It’s time for another installment of Throwback Thursday — a popular meme re-imagined.
Today’s Throwback Thursday: Hugo Gernsback wearing TV Glasses during a 1963 Life magazine shoot.
Inventor, Publisher & Science Fiction Writer
Hugo Gernsback was also known as the “Father of Science Fiction” — though to many that title is held by Jules Verne. Though maybe not the most masterful writer, Hugo is not to be discounted, however, as a mover and shaker in the world of sci-fi and as an inventor of crazy — sometimes genius — gizmos. Gernsback apparently held dozens of patents for inventions, like the TV glasses, pictured above.
Gernsback was a colorful character and a savvy businessman and the world seems to be a better place in part because of people who embody his spirit and gusto for invention. Certainly a polarizing figure according to a piece on Gernsback in Smithsonian Magazine:
Hugo “Awards” Gernsback was many different things to different people. To his fans, he was a visionary who started some of the most influential (not to mention the first) science fiction magazines of the early 20th century. Ray Bradbury was quoted as saying, “Gernsback made us fall in love with the future.” To his detractors, he was “Hugo the Rat,” known to men like H. P. Lovecraft for being a crooked publisher who sometimes stiffed his writers when payment was due. But above all else, he was a tireless self-promoter. (Full article here.)
I am especially fond of Gernsback’s role in the invention of an electrical pick-up for a violin. I’ve used this pick-up myself for my own violin.
Bonus — a Throwback Thursday….of the Future:
Compare and contrast the above #TBT photo to the following #TBT photo of the near-ish future, Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass:
Inventors everywhere. Sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes we make magic. No one ever succeeded by not trying.