it was crazy to go that dark, to get things down that far. Sometimes it’s a little nail-biting and you’ve got to make sure that it’s actually there— or something’s there. Directors would look at me and say, you okay with that? They still do that today too.” John Bartley won an Emmy Award for his influential cinematography of The X-Files and also served as the DP on such series as Roswell and Lost. In his Archive interview, Bartley talks about breaking into TV in Australia and his move to Canada and the US, where he became a gaffer in TV and films. He discusses his transition from gaffer to Director of Photography, initially with the feature film Beyond the Stars, a film that he later says was among his hardest projects to light. He then speaks about his work in series television, starting with the police drama The Commish, and then The X-Files. For The X-Files, he recalls how he came to be hired, discusses the dark look to the series and his efforts to add color as it continued, and recalls working with the series leads. He recounts being hired on Lost and describes the challenges posed by the series’ location work in Hawaii; he also notes the significant use of camera movement on Lost, and speaks about the show’s production team. Other TV projects Bartley touches on include: fantasy/adventure series Early Edition, sci-fi series Roswell, and the television movie Odd Girl Out. Throughout the interview, he comments on being concerned with matching the lighting throughout a project, shooting in the 16 x 9 format but being aware of “TV safe,” and how the introduction of HD effects his work. John Bartley was interviewed in North Hollywood, CA on May 8, 2009; Stephen J. Abramson conducted the two-and-a-half hour interview.

Blast from the Past: Electronic TV Inventor Philo Farnsworth on "I’ve Got a Secret"

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Here’s a little 8-minute gem we found on YouTube — electronic television inventor Philo Farnsworth’s full 1957 appearance on the panel show I’ve Got a Secret.

Here’s what his widow, Elma “Pem” Farnsworth, said about that historic appearance in her 1996 Archive of American Television interview:

Q: Phil’s contributions, to television had been somewhat forgotten by then. It was driven home by an appearance on, I’ve Got A Secret.
Elma Farnsworth: Oh dear. (laugh) You know, a lot of programs like What’s My Line had wanted him to be on television. And actually, he’d been very ill. They approached him about [host] Garry Moore’s show, and I don’t know, it just hit him right I guess and so he agreed. That was a very great experience because that night, he had Buster Keaton on [as a guest]. As well as a fellow that had something like 22 snakes on his person (laugh).

Q: And Phil’s secret was?
Elma Farnsworth: Okay, his secret that Gary showed the the audience, was the that he had invented television, when he was 15. Of course they addressed him as Doctor Farnsworth and so they, were thinking a medical doctor.

Q: I recall they didn’t guess it.
Elma Farnsworth: No they didn’t. So Gary said, I’d like this to go on and on and it could very easily but he says it’s your baby and we have to stop here …. and so they gave him something like, a check for $80 and a, carton of Chesterfields or whatever they were advertising.

Q: What did Phil think of commercial television towards the end?
Elma Farnsworth: He, (sigh) he could see the potential for television. He felt that it wasn’t being used. He said, the public will get what they demand. And that’s the way it’s been.

80 Years Ago Today…Inventor Philo Farnsworth Transmits His First Electronic Television Image

Friday, September 7th, 2007

80 years ago today, on September 7, 1927, 21-year-old television inventor Philo Farnsworth transmitted his first electronic television image using an image dissector camera tube created in his laboratory at 202 Green Street in San Francisco. The first image, a single straight line (on a glass slide), was one of the early successes in the race to create electronic television.

In her Archive of American Television interview conducted in 1996, Farnsworth’s widow, Elma Farnsworth discusses her life with Philo Farnsworth and the trials and tribulations of his invention of electronic television. Click here to view Elma Farnsworth’s interview segments.


Interview Description:
Elma Farnsworth (1908-2006) was interviewed for seven hours in Salt Lake City, UT. Farnsworth discussed at length Philo’s first television invention – the Image Dissector Tube – and the excitement of seeing its first moving image. While Philo toiled to create the first electronic television, RCA and Vladimir Zworykin worked on a similar invention, both trying to finish before the other. Farnsworth talked about the heated competition and the ensuing patent fights between Philo and General David Sarnoff, then President of RCA. The interview was conducted by Jeff Kisseloff on June 25, 1996.

