The Farnsworth Invention to become a stage play
By Mike Hanlon
September 17, 2006
September 18, 2006 In May of this year, Elma G. "Pem" Farnsworth passed away and we were staggered to think that someone who witnessed and played such a major role in one of the key inventions of the 20th century could have still been alive. Pem was the wife of television inventor Philo T. Farnsworth, one of the last “lone inventors” who worked it all out from scratch and his quest to finally transmit pictures through the air was reached for the first time on September 7, 1927. Now Farnsworth’s story is to be told in a new stage production "The Farnsworth Invention" written by well known writer Aaron Sorkin, the creator of the television series “West Wing” which won him an Emmy for outstanding writing in a drama series for his fast-paced and intricate dialog. Sorkin’s play “A Few Good Men” also became a major film. Originally written as a screenplay, and now rewritten as a play, "The Farnsworth Invention" will run from February 20 to March 25, 2007 at the La Jolla Playhouse Potiker Theatre in California. One of the backers of the production is none other than Steven Spielberg so don’t be surprised to see it as a feature film sooner or later.
Paul Schatzkin was the first Farnsworth biographer to isolate the Farnsworth -v- Sarnoff story in a series of articles that were published in 1977. The text was expanded into a book called "The Boy Who Invented Television" which is available at http://farnovision.com or via Amazon or any other book store.