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Philo Farnsworth and the Television
Philo Farnsworth and the Television
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Reviewed Titles Capstone Interactive Accelerated Reader
Graphic Library

Philo Farnsworth and the Television

by Ellen S. Niz
Illustrated by Keith Tucker

Tells the story of how Philo Farnsworth came up with the idea for electronic television at age 14, and later developed his idea into the technology for television that is still used today. Written in graphic-novel format.

GenreGraphic Nonfiction
Reading LevelGrades 3-4
Interest LevelGrades 3-9
Lexile LevelGN560L
ATOS Level3.9
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #107951
PublisherCapstone Press
BrandGraphic Library
Page Count32
Capstone Interactive eBook
List Price: $53.32 School/Library Price



Good Comics for Kids

"Check out Capstone Press with their graphic novels of things we use everyday; cameras, TV and books. The stories behind the creations of things we consider everyday can actually be interesting as well as educational." - Good Comics for Kids

June 4, 2008

Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review

"Philo Farnsworth was thrilled when his family moved to a farm in Ohio in 1918 where there was electricity. Though he was only twelve, he was quickly experimenting with electricity and putting it to all kinds of new uses at his parent’s farm. In his spare time he read about what scientists were doing with electricity and he was particularly intrigued by the idea of sending pictures using electricity. At this time people were dependent on movies, newspapers, and the radio for news and information and the idea of being able to see as well as hear and read about news was fascinating to Philo. When he was just thirteen he began to work on an invention that could send pictures using electricity. He asked his science teacher at school for help but the teacher knew even less about electricity than Philo did. At last Philo had a breakthrough and came up with an idea of how his invention might work. He called his machine a “television” and when he was nineteen and had a lab in San Francisco, he began to build the machine. The process was difficult because Philo had to build many of the parts himself, but on September 7th, 1927 he gave a demonstration of his first electronic television transmission. In 1934 Philo was able to give a demonstration to the public. Thousands came to see images on Philo’s television screen. Unfortunately, this triumph was marred by battles between Philo and his competitors over who controlled the patents for the electronic television. RCA insisted that their scientists were the ones who first came up with the idea for an electronic television, but Philo was able to prove that he was the one who came up the idea when he was still a high school student. Unfortunately for Philo Farnsworth, RCA still had the money and the power in business and it was RCA that brought the television into the homes of the American people and not Philo’s company. This excellent title in the Graphic Library series tells the story of a man whose achievements are not always given the recognition they deserve. An excellent text set in a graphic rich format presents Philo Farnsworth’s story in an engaging way which even reluctant readers will find attractive." - Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review

August 1, 2007

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

"Grabbing the visual learner’s attention, Niz is writing for the “Graphic Library,” a series, a new graphic novel approach for non-fiction. The book uses a comic book format with brief narrative boxes and short, semi-punchy dialogue in balloons. This book is not a biography but a piece of the inventor’s life. In this case, Philo Farnsworth struggles not only to create the television set, but also to then protect his patent from his competitors. Because of the format the text is minimal, even as the story covers a fair number of details. For example, the simple sentence, “Philo also studied science and famous inventors” would be almost a throwaway line, except that the picture shows Philo, not in a library but in his family’s barn in Idaho, studying while stretched out on the hay. The young boy has a bubble thought: “I’ll bet you could do just about anything with electricity.” The illustrations are good, accurately showing snapshot-like images of the appropriate time period. They are not as exciting as, say, Spiderman, but they move the reader through the story. The vocabulary is not simple, but there are so few words and so many pictures that this works as a high-low book. Back matter includes a “Glossary,” a “Read More” section, a “Bibliography,” an “Index,” and a list of “Internet Sites.” The sites are maintained on Capstone’s Facthound Site, where URLs are checked to make sure they are both age appropriate and current." - Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

July 1, 2007