Watchwoman on the Wall


Eugene Polley earned 18 U.S. patents for his inventions, which include the “Flash-matic” remote control. Introduced in 1955, the gadget “used a flashlight-like device to activate photo cells on the television set to change channels,” according to one-time TV powerhouse Zenith.

Zenith Flash-matic Remote Invented 1955

The Flash-Matic was followed by the Space Command, which was developed by the late Robert Adler, a fellow Zenith engineer who built upon Polley’s invention. These early iterations have since given way to more advanced infrared and radio-frequency remotes.

Zenith TV - 1st TV sold with remote wireless remote - So why would an otherwise sane person rent a van and drive 900 miles round trip to pick up a mid 50's TV that cost $10 on eBay? Simple, this Zenith was the first set sold with wireless remote control and that makes it worth the effort to save it from the landfill! -

Not content to rest on his laurels, Polley also worked on the push-button radio for cars and on development of the video disk, predecessor of today’s DVD.

Robert Adler Inventor of 2nd Generation of TV Remote - Born December 4, 1913 in Vienna, Austria - Died February 15, 2007 (aged 93) Boise, Idaho, U.S. in a nursing home of heart failure at age 93 years old


Zenith Space Commander 600 TV Remote




  • Eugene Polley, Inventor of the First Wireless TV Remote Control, Has Died,0,2796250.story
  • Slideshow: A History of TV Remote Controls
  • Eugene Polley, Inventor of the First Wireless TV Remote Control, Has Died
  • R.I.P. Eugene Polley, inventor of the TV remote control [Video],0,2796250.story
  • Robert Adler (Wikipedia)


Posted by Donna Calvin — Tuesday, May 22, 2012


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