Radio Play Podcast Features A Look at TV’s Early Days

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

HENRY WINKLER AND JASON RITTER STAR IN RADIO PLAY ABOUT TELEVISION’S EARLY DAYS –– TUNE IN OR DOWNLOAD THE FULL PODCAST (FREE)

On Saturday evening, July 7, Southern California residents can tune in KPCC 89.3 FM to hear the L.A. Theatre Works’ radio theatre production of The Ruby Sunrise by Rinne Groff, starring (Archive interviewee) Henry Winkler, Jason Ritter, Elisabeth Moss and Asher Book. The most recent offering in L.A. Theatre Works’ award-winning radio drama series, “The Play’s the Thing,” The Ruby Sunrise is directly inspired by the story of Philo Farnsworth and the early days of “live” television. In it, a spirited 1920s girl works independently to develop electronic television. Twenty-five years later, her daughter, now working at a television network. vows to bring her mother’s story to the small screen during “TV’s Golden Age”. Winkler stars as a 1950s television producer with Jason Ritter as his underling writer. Other regional and nationwide radio stations presenting The Ruby Sunrise are listed below, as well as podcast information*.

The program also features a discussion about early television with Karen Herman, director of the Archive of American Television, and writer-producer Phil Savenick, an expert on the history of television. Excerpts from the Archive’s collection include insights from the late Elma Farnsworth, widow of television inventor Philo Farnsworth. NEW: Click here to read a transcript of the entire interview with Phil and Karen and to find out how to save on tickets to upcoming L.A. Theatre Works performances.

*Tune in!
Nationwide radio broadcasts include:
89.3 FM KPCC Southern California, Saturdays 10:00 p.m
94.1 FM KPFA Northern California, Sundays 7:00 p.m.
94.9 FM KUOW Seattle, WA Fridays 10:00 p.m.
89.7 FM WGBH Boston, MA, first Sunday of month 10:00 p.m.
91.1 FM KRCB Sonoma County, CA Saturdays 6:00 p.m.
89.9 FM KUNM Albuquerque, NM bimonthly, Sundays 6:00 p.m.
XM Satellite Radio Nationwide (Sonic Theatre Channel), Saturdays 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. (EST)

How to Podcast “The Play’s the Thing”
As of July 7, free podcasts of The Ruby Sunrise are available here. Copy and paste http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast.php?id=510190 into your preferred podcasting software to automatically receive all monthly episodes of “The Play’s the Thing” broadcasts.

Also, we’ve just posted Henry Winkler’s full Archive interview online!


Interview Description:
Henry Winkler was interviewed for two-and-a-half hours in Los Angeles, CA. Winkler discussed his early years, his early passion for acting, and his struggles with then-undiagnosed dyslexia. He chronicled his early career in New York, where he acted on stage and in numerous commercials and his subsequent decision to move to Los Angeles, where he was quickly cast as a guest actor on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He detailed all aspects of the role for which he became most known, Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the hit sitcom, Happy Days. He discussed his casting, Fonzie character, working with the cast (particularly Ron Howard), and the iconic status (and occasional mayhem it generated) of Fonzie. He spoke about his transition to directing and producing, which included being executive producer of MacGyver, and his later acting projects including Arrested Development and The Practice. The interview was conducted on November 10, 2006. Click here to access Henry Winkler’s 5-part interview.

Producer-director Garry Simpson’s Interview Is Now Online

Friday, May 18th, 2007


Garry Simpson worked on some of American television’s earliest productions in the pre-World War II era, and then continued following the war. He directed the 1946 Joe Louis-Billy Conn World Championship boxing match, episodes of American television’s first sitcom: Mary Kay and Johnny, and the famed 1949 production of Macbeth by “The Players.”


In Part 5 of his interview Garry Simpson talks about
All Star Revue and working with such stars as Jimmy Durante. Click on the arrow above to watch.

