This is the story of how an independent inventor persisted against scientific competition, numerous international patent disputes, corporate power and near financial disaster to invent all of the major technology enabling the modern liquid crystal display industry.
This book is based on the original “autobiography” that Jim Fergason was writing before his death in 2008, which was co-authored with his close friend, Arthur Berman. In 2010, Jim’s daughter Terri Fergason Neal decided to complete that manuscript and publish it, largely for the Fergason family but also for the many scientists, inventors, and other interested persons who would enjoy knowing more about the life of a leading American inventor. Terri worked closely with editor Marian Pierce over the next five years to expand the manuscript and finalize it.
Together they interviewed and emailed extensively with Fergason family members, as well as many of Jim’s colleagues, friends, and supporters, especially Tom Harsch who worked closely with Jim for more than 40 years and whose familiarity with the events and history added extensive detail to support the original manuscript. Additional inputs from Dora Fergason, Jim’s wife, and Terri’s siblings (brothers Jeff and John, who were long-time leads in the family ventures, and sister Susan) helped complete the materials.
One of the key elements of this book is to set the story straight about how Jim Fergason was, without any doubt, the true inventor of the TN-LCD. As this book will show, he was the first to utilize and exploit the science of liquid crystals, to manufacture them, and to apply them for inventive, practical purposes. He was credited by the U.S. Patent Office with the first patent on them. He is Mr. Liquid Crystal.