Rigby is a small town located in the southeastern part of Idaho and has a rich and important history in the field of television technology. Despite its small size, Rigby was the birthplace of television broadcasting and played a pivotal role in the development of this revolutionary technology.

Rigby televsion signboard

Rigby televsion signboard Photo credit: Flickr

Philo T. Farnsworth, a young inventor born in Beaver, Utah in 1906, is credited with transmitting the first television image in the world. Farnsworth was a self-taught inventor who was fascinated with the idea of transmitting pictures through the air. Despite growing up in a farming family with limited resources, he pursued his dream and moved to Rigby in the 1920s to continue his work.

Farnsworth’s work in Rigby received national attention, and he quickly became a household name. On Sept. 7, 1927, he successfully transmitted the first television image — a simple line. This was a major milestone in the history of television and marked the beginning of a new era of communication and entertainment.

Farnsworth’s early success did not come without challenges. The Great Depression put a damper on investment in new technology, and many people were skeptical about its potential. Nevertheless, Farnsworth persisted, and by the mid-1930s, television was beginning to take hold in America. In 1928, he filed a patent for his invention, which protected his technology and allowed him to continue his work.

Television soon became an integral part of American culture, and its impact on society was profound. From the 1950s through the 1970s, television became the primary source of news and entertainment for millions of people around the world. It brought the world into the homes of everyday people and allowed them to witness events and experiences that were once only accessible to a privileged few.

To learn more about the history of Farnsworth and the invention of the television, visit the Farnsworth TV & Pioneer Museum in Rigby.