Televisions are common nowadays but there was a time when the object was unknown to man. In fact, it was only as late as 1947 that a select few Americans were able to own and use a television as we have them today. Their history is rather complex, fascinating and starts back in the 1800s when mechanically scanned imagines were transmitted onto a screen. Another development involved the use of a rotating disk with holes arranged in a spiral pattern, devised by John Logie Baird and Charles Francis Jenkins. Such efforts led to the creation of the world’s first electronic television, an innovation of Philo Taylor Farnsworth. He was just 21 at the time when he started thinking about a system that would capture moving imagines, transform them into code and then use radio waves to project them onto different devices. The first image he was able to successfully transmit was a line, and then a dollar sign after an investor asked him when he was going to see some dollars in the television.

If it weren’t for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners.

–Johnny Carson