Philo T. Farnsworth was born in 1906 in Indian Creek, a hamlet near Beaver, Utah. He had little education after high school other than two years at Brigham Young University, yet he is the father of the electronic television. His fascination with electricity began early in life, and he read every book or magazine he could find on the subject. This obsession led to his tinkering with his family's farm generator as well as his mother's sewing machine and her washer.
In 1919 Farnsworth's first recognition as an inventor came as a $25 first-place prize from the magazine Science and Invention. The prize was awarded for the best original invention, and Farnsworth's winning entry was a thief-proof ignition switch.