One day in the winter of 1922, Justin Tolman – a high school science teacher in Rigby Idaho – came into his classroom and was greeted by one his students, Philo T. Farnsworth, age 14. Farnsworth had just finished drawing a sketch like this on the chalk board.
"What's this?" Tolman asked his young protoge.
"It's my idea for electronic television."
"Television?" Tolman said. "What's that?"
Five years later, September 7, 1927, Farnsworth conducted the first successful tests of "electronic television" in a makeshift laboratory atop a garage in San Francisco. An associate wired one of his backers in Los Angeles, "The damn thing works."
The successful demonstration of electronic video was an epic breakthrough in what man could do with quantum forces and particles. Once the principal of electronic video was demonstrated, every prior attempt at sending 'moving pictures through the air' was rendered obsolete, and the most ubiquitous appliance on the planet became possible. Every video screen on the planet – including the one you are looking at now – can
The coming centennial of electronic video – September 7, 2027 – gives us an opportunity to recognize this pivotal moment in human evolution.