A play being presented in Mountain View is "The Farnsworth Invention" written by Aaron Sorkin. I found this article which deals with the history of the the play. In so doing it gives us Philo Farnsworth's history. Here is a young man, who before he was in the ninth grade at Rigby High School, came up with what became his idea for television. He shared this with his science teacher. At a very young age he took out a patent for his idea, and began working in a lab perfecting his invention. He was given the original patent of television, although and earlier patent had been applied for. However, that idea was deemed unworkable.
Here is a scene by scene account of the play and the history; which are not the same. http://thefarnsworthinvention.com/index.html