John Logie Baird
Baird in 1917
|Died||14 June 1946 57) (aged|
Bexhill, Sussex, England
|Resting place||Baird family grave in Helensburgh Cemetery|
|Residence||Scotland / England|
|Education||Larchfield Academy, Helensburgh|
|Alma mater||Royal Technical College (now University of Strathclyde), Glasgow|
|Organization||Consulting Technical Adviser, Cable & Wireless Ltd (1941–)|
director, John Logie Baird Ltd
director, Capital and Provincial Cinemas Ltd
|Known for||One of the inventors of television, including the first colour television.|
|Spouse(s)||Margaret Albu (m. 1931)|
|Children||Diana Baird and Malcolm Baird|
|Parent(s)||Rev John Baird, Minister, West Kirk, Helensburgh |
Jessie Morrison Inglis
John Logie Baird FRSE ( /
Mechanical television or mechanical scan television is a television system that relies on a mechanical scanning device, such as a rotating disk with holes in it or a rotating mirror, to scan the scene and generate the video signal, and a similar mechanical device at the receiver to display the picture. This contrasts with modern television technology, which uses electronic scanning methods, for example electron beams in cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions, and liquid-crystal displays (LCD), to create and display the picture.
In 1928 the Baird Television Development Company achieved the first transatlantic television transmission.Baird's early technological successes and his role in the practical introduction of broadcast television for home entertainment have earned him a prominent place in television's history.
Baird was ranked number 44 in the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote in 2002.In 2006, Baird was named as one of the 10 greatest Scottish scientists in history, having been listed in the National Library of Scotland's 'Scottish Science Hall of Fame'. In 2015 he was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.
100 Greatest Britons is a television series that was broadcast by the BBC in 2002. It was based on a television poll conducted to determine who the British people at that time considered the greatest Britons in history. The series included individual programmes featuring the top ten, with viewers having further opportunity to vote after each programme. It concluded with a debate and final determination of the ranking of the top ten. Although many living people were included among the top 100, all of the top ten were deceased.
The National Library of Scotland is the legal deposit library of Scotland and is one of the country's National Collections. Its main public building is in Edinburgh city centre on George IV Bridge, between the Old Town and the university quarter. This building is Category A listed. There is also a more modern building (1980s) in a residential area on the south side of the town centre, on Causewayside. This was built to accommodate some of the specialist collections, such as maps and science collections, and to provide extra large-scale storage. In 2016 a new public centre opened at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall providing access to the Library's digital and moving image collections.
Baird was born on 13 August 1888 in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, and was the youngest of four children of the Reverend John Baird, the Church of Scotland's minister for the local St Bride's Church and Jessie Morrison Inglis, the orphaned niece of a wealthy family of shipbuilders from Glasgow.
Helensburgh is a town within the Helensburgh and Lomond Area of Argyll and Bute Council, Scotland. It also has its own Community Council. Until local government reorganisation in 1996 Helensburgh was in Dumbarton District and hence also in Strathclyde Region; prior to 1975 it was a small burgh with its own town council within Dunbartonshire. In the Middle Ages it was within the Earldom of Lennox, an area sometimes referred to as the Lennox. It lies on the north shore of the Firth of Clyde and the mouth of the Gareloch is close to the western boundary of the town.
The Church of Scotland, also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national church of Scotland. It is Presbyterian and adheres to the Bible and Westminster Confession; the Church of Scotland celebrates two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, as well as five other rites, such as confirmation and matrimony. It is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.
Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. It is the fifth most visited city in the UK.
He was educated at Larchfield Academy (now part of Lomond School) in Helensburgh; the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College; and the University of Glasgow. While at college Baird undertook a series of engineering apprentice jobs as part of his course. The conditions in industrial Glasgow at the time helped form his socialist convictions but also contributed to his ill health. He became an agnostic, though this did not strain his relationship with his father.His degree course was interrupted by the First World War and he never returned to graduate.
Lomond School is an independent co-educational day and boarding school in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It was formed from a merger in 1977 between Larchfield School and St Bride's School for Girls. It is a member school of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The school originally used both the Larchfield and St Brides sites. In 1997 the St Brides building burnt down in a fire. A replacement building was built on the St Brides site, and the Larchfield site was sold.
The University of Strathclyde is a public research university located in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1796 as the Andersonian Institute, it is Glasgow's second-oldest university, with the university receiving its royal charter in 1964 as the first technological university in the United Kingdom. It takes its name from the historic Kingdom of Strathclyde.
The University of Glasgow is a public research university in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded by papal bull in 1451, it is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's four ancient universities. Along with the universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and St Andrews, the university was part of the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century.
At the beginning of 1915 he volunteered for service in the British Army but was classified as unfit for active duty. Unable to go to the Front, he took a job with the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Company, which was engaged in munitions work.
The development of television was the result of work by many inventors. Among them, Baird was a prominent pioneer and made major advances in the field. Many historians credit Baird with being the first to produce a live, moving, greyscale television image from reflected light. Baird achieved this, where other inventors had failed, by obtaining a better photoelectric cell and improving the signal conditioning from the photocell and the video amplifier.
