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Philo Farnsworth statue.

Statue of Philo Farnsworth, Father of TV

Field review by the editors.

San Francisco, California

Philo Farnsworth (1906-1971) is the American engineer credited with inventing the first television. He had his potato row/scan line epiphany while growing up in Idaho, but it was later that he fully developed his image dissector and electronics system. His first successful broadcast happened on September 7, 1927, between two rooms in his lab in San Francisco.

Philo Farnsworth statue.

The bronze statue at the D Building at Letterman Digital Arts Center arrived in 2008. Farnsworth is depicted as deep in thought, holding a cathode ray tube in his right hand, while his left hand clutches a rolled up electrical schematic. Next to him is an early TV set.

The Philo sculpture, created by artist Lawrence Noble, if highly detailed, regardless of the viewing angle. Even the back of the vintage TV set is carved with heat vent slats and an array of knobs to control the diagonal, the vertical, the horizontal This was a fine-tuning necessity for the first half century of television, not just a Rod Serling rant.

Back of the television set.
Back of the television set.

Also see: Philo In Salt Lake City

Statue of Philo Farnsworth, Father of TV

Letterman Digital Arts Center

Dewitt Rd, San Francisco, CA
At the Letterman Digital Arts Center. From Golden Gate Bridge drive south on US Hwy 101. Take exit at Downtown/Lobard St. following US Hwy 101. At fourth stoplight (Economy Inn) turn right onto Lombard St. At third stop sign (just past bus stop) turn right onto Letterman Drive, then quickly turn right at sign into the Letterman Digital Arts Center. Tell guard you're there as a visitor. Park, and walk around to the right of the red building. Statue will be straight ahead.
Access may be restricted. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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