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RIP Eugene J. Polley

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The name Eugene J. Polley may not ring a bell to you, actually I would be surprised if it did, but I guarantee you you have used his creation – for most people, it’s used multiple times per day.

I can’t imagine my life without the convenience of my remote control, therefore I tip my hat to Mr. Polley for giving us the ability to keep our butts firmly planted on the couch during our entire television watching experience.

Eugene was working for Zenith when he came up with the ‘Flash-Matic’ remote control. The remote was introduced to the public in 1955 as the worlds first wireless TV remote. It worked by using a flashlight-like device to activate photo cells on the television set, which turned the knob and changed the channel. Isn’t that crazy?! Because TV’s obviously weren’t digital yet so the remote actually turned the knob… So when you plop your butt on the couch today and pick up your remote, just remember it was Eugene J. Polley who contributed to making us lazier – but it’s oh-so convenient.

Polley died of natural causes at the age of 96 in Downers Grove, Illinois.

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