US 1,773,980, Television System, patented on August 26, 1930, by Philo T. Farnsworth. He came up with the idea while still in high school, and had a working model by the age of 21. In later years, he battled a patent interference case with RCA and after much legal wrangling, won. Sadly, he ended his life in isolation and depression, but remained one of television’s first critics. When his son was asked what his father’s attitude was toward his invention, he replied, “I suppose you could say that he felt he had created kind of a monster, a way for people to waste a lot of their lives.” Brief biography of Farnsworth at Time 100.