Click here to view the entire 8-part interview. Some sound bites from the interview:

On demonstrating television to the public (from Part 1):
RCA was hiring a crew to go out in the field and demonstrate television to the general public. So they hired about eight or nine people, and all of us had had some theatrical backgrounds. And we comprised some demonstration units, and we would go to various department stores in different cities and demonstrate television. Some of the sets at that time were only eight or nine inches wide, the television screen. The following year they brought out a screen that was eight-by-twelve inches in size. And they would take these sets to a department store and put them in one end of the department store and then at another end of the department store they’d set up a studio, and we’d hire local talent, and we’d put on comedians and musicians and little sketches. And people would see us with the bright lights in the studio and then they would walk around to the other end of the store and go in a darkened room and watch the television on the screen. And that was our job, to travel to the larger cities in the east, and we went as far west as Chicago, and we did these demonstrations.

On NBC’s television studios in the early years (from Part 2):
3-H was the only studio that NBC had for television. It was an old radio studio. And they took over 3-H. And 3-G, the studio next to it, was a vacant studio, so we made that our prop room, and we put furniture and draperies and effects that we needed in there and props. The third floor and the eighth floor of NBC were occupied at that time with radio studios, but the floors in between were not. They hadn’t been finished yet. Radio City was built in the late 30s. And they hadn’t expanded radio to use up all that space, so television came in and took over that empty space and [NBC] installed television studios in those empty areas. So, the sixth floor became a very active studio floor for television, and eventually we took over the eighth floor as all television. Then we outgrew the building and we had to go outside and start renting space, and we started renting empty theaters around New York City. And the first theater we rented was the International Theater, Columbus Circle, and that’s where Show of Shows came from, and the [Ford Festival] with James Melton, and many other variety shows came from there. Later we took over the Ziegfeld Theater. And each theater became sort of one show’s possession— The Tonight Show came from one theater that we rented.

On NBC’s post-World War II schedule and the stars he worked with (from Part 2):
Well, in the beginning remote programs filled up most of our schedule, because we didn’t have to build those shows. So we took advantage of all of the sporting events and special events. [When] we started building shows, the Chevrolet Tele-Theater [1948-50] was one of our first dramatic series, half-hour dramas. And those were weekly programs with stars. We started using well-known actors who hadn’t appeared on television before — most of them. And we spent the money to get those stars. I enjoyed working on those programs, and they were well received. [I worked with] Paul Lukas, Luise Rainer, Tallulah Bankhead, Brian Donlevy. Edward Everett Horton, Charlie Ruggles, Jackie Cooper. There’s a whole list of several hundred names. We started using actors then that were not known, who were beginning their careers, who [later became] big stars. I used Jack Lemmon when he first got out of college. I used Grace Kelly, giving her some of the first shows that she did. And I became very friendly with Grace, and she invited me up to her apartment in New York, and I intended to use her some more but Hollywood picked her up in 1950. She went out and made High Noon. We discovered James Dean and gave him a chance to appear on television. And he was a fascinating personality. Sort of an offbeat character. But I enjoyed working with him and had planned to use him more but Hollywood picked him up too, and you know the rest.

On covering the Joe Louis-Billy Conn World Championship boxing match [in 1946] at Yankee Stadium (from Part 3):
That was a big event for television. First of all, it was difficult for us to get the rights to televise, because the promoters were afraid we’d cut into the gate. But they finally came through and said we could do it. Yankee Stadium was just abuzz – it was so crowded, jammed, and the excitement was very high. And people had never seen television cameras at ringside like we had it. And those type of things really brought in an audience to television in those early days.

On the early documentary series Eye Witness [1947-48] (from Part 3):
This was to inform the public about television and how television had been developed scientifically. And we had on our team, RCA, Vladimir Zworykin, who was the inventor of the iconoscope, which was the first tube to turn a picture into electronics. And RCA had a laboratory in Princeton, and at that time Zworykin was working out of the Princeton labs. So I got the idea for this program, and I went down to see Zworykin, and we talked. He gave me the history of television as he knew it. I asked to see some of the early equipment that he’d developed. And he couldn’t put his hands on them, those early things that he had made. But after a few hours search he went out to a shed in back of the main building and there were some of these early tubes that he had worked, he had many prototypes before he finally developed a tube that would please him. He pulled out some of these old pieces of equipment and we brought them back into the main building, and we arranged the stuff all together, and it was quite an impressive set of pieces. And he brought in some of his assistants who’d worked with him. And we put on this program and afterwards all these pieces of equipment were displayed in cases…. And Zworykin was the main narrator of this whole thing. And at the end of the program we brought on General Sarnoff, Chairman of the Board of RCA. [In other shows] we would take people to the transmitter and explain the transmitter and show what it does. And we were in the studio and showing how you put on the makeup and rehearsing a show and the camera movements.

