Who invented the television is a hotly debated question. The invention of the television grew out of the invention of the radio. Since you can easily send sound through the air waves many inventors starting thinking of the possibility of not only sound being sent through the airwaves, but also images.
On December 2, 1922, Edwin Berlin who is the patent holder of numerous technologies including the transmission of photographs or images by wire, by radar device and by fiber optics demonstrated in Sorbonne France a mechanical device that is said to be the predecessor of the modern TV set. Although this device was related to the modern TV set, it was far from the actual technology that was eventually used.
This device was able to take an image or actually flashes of light that were sent through a selenium element to another device that produced sound waves. Since at the time, sound waves could be transmitted through the air, these sound waves were then transmitted and received in the new location where the sound waves were demodulated back into flashes of light onto a new mirror.
Because Berlin’s device does not come close enough to the standard TV set, he is not acknowledged with inventing the TV set. Unfortunately, there is no clear inventor; it usually comes down to two different people.
The first inventor in this controversy is Vladmir Kosma Zworykin. He was a Russian born American working for Westinghouse, a technology company in America. The other inventor in this controversy is Philo Taylor Farnsworth. He was privately backed living in Utah. Both men were working on the creation of the TV set at the same time, but at different locations. While Vladmir Kosma Zworykin was able to be granted a patent for the television set from the US government, Philo Taylor Farnsworth was able to produce a true television picture. A true television picture refers to the technology used in today’s TV sets. An image is electronically scanned and broken up into small particles of light and then transmitted over sound waves. Once transmitted over sound waves, they can be put back together in their original form to create an image by a TV set.
While there is lots of controversy, most people cite the inventor of the TV set to Zworykin because he holds the patent for the technology which was filed in 1923. The patent holder was a company called Iconoscope. However, Farnsworth has the unique distinction of proving that the technology works by creating the first working model of the modern TV set which was demonstrated on September 7th 1927.
To this day, there is plenty of controversy surrounding the invention of the modern TV set; however both Zworykin and Farnsworth are credited with being exceptional inventors and great minds of the 20th century.