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Who invented the iconoscope?

  1. Sep 8, 2009 #1
    Does the credit go to Vladimir Zworykin or Philo Farnsworth who both submited patents for the iconoscope or maybe to Hungarian physicist Kalman Tihanyi whose patents RCA bought in the 1930s? Or maybe all of them are coinventors?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2009 #2
    According to a biography on Philo, The Last Lone Inventor by Evan Schwartz on page 260 it states" not only had RCA lost to farsnworth in the 1934 patent suit[electronic tv], but it also had lost on another interference, in 1938, over RCA's image orthicon camera tube, which surpassed Zworykins Iconoscope in quality. RCA was able to keep using that name, which it had trademarked, but the patent office ruled that this tv camera was really a Farnsworth invention too." So it seems the iconoscope was Zworykins, although the better quality camera tube was Philo's as well as the original concept of electronic tv(although RCA's media campaign has whitewashed history).
  4. Sep 8, 2009 #3
    Didn't you ever hear that "history is bunk"? And that's especially true when someone (RCA) has a vested interest in the story.

    This site seems to have a pretty good story.
    http://inventors.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=inventors&cdn=money&tm=54&f=00&tt=2&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//farnovision.com/chronicles/tfc-who_invented_what.html [Broken]

    Note that Farnsworth is the inventor and much else is smoke and mirrors. However apparently Zworykin invented the kinescope (cathode ray tube) which is the other essential half of a television system. As further data I was told many years ago when I was at ITT (sitting right over the spot where Philo T. Farnsworth invented the image dissector tube, I was informed) That Philo was the inventor. That seems supported in the above site. Of course I didn't get the RCA side of the story.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Sep 9, 2009 #4
    Yes, I have heard that history is bunk. How can you start with a statement like that and then offer another historical account? Kind of like saying math is bunk and then offering a mathematical proof. But the book I quoted was the story about the rca and philo battle, and as the title suggests it supposedly was philo's side of the story.
    I did read the boy who invented television,also, by the same guy whose site you mention. It doesnt seem to me that Philo ever called his invention an iconoscope, he refered to electronic t.v. I should have included after my statement that it was Zworykins iconoscope, that the iconoscope, as described by him could never work. One curious thing about Zworykin, why did all of his advancements come about after he hung out a philo's green street lab for a week or so(under the false pretense that he was working for westinghouse instead of RCA)? What did my last statement say? "although rca's media campaign has whitewashed history". History is always written by the winners.
    The first inteference I mentioned was electronic tv, so Philo is the inventor of tv, period. RCA's campaign has been to get people to think the iconoscope was what started electronic tv, thats their only ammo(misinformation). I am a huge fan of Philo's by the way.
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