LDS 'father of television' honored in nation's capitol

An LDS inventor who has been called the "father of television" was honored May 2, as his statue joined that of Brigham Young and other famous citizens in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Philo T. Farnsworth, who died in 1971 at age 64, invented the image dissector when he was 16, one of the pioneering developments that led to television. Farnsworth was recognized as a man whose inventions "took us to the moon . . and in recent months to the capitals of Prague, Moscow and Beijing to show the struggle for freedom," noted Thomas S. Foley, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.Elder James E. Faust of the Council of the Twelve dedicated the statue "to remind the people of this nation and the world of the diligence of this man who came from a small town in Utah of obscure, but noble pioneer heritage."

Farnsworth's statue by artist James Avati was unveiled by Farnsworth's widow, Elma, in a spot among statues of George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette and Martin Luther King.

"From his brilliant and inquisitive mind came many inventions which have blessed the people of this earth," said Elder Faust. "We pray, Father, that this transcended technology may yet be used for even nobler and wiser purposes."

Among the Utahn's inventions and improvements are radar, sonar, baby incubators, the gastroscope, infrared photography and the electron microscope. Foley said Farnsworth was plowing a field as a teenager when he developed the idea that made television possible.

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