Last night I was watching the Emmy Awards with my boyfriend, and traditionally these awards shows devote a certain amount of time to video montages remembering people within the industry who had passed away within the year. This was the case last night, and during this year’s montage (as always) there were more than a few names and faces that were unfamiliar to me. However, there was one person in particular that caught my attention, just because of how out of place they seemed wedged between all of the faded television stars and casting directors.
Elma Farnsworth, widow of television’s inventor, Philo Farnsworth, passed away this year without much media attention. Her husband had died decades earlier, and even though she spent the remainder of her life fighting to give him a well-deserved place in history, most people still don’t know the man or his achievements.
Not only did he create television and the television camera at the age of 21, he was also responsible for other important inventions, such as the baby incubator. Elma was there every step of the way for these accomplishments, and Philo often shared what little acclaim he did receive with his beloved wife.
Elma Farnsworth was the first woman to be broadcast on television, and I was glad to see that she was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Aside from a tribute to her husband during the Emmy’s 54th annual ceremony, this was only the second time Elma or her husband had ever appeared on the show, albeit posthumously.