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Thomas Goldsmith: The Grandfather of Video Games

Dr. Thomas Goldsmith '31
Dr. Thomas Goldsmith ’31

The university community is quite familiar with Furman graduate and Nobel Laureate Dr. Charles Townes ‘35, but fewer may be aware of another Furman alum whose scientific research was just as instrumental in shaping the future. In 1947, Dr. Thomas T. Goldsmith, Jr., a 1931 graduate who also taught physics at Furman, submitted a patent for a revolutionary new entertainment contraption titled the “Cathode-ray tube amusement device.” Today, few recognize Goldsmith as the inventor of the first video game system. But they should, according to Popular Mechanics magazine. Dr. Goldsmith’s invention is called “the forgotten precursor to a revolution” in an article titled “The Grandfather of Video Games You’ve Never Heard Of.”

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