Eugene Polley, Inventor of a TV Device Most of Us Can’t Imagine Doing Without, Dead at 96

May 22, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Eugene Polley, the co-inventor of a device that we all use virtually every day, that changed how we watch television and that many of us can’t imagine doing without, has died, TVNewser.com reports. Polley, co-inventor of the television remote control, was 96.

Polley was a young engineer at Zenith Radio Corporation when he patented, along with co-inventor Robert Adler, technology that would become the "Flash-Matic" in 1955, the story notes. The Flash-Matic was the first TV remote control.

According to engineering site CrazyEngineers.com, "Now Flash-Matic wasn’t a very perfect wireless TV remote control. It required a precise angle with the TV to work. But it offered a huge advantage over Zenith’s first remote controller called “Lazy Bones” (like the name?), which connected with the TV set with an umbilical-like cord."

Polley joined Zenith in 1935 and held many roles at the company during his 47-year career, working on technology for radios, black-and-white TVs and color sets. He held 18 patents, almost all of them related to television, TVNewser reports.

Zenith-Flash-Matic.jpgImage from electronichouse.com

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