Innovation Station / Risk Takers

Thank you Mr Eugene Polley

On Wednesday May 23rd 2012, we lost a true innovator and risk taker. Mr Eugene Polley was an engineer for Zenith electrics for 47 years, working his way up from the stock room  all the way up to Assistant Division Chief for Zenth’s Mechanical Engineering Group. His work included creating the company’s first catalog as well as working on a radar project for the U.S. Department of Defense during World War II. That is great in all but the real reason we are thanking Mr Polley is for his ingenious idea of making tv watching more about watching tv and less about exercise. Mr Polley is the inventor of the zenith television remote control. His work on has truly revolutionized they way the world entertains itself. Without the remote the word couch potato would have a whole new meaning. It makes me wonder what was going through his mind when he decided to invent the this life changing device. Could it be he was tired of having to get up to change the channel himself. Maybe it was more maniacal than that. Name another thing that is lost more yet we are more attached to than the remote. Its as if its easier to destroy the living room looking for it than it is to walk up to the tv and manually change the channel.

However he got the idea, we are all grateful. Here is a list of some of the things we would be behind on:

internet, push-button car radio, video disks, bluetooth, obesity, garage doors,  wireless phones,…pretty much anything that used to have a cord but is now powered by remote making the lives of all simpler.

Thanks again Mr Plley for your handwork and innovation your invention is used all day everyday in billions of homes around the globe. Without it who knows where we would be but its good thing we don’t have to worry about that. Your thumbprint will be on us all forever.

Eugene Polley was born November 29th, 1950 in Chicago, Il attended the City Colleges of Chicago and Armour Institute of Technology, like all the greats he didn’t finish college he dropped out to raise money on the kids. Hired as stock boy worked his way up to engineer. During his 47 year career he earned 18 U.S. patents and was awarded the Technology & Engineering Emmy Award (1997) and the Technology & Engineering Emmy Award (1997).


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