Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: T-D reactions
Date: Jan 16, 09:45 am
Poster: Richard Hull

On Jan 16, 09:45 am, Richard Hull wrote:

>What about Farnsworth's third patent?
>Lithium/Deutronium reaction?


I know of know third Farnsworth patent. Hirsch's patent describes this reaction! I guess I don't know how you figure Hirsch's patent is obviously Farnsworth's work. Having talked to every living ITT team member I have a bit of a bias, but Hirsch had his own separate fusor in the ITT lab. He and Farnsworth often were in dispute, but the disputes were never violent. They just viewed things differently. Both contributed to the fusor. I have no reason to suspect Hirsch of stealing Farnsworth's ideas. If he did and patented them then that is an issue of Farnsworth's own neglect.

Remember, Hirsch was fresh out of his Doctoral work and would naturally be wet behind the ears, and maybe even a little socially inept due to his youth, but full of ideas and enthusiasm. He was definitely brought onto the team by only one man, Admiral Fredrick Furth! I think Furth wanted some respectable Phd on the team to give it balance and add a bit of acedemic authority to the effort. This was not a slight to Farnsworth, but an effort to make the whole project look polished to the ITT execs in New York. Furth was in a constant running gunfit with the headoffice to continue funding. His efforts were Herculean.

100% of all team members thought that without Furth and his efforts, not one bolt would have been turned on the fusor effort. Everyone of those I interviewed, to the man, refered to him affectionately as just "th' admiral". It is a testiment to Furth's struggle behind the scenes that the Fusor effort at ITT lasted so many years with no marketable results. I consider Furth a full team member!

Some of this Hirsch hiring was an issue of contention between Farnsworth and Furth. Nevertheless, they remained fast friends.

Hirsch was quite assertive and was often at loggerheads with Farnsworth, mainly in the theory area. I think that has mellowed in old age now. Hirsch speaks well of Farnsworth.

Richard Hull