On directing the 1949 NBC production of Macbeth (from Part 4):
The Player’s Club cooperated with NBC to put on a special show. The Player’s Club is a club for actors in New York. Actors of renown. You’re invited to join the Player’s if you’re a very important actor…. and every part in the play, even the ladies-in-waiting and the servants were great Broadway stars. And Walter Hampden played the part of Macbeth. He, of course, had played the part all over the world for many, many years. And I was chosen to be the television director on it. I didn’t tell Mr. Hampden how to read his lines because he knew more than any of us about that…. It’s a very compact drama. And with the miracle of television and theatrics you can do great things with the witch’s scene in the castle and the murder scenes and it came off very well. And it was fun. All of the Player’s lit into it with great glee. They loved doing it, and for many of them, it was their first appearance on television…. It received a great deal of publicity. And it was sort of the first of its kind. It was the first Shakespeare play on television, American television. And it brought a lot of the curious art lovers to television who had not been regular viewers. So, “[television] spectacular” is a [term] that was developed after that.

On Jimmy Durante who Simpson worked with on All-Star Revue [1950-53] (from Part 5):
Jimmy was always hit up for money. He’d go out on the street and down-and-out actors and singers would go up to him, Jimmy, you know, can you help me out. And he’d pass out money to them. I observed his manager, after a show was over, the manager would go to Jimmy’s dressing room and say, “Jimmy, let me see your roll of money.” And Jimmy would hand his roll of money to the manager, and the manager would give him another roll of money. And instead of twenties and fifties that were in Jimmy’s roll, there’d be fives and tens in this other roll that the manager had given him, because he would give it all away, to whomever he met on the street. And these out-of-work people knew that he was a good touch.

On Jackie Gleason (from Part 5):
Jackie Gleason was developed on the Dumont television station in New York. …. [When Dumont ended] Jackie Gleason was available, and he went to the networks, NBC and CBS, to get a spot to do a show. So NBC said they would let him do a trial show, and if his ratings were good they would sign a contract with him. So he was brought to NBC and I was assigned as the director of the show. He had his staff of writers. So we started on the show and I called rehearsals, and the first day of rehearsal all the cast – and there were about fifty people in the cast, his regulars – came, but Jackie was not there. And he had a stand-in and I gave all the moves to the stand-in, who wrote them down on the script. They said, maybe tomorrow Jackie will come. And second day Jackie didn’t come to rehearsal. So I said, what’s going on here, and they said, well, it’s hard to reach Jackie. He’s not at his apartment and we’ll get hold of him. We’ll see he comes. The third day he missed rehearsal, and so I went to NBC management and I said, we’re not going to have a show because Jackie is not coming to rehearsals. And so they got in touch with the manager and on the fourth day Jackie appeared at rehearsal, and he really looked like he’d been in a wreck. He smelled of booze, and a real floozy blonde came with him. And I understand he shacked up in a hotel with this girl for a period of days. And anyway, he was very polite, first time I met him. And his agent had given him the script and he had the script, but he hadn’t even read it. We rehearsed the whole thing through and he was very courteous and receptive and we left after the rehearsal. And the next day, when we came to rehearsal, he was there and he knew every line of his one-hour show. He didn’t have to study, he just had a photographic memory. And it was no problem with him. He was very amenable to any changes in anything that would improve the situation. And he had some very difficult things in his program. In one skit he was a wallpaperer, and he climbed up the ladders and he’d get wallpaper all over himself. And he fell off the ladder and he’d drop the bucket of paste and everything. It was all written in the script, he had to do. So he had some tough things to do, as well as other skits he appeared in. But anyway, we went on the air, and he was letter perfect. He hit all of his marks. He made all of his entrances, all his costume changes, and said all the lines, and it was a fabulous show. So the people at NBC said, wow, this is good. NBC’s going to get him a contract now. So the vice-president of NBC met with the manager of Jackie’s and said, NBC will give him a contract. Let’s make an appointment and sit down and work out the details. And the manager said, sorry, we just signed a contract yesterday, before the show, with CBS. So NBC lost him and CBS got him. And he did his musical variety show for the first year at CBS, and then they developed The Honeymooners.

