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John Logie Baird Biography

Inventor of Television And Phonovision

Posted on February 12, 2010 by , with 10939 views

John Logie Baird

Watching television is something that we all take for granted. In fact in the last 15 years televisions have changed dramatically in shape and size and are due to change even more this year with the release 3D television sets.

However this is all thanks to one man - John Logie Baird. Baird was a Scottish engineer born in August 1888 who invented the very first working television system.

He was born in Argyll, Scotland educated at the Larchfield School before going onto college. He started out at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (later renamed to the University of Strathclyde) before going on to start a degree at the University of Glasgow. However he never got a qualification as he left to fight in World War 1 and never graduated.

It was in 1924 that he first showed that it was possible to transmit static images with a semi-mechanical analogue television system. It was a year later in 1925 that he transmitted his first moving image. These images were hard to produce and were in shades of brown. However poor the images were the pictures of a ventriloquists dummy's head have made history.

After this he went onto show moving images of a local boy to a live audience of onlookers.

The actual development on televisions as we know them today are down to a whole team of inventors including Baird, Paul Gottlieb Nipkow and Boris Rosing however it really is Baird that has the reputation of one of its foremost pioneers.

Baird tried to raise awareness of his marvellous invention however found it hard to find people as enthusiastic about the 'magic box' as he was. Towards the end of 1925 he paid a visit to the editor of the Daily Express newspaper hoping for some media exposure. However his visit did not go down well with the editor being heard to say "For God's sake, go down to reception and get rid of a lunatic who's down there. He says he's got a machine for seeing by wireless! Watch him-- he may have a razor on him."

It was really in 1926 that they managed to broadcast television in his true form. A display was put on for a reporter from The Times newspaper and The Royal Institution that showed a true television system complete with both light and dark colour shades

The following year Baird did his first long distance broadcast. He managed to transmit between London and Glasgow over 438 miles of cable. Following this achievement his set up the Baird Television Development Company Ltd. In 1928 they went onto make the first international television transmission from London to New York. They also developed the very first TV program from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC)

Baird died in 1946 and for the 2 years prior to this lived in a house in Bexhill on Sea. This was demolished in 2006 to make way for a block of flats, despite protests from many local residents. This block of flats was named "Baird Court" after the inventor.

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