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The Chicago Man Who Invented The Remote Control Has Died

"The inventor of the television remote control has died at the age of 96, his former employer has said," the BBC reports.

"Zenith Electronics said Eugene Polley passed away of natural causes on Sunday at a Chicago hospital.

"His 1955 invention, Flash-Matic, pointed a beam of light at photo cells on each corner of the TV, turning it off and on and changing the channels."


"Eugene Theodore Polley was born in Chicago on Nov. 29, 1915. (He disliked the name Theodore and adopted his confirmation name, Joseph, as his middle name.) His father, a bootlegger, abandoned the family when Gene was about 10," the New York Times reports.

"The young Mr. Polley studied at the City Colleges of Chicago and the Armour Institute of Technology (now the Illinois Institute of Technology), but lacked the money to complete a degree. At 20 he joined the Zenith Radio Company, as it was then known, as a stock boy earning 40 cents an hour."


"Polley also worked on the push-button radio for automobiles and on the development of the video disk, predecessor of today's DVD," according to a Zenith press release.


"This is the greatest thing since the wheel," Polley once told the Tribune.

"According to his son, a grave marker at Assumption Cemetery in Wheaton will read, 'Gene Polley, Inventor of the TV Remote Control,'" the paper reports.


A final salute.


Comments welcome.


Posted on May 24, 2012

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