Interview description:
Garry Simpson was interviewed for four hours in Vergennes, VT. Mr. Simpson started in television directing live demonstrations of television around the country. He later directed some of the first sporting events, mobile events, and went on to direct the informational series
Eye Witness and direct and produce Wide Wide World (created by Pat Weaver). In the period before the war in the 1940s, Simpson was NBC’s only television stage manager. Simpson described his other directorial efforts on such programs including Chevrolet Tele-Theater, Mary Kay and Johnny (television’s first sitcom), All Star Revue, Ford Festival, and Campbell’s Soundstage. Among the actors he recalls working with are: James Dean, Grace Kelly, Jimmy Durante, Ed Wynn, Jackie Gleason, Jack Carter, and Olivia de Havilland. He later left NBC to head the formation of Vermont public television. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on October 18, 1999.

TV Set Photos From Bakelite to Plasma: TV Through the Ages

Monday, April 9th, 2007


Here’s a fun site, courtesy of WIRED magazine, with photos of televisions and television technology from the 1920s to today. You can access it by clicking the link below.

From Bakelite to Plasma: TV Through the Ages

Co-Inventor of Wireless Television Remote Control, Dr. Robert Adler Has Died

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Dr. Robert Adler, who died at age 93, was interviewed by the Archive of American Television on October 11, 2004. His two-and-a-half hour oral history interview can be viewed at Television Academy Headquarters in North Hollywood.

Interview description:
Dr. Adler spoke in great detail about his pioneering work as the developer of the first practical wireless television remote control (co-invented with fellow Zenith engineer Eugene Polley). Adler talked about his long association with Zenith, which began shortly after he emigrated to the United States in 1940. He discussed the evolution of the remote control’s invention at Zenith, which began with an attached remote box and cable. He talked about the impractical light-activated wireless versions that preceded his ultrasonic (and practical) version. He described the theory behind his invention as well as its technical specifications. Adler then discussed other key innovations in television for which he contributed. He also talked about the research department at Zenith and detailed its makeup and functions. He then talked about his involvement in current technologies, including touch screen and HDTV. B-roll consisted of cover shots and illustrations from journal articles regarding some of his most significant work.

UPDATE: 12/01/2007 Dr. Robert Adler’s full Archive of American Television interview is now online. Click here to access.

UPDATE: 12/29/2007 The life of Dr. Robert Adler is recounted in The New York Times Magazine’s year-end special, “The Lives They Lived.” Click here to access John Gertner’s excellent profile (which includes a mention of his Archive interview).

50 Years Ago — Videotape Debuts

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

The Advent of Videotape….50 Years Ago (November 30, 2006)
By Steve Cox

On November 30, 1956 at 6:15 pm Pacific Standard Time, a milestone in the history of broadcasting occurred: the debut of videotape. In Hollywood, CBS Television recorded and reproduced, on the new Ampex Videotape Recorder, a Douglas Edwards news broadcast in New York which was rebroadcast and seen by thousands of viewers along the Pacific West Coast, from Los Angeles up to the northern tip of Washington. The program was taped from a live New York telecast to achieve a two-hour delay and then broadcast to TV audiences in twelve western cities.

Videotape, a brand new medium, assured a record and playback of what was live television (or kinescope), but now in nearly miracle time. The new Ampex VRX-1000 Videotape Recorder–a complex gargantuan machine about the size of a wall–was installed at CBS Television City in Hollywood and utilized large two-inch format magnetic videotape. Live television broadcasts were now made possible, where kinescopes (filmed TV screens) once served as the delayed medium which to serve up shows. In fact, many television shows which originated in Hollywood as live programs were never seen “live” by West Coast viewers. Shows starring Jack Benny and Red Skelton, for instance, were presented around 4 or 5 pm in Hollywood, live for suitable prime-time air on the East Coast. West Coast viewers watched what was called a “hot kinny” (very fresh kinescope version).

