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People & Places

Most Underrated Historical Spot 

The Philo T. Farnsworth Plaque

While the Golden Gate Bridge and the Transamerica building make an appearance in every S.F.-based television show, there's one historical spot that will probably never be featured on the small screen. Which is more than a little ironic considering its subject matter: This small plaque at the base of Telegraph Hill marks the spot where modern television was created. Yes, TV was birthed in San Francisco by one of the most unknown inventors of the 20th century, the 21-year-old Philo T. Farnsworth, a pioneer in electronics who invented and patented the first operational all-electronic television system on Sept. 7, 1927. The inventor and several dedicated assistants successfully transmitted the first television image from this Green Street site, once their laboratory and now an office building where people no doubt cluster around a water cooler somewhere and discuss the latest twist on Game of Thrones, Mad Men, or other products of the medium Farnsworth helped create.

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