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  • Date :
  • 8/4/2004

1996is the seventieth anniversary of the birth of television. John Logie Baird, the father of this pervasive technology, first publicly demonstrated television on 26 January 1926, in his small laboratory in the Soho district of London. Although large companies with great financial support were also working on the problem of television, Baird managed to surpass them all with very little money, a handful of unpaid helpers and equipment pieced together using rather unconventional materials. For example, Baird's choice of mechanical scanning as the most effective way of achieving true television required the use of spinning discs -- which of financial necessity were made of hatboxes and mounted on a coffin lid. This short account, written for the anniversary of the invention of television, not only recounts the events that led up to the first demonstration of television by John Logie Baird, but also describes some of the Scottish inventor's many areas of investigation.


(13 August 1888-14 June 1946)

JOHN LOGIE BAIRD. Born in Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire, U.K., 13 August 1888. Attended Royal Technical College, Glasgow, and Glasgow University. Served as superintendent, Clyde Valley Electric Power Company; helped pioneer television transmission, successfully transmitting image of a Maltese cross several feet, 1924; gave scientists a demonstration of "Noctovision," a form of infra-red television imaging, 26 January 1926; succeeded with world's first transatlantic television transmission from London to New York, and produced first television images in natural color, 1928; experimented with stereoscopic television; the BBC adopted his 30-line, mechanically-scanned system, 1929, used for the first televising of the Derby from Epsom, 1931. Recipient: first gold medal of the International Faculty of Science given to an Englishman, 1937; Gold Medal of the International Faculty of Science, 1937. Died in Bexhill, Sussex, U.K., 14 June 1946.

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