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Tube: The Invention of Television

     by Fisher, David E.

Tube: The Invention of Television

What do an Idaho farm boy, a Russian immigrant, and a sickly Scotsman have in common? All three of them can claim to be the rightful inventors of television. However, as is chronicled in Tube: The Invention of Television, it really isn't that simple. The invention of television began as far back as the 1880s when Paul Nipkow, a German engineer, developed the Nipkow disk, a device that could be used to scan an image. John Logie Baird, the sickly Scot, used the Nipkow disk in the early 1920s to build a mechanical television, the first of its kind. At the same time, Philo Farnsworth, the high school dropout from Idaho, and Vladimir Zworykin, the Russian immigrant, were both working on electronic television, with varying results. Tube follows the race against time and each other as these three inventors attempt to develop the first commercially viable television set. Who wins? Read Tube to find out! 

The television is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Tube is an impressive book which follows the development in a straightforward manner. It presents the scientific principles behind television, yet is easy enough for the layperson to understand. Philo Farnsworth provides an interesting Indiana connection to television. Farnsworth relocated from California to Fort Wayne and began Farnsworth Radio and Television in the 1930s. A Farnsworth museum is located in Fort Wayne and displays many early televisions and radios.

Reviewed by pk, 5/02. Other reviews by pk.