1,773,980 is one of two controlling patents filed as a result of the first transmission in San Francisco. This one discloses the camera, and 1773981 discloses the receiver, or "Tv set."
3,386,883 is the second of two patents PTF filed for fusion, actually, he did not file it, and objected to its content, but ITT et al, filed it anyway. In fact he left ITT/Farnsworth in Fort Wayne over this very patent's content. Still, for getting to know the fusor and, more important, the poissor, this would be the best read I know of. There are other patents on IEC Fusion, as it is known these days, they stray way off the Farnsworth method. I do not cast aspersions here, but if you want this method of fusion, you have to start at the horse's mouth.
Admittedly, my knowledge of how to comprehensively digest what is available on the Patent site is very limited, assuming that it is there to be digested at all, I will raise a couple questions. (While the patent office really can not be criticized for anarchy rather then order, because it is the very first thing cut when the national budget must be pared down.)
Lets get started:
How many patents was Philo T Farnsworth granted patent protection?
His recollection was vague as well. Now that I am somewhat more interested in how many patents he has to his credit, there seems to be no single repository to maintain records where someone can look.
ITT, so I am told, instructed Phil's secretary to gather up all the patents she could find in the course of her day and keep them in a stack. I have that stack, and for this we thank Virginia Funk, as this is as close as I have gotten to ALL of his "Letters Patent to the King".
Phil was most often heard to say that he had 165 US patents, and if prodded he would add that the number is like 1500 worldwide. Since his passing, I have heard many variations raging from 100 to whatever. So here I sit offering to be the place where you can see the definitive list of patents, and all I ask is a hard copy, or if I can just get the number I will arrange for a hard copy from the USPTO, but if a hard copy does not exist, it does not increment the total.
I suspect there could be many occult patents.
The war years. Many inventions thought to be valuable to the war effort, or that might aid the enemy, were kept under wraps, and to "un wrap" them was not policy after the war. I have heard of patents that were secreted because of the war that were not released because of their cold war implications. Case in point, the laser. The inventor of the laser (and there are a couple patents vital for laser) had to sue for release of those patents, and also sued for an extended length of protection as many years had been lost during the war.
Phil was active all through these years. Cold war paranoia was as intense as the war was, and anything thought to unwise to allow global access to, was denied access to the public. Phil had a nice lab in Maine where he spent the war years, and was in Fort Wayne with a large facility during the height of the cold war. Satellite imagery and many guidance systems were being worked on in Fort Wayne in these years, and I expect that Phil was in on these developments. Phil was almost a fanatical patriot, and treated such security very formally. So were their patents that are not a part of the public record? I think about that a lot. I do not know how else to proceed.
As far as fusion goes, I am confident that as far as the fusor/poissor technology is concerned, there are only two patents, and that what is claimed on the latter of these patents, more or less envelops the operation of these devices, and that is, as far as he was allowed or asked, or of a mind to disclose.
So I want to inform, AND I want to raise a question: is there more? Feel free to check your patents with these listed here, and if you have one I do not, email me and I will add it to the list. If you have a suspicion, and a number, I will try to chase it down.