Monday, February 4, 2008

Raymond Jacobs, Meet Philo Farnsworth

Normally, I would suggest that Jacobs see Aaron Sorkin's new play and learn the story for himself, but Raymond Jacobs is dead at the age of 82.

Philo Farnsworth was the first person to engineer a working glass video tube to pick up images electronically and the first to effectively demonstrate the viability of electric television. He did not reap the benefits of being first though. RCA, led by David Sarnoff, despite designing television second, reaped the credits and benefits.

Raymond Jacobs spent part of his life fighting for that first place recognition. Those who have seen "Flags of Our Fathers" or - you know- studied history, know that the famous Iwo Jima photo (you can see it by looking slightly up and to your right) was the second raising of the flag on the island. The first? Raymond Jacobs says he was involved:

The radioman's face isn't fully visible in the first photograph taken of the first flag-raising by Lou Lowery, a photographer for Leatherneck magazine, leading some veterans to question Jacobs' claim. However, other negatives from the same roll of film show the radioman is Jacobs, said retired Col. Walt Ford, editor of Leatherneck. "It's clearly a front-on face shot of Ray Jacobs," Ford said.
There is no official record, though, so it's a close call as to whether he was one of the original flag placers. It could be a photo finish...

[Yahoo! News]

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