CBS installed two Ampex machines and began recording news broadcasts on both for protection. The team of engineers who designed the practical videotape recorder included Charlie Ginsberg, Ray Dolby, Alex Maxey, Fred Pfost, Shelby Henderson, and Charles Anderson. These innovative visionaries were recognized by the National Television Academy in September 2005 for their achievement.

Without a doubt, video technology altered the world and the way we view it. The technology enabled was a fundamental shift in modern technology and changed the broadcasting world dramatically, if not instantly, providing choice, accessibility, as well diversity in television. Videotape changed the world in untold ways. Today, 50 years later, hundreds of millions of home-users have this miracle medium to thank for precious preserved personal memories. Not to mention endless bloopers and “live” antics caught because of this invention. Videotape has permeated literally every aspect of our lives, all the while educating, enlightening, witnessing, proving and disproving. It is the invention which has brought our society closer in a moment’s glance. Now, with the digital age upon us, the video medium is bowing, a noticeable waning in its home-use, however it is still used widely within broadcasting and news media levels.

Guest Archive blogger Steve Cox is author of more than 15 books on pop culture, film, and television. He has contributed to TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter, and LA Times. His most recent book is “The Munsters: A Trip Down Mockingbird Lane” (Waston-Guptill/ Backstage Books)

Photos:
Above left: The Ampex videotape recorder installed at CBS Television City in Hollywood. (courtesy of Steve Cox)

Lower right: The actual first video recording of “Douglas Edwards With the News” on CBS, November 30, 1956 at 6:15 pm. (courtesy of Steve Cox)

© 2006 Steve Cox

Inventor of All-Electronic TV Celebrates Centennial

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Celebrate the centennial of Philo T. Farnsworth’s (1906-71) birth on August 19.

As described by Jeff Kisseloff in his book The Box: “That Farnsworth succeeded in becoming anything other than a poor Utah farmer is amazing in itself…. his college education ended midway through his freshman year with the sudden death of his father. To keep the family going, he worked as a radio installer, an electrician’s trainee, and a janitor, without ever losing sight of his dream of perfecting a television system.”

Les Brown’s Encyclopedia of Television states that Farnsworth “independently demonstrated in 1927 a device similar to [Vladimir K.] Zworykin’s iconoscope— the “dissector” tube or orthicon, capable of dividing an image into parts whose light values could be restored to form a reproduction of the original picture.”


In the excerpt below, Philo T. Farnsworth’s widow Elma “Pem” Farnsworth (pictured above) talks about the patent wars Philo fought with RCA over television technology, in part eight of her Archive of American Television interview…

“[Philo] wanted to finance his work by selling licenses to his patents. RCA was always coming out and saying that Vladimir Zworykin was the originator of television, and, so … no one was going to buy a license from Farnsworth if RCA had it, you know? …. So Phil went to the patent office and he said, we need a ruling on this. And so they were taking depositions [from] everyone that had anything on the subject. And this went on for quite while. It was 1934. They asked Phil if he had told anyone about his television ideas, because RCA said, no boy of fifteen could come up with that complicated a concept. So they found Phil’s old chemistry teacher… [who] produced a page of Phil’s notebook where Phil had made a drawing of the camera tube, and I guess from all we hear, he had shown that to every class he’d ever had…. This was in 1922, and it’s the last time they’d seen each other, and so RCA had to give in on that idea.”

Jeff Kisseloff conducted the Archive of American Television’s 12-part interview with Elma Farnsworth (1908-2006) on June 25 & 26, 1996.

Elma "Pem" Farnsworth, widow of TV Inventor Philo Farnsworth dies at 98

Friday, April 28th, 2006


Elma “Pem” Farnsworth, the widow of Philo Farnsworth, has died at the age of 98. She was one of the first honorees interviewed by the Archive of American Television.

Interview Description:

Elma Farnsworth was interviewed for seven hours in Salt Lake City, UT. Farnsworth discussed at length Philo’s first television invention – the Image Dissector Tube – and the excitement of seeing its first moving image. While Philo toiled to create the first electronic television, RCA and Vladimir Zworykin worked on a similar invention, both trying to finish before the other. Farnsworth talked about the heated competition and the ensuing patent fights between Philo and General David Sarnoff, then President of RCA. The interview was conducted by Jeff Kisseloff on June 25, 1996.

Click here to view Elma Farnsworth’s interview segments.