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He knew The Father of Television

Published On: Feb 25 2014 09:31:09 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 25 2014 10:50:28 PM CST

KIDK turns 60 years old. Roy Southwick and Philo T. Farnsworth were both there the day Channel 3 made history.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Happy 60th birthday Channel 3. KIDK 60 years, that's hard to believe. We wanted to learn more about how it all started, and what a better place than the Farnsworth Museum in Rigby, where television was born.

Back in the days before DVDs and videotape and the card video that we use today, we used film. The good old days of the film chain with 16mm film and slide drums -- somehow it all came out on the air.

But before that could happen, it took a simple dream; of what was then; a very complex idea: a moving picture in a box, transmitted invisibly through the air with no wires attached.

Roy Southwick, 92, of Idaho Falls was there the day the picture box came to southeastern Idaho. We we took him back to the very spot where it all happened -- the Channel 3 studio on 17th Street.

"This was the kitchen right here. Maurcine Lewis and Leo Higham did a cooking show," said Southwick, pointing to a vacant area of the studio.

"Take me back to that first broadcast, who was here, what was that like?" asked Todd Kunz, KIDK news anchor.

"I can still see that. If I remember right, we had a young lady do a dance in front of the camera. Then I came out and I stood there and said I'd like to introduce the staff. One by one, they came across the camera. Then later in the day, I interviewed Philo Farnsworth. Philo is the father of television, and I didn't know enough about it to really know or appreciate who he was. I think he was probably in his 40s or early 50s at that time. And he went up to the blackboard and did a diagram of what he thought a picture tube should be or whatever," said Southwick.

"You look at that day and the old scan cathode ray tube, and you look at today with big screens, little screens, digital, high-definition; what goes through your mind?" asked Kunz.

"There's no doubt there has been a progress. A great amount of progress," replied Southwick.

"That was a good time," said Kunz.

"Yes," said Southwick.

"Not only in your life, but in the world," said Kunz.

"Oh yes, it was fun. We had a captive audience for 10 years, no other competition. We had a good time. KID was a family," said Southwick.

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