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Inventors John Logie Baird
By Mary Bellis

Return to The History of Television

John Logie Baird was born on August 13th, 1888, in Helensburgh, Dunbarton, Scotland and died on June 14th, 1946, in  Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England. John Logie Baird received a diploma course in electrical engineering at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (now called Strathclyde University), and studied towards his Bachelor of Science Degree in electrical engineering from the University of Glasgow, interrupted by the outbreak of  W.W.I.

John Logie Baird is remembered as being an inventor of a mechanical television system. In the 1920's, John Logie Baird and American Clarence W. Hansell patented the idea of using arrays of transparent rods to transmit images for television and facsimiles respectively. Baird's 30 line images were the first demonstrations of  television by reflected light rather than back-lit silhouettes. John Logie Baird based his technology on Paul Nipkow's scanning disc idea and later developments in electronics.

The television pioneer created the first televised pictures of objects in motion (1924), the first televised human face (1925) and a year later he televised the first moving object image at the Royal Institution in London. His 1928 trans-atlantic transmission of the image of a human face was a broadcasting milestone. Color television (1928), stereoscopic television and television by infra-red light were all demonstrated by Baird before 1930. He successfully lobbied for broadcast time with the British Broadcasting Company, the BBC started broadcasting television on the Baird 30-line system in 1929. The first simultaneous sound and vision telecast was broadcast in 1930. In July 1930, the first British Television Play was transmitted, "The Man with the Flower in his Mouth."

In 1936, the British Broadcasting Corporation adopted television service using the electronic television technology of Marconi-EMI (the world's first regular high resolution service - 405 lines per picture), it was that technology that won out over Baird's system.

John Logie Baird
John Logie Baird - the inventor of mechanical television..
Early British Television History
The Background to Baird's 'Phonovision'
Adventures in CyberSound: Eye of the World
Biography and interviews about John Logie Baird, one of the people credited with the invention of television. Part Two Part Three
Visionary: John Logie Baird and Mechanical Television
The discovery leading to the possibility of mechanical television was an accident. While measuring the conductive capabilities of various metals for the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cables, it was discovered selenium conducted more electricity while lit than in darkness.
John Logie Baird - a biography
Early / Mechanical Television Systems

Related Innovations
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Fiber Optics

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