The Inventor Of The Remote Control, Like So Many Of His Creations, Has Been Lost

We at Vomit Comet World HQ would like to take this moment to note the death of a man who is a hero to millions, possibly more. that man is Eugene Polley, inventor of the television remote control. He recently passed away of natural causes at the age of 96.

In 1955, if you wanted to switch TV channels from Arthur Godfrey to Father Knows Best, you got up from your chair, walked across the room and turned a knob. Clunk. Clunk. Clunk.

Or you could buy a new Zenith television with Flash-Matic tuning. The TV came with a green ray gun-shaped contraption with a red trigger. The advertising promised “TV miracles.” The “flash tuner” was “Absolutely harmless to humans!” Most intriguing of all: “You can even shut off annoying commercials while the picture remains on the screen.”

Polley’s Flash-Matic pointed a beam of light at photo cells in the corners of the television screen. Each corner activated a different function, turning the picture and sound off and on, and changing the channels.

He is also credited with inventing the push-button car radio, among other things.

What an awesome, awesome man.

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