Between 1902 and 1907, the German physicist Arthur Korn invented and built the first successful signal-conditioning circuits for image transmission. The circuits overcame the image-destroying lag effect that is part of selenium photocells. Korn's compensation circuit allowed him to send still fax pictures by telephone or wireless between countries and even over oceans, while his circuit operated without benefit of electronic amplification.Korn's success at transmitting halftone still images suggested that such compensation circuits might work in television. Baird was the direct beneficiary of Korn's research and success.
In his first attempts to develop a working television system, Baird experimented with the Nipkow disk. Paul Gottlieb Nipkow had invented this scanning disc system in 1884.Television historian Albert Abramson calls Nipkow's patent "the master television patent". Nipkow's work is important because Baird and many others chose to develop it into a broadcast medium.
In early 1923, and in poor health, Baird moved to 21 Linton Crescent, Hastings, on the south coast of England. He later rented a workshop in the Queen's Arcade in the town. Baird built what was to become the world's first working television set using items including an old hatbox and a pair of scissors, some darning needles, a few bicycle light lenses, a used tea chest, and sealing wax and glue that he purchased.In February 1924, he demonstrated to the Radio Times that a semi-mechanical analogue television system was possible by transmitting moving silhouette images. In July of the same year, he received a 1000-volt electric shock, but survived with only a burnt hand, and as a result his landlord, Mr Tree, asked him to vacate the premises. Baird gave the first public demonstration of moving silhouette images by television at Selfridges department store in London in a three-week series of demonstrations beginning on 25 March 1925.
In his laboratory on 2 October 1925, Baird successfully transmitted the first television picture with a greyscale image: the head of a ventriloquist's dummy nicknamed "Stooky Bill" in a 30-line vertically scanned image, at five pictures per second.Baird went downstairs and fetched an office worker, 20-year-old William Edward Taynton, to see what a human face would look like, and Taynton became the first person to be televised in a full tonal range. Looking for publicity, Baird visited the Daily Express newspaper to promote his invention. The news editor was terrified and he was quoted by one of his staff as saying: "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."
On 26 January 1926, Baird repeated the transmission for members of the Royal Institution and a reporter from The Times in his laboratory at 22 Frith Street in the Soho district of London, where Bar Italia is now located.By this time, he had improved the scan rate to 12.5 pictures per second. It was the first demonstration of a television system that could broadcast live moving images with tone graduation.
He demonstrated the world's first colour transmission on 3 July 1928, using scanning discs at the transmitting and receiving ends with three spirals of apertures, each spiral with a filter of a different primary colour; and three light sources at the receiving end, with a commutator to alternate their illumination.The demonstration was of a young girl wearing different coloured hats. Noele Gordon went on to become a successful TV actress, famous for the soap opera Crossroads . That same year he also demonstrated stereoscopic television.
In 1927, Baird transmitted a long-distance television signal over 438 miles (705 km) of telephone line between London and Glasgow; Baird transmitted the world's first long-distance television pictures to the Central Hotel at Glasgow Central Station. This transmission was Baird's response to a 225-mile, long-distance telecast between stations of AT&T Bell Labs. The Bell stations were in New York and Washington, DC. The earlier telecast took place in April 1927, a month before Baird's demonstration.
Baird set up the Baird Television Development Company Ltd, which in 1928 made the first transatlantic television transmission, from London to Hartsdale, New York, and the first television programme for the BBC. cm by 150 cm), in 1930 at the London Coliseum, Berlin, Paris, and Stockholm. By 1939 he had improved his theatre projection to televise a boxing match on a screen 15 ft (4.6 m) by 12 ft (3.7 m).In November 1929, Baird and Bernard Natan established France's first television company, Télévision-Baird-Natan. Broadcast on the BBC on 14 July 1930, The Man with the Flower in His Mouth was the first drama shown on UK television. Baird televised the BBC's first live outside broadcast with transmission of The Derby in 1931. He demonstrated a theatre television system, with a screen two feet by five feet (60
From 1929 to 1932, the BBC transmitters were used to broadcast television programmes using the 30-line Baird system, and from 1932 to 1935, the BBC also produced the programmes in their own studio at 16 Portland Place. In addition, from 1933 Baird and the Baird Company were producing and broadcasting television programmes independently to the BBC, from Baird's studios and transmitter at the Crystal Palace in south London.
On 2 November 1936, from Alexandra Palace located on the high ground of the north London ridge, the BBC began alternating Baird 240-line transmissions with EMI's electronic scanning system, which had recently been improved to 405 lines after a merger with Marconi. The Baird system at the time involved an intermediate film process, where footage was shot on cinefilm, which was rapidly developed and scanned. The trial was due to last 6 months but the BBC ceased broadcasts with the Baird system in February 1937, due in part to a disastrous fire in the Baird facilities at Crystal Palace. It was becoming apparent to the BBC that the Baird system would ultimately fail due in large part to the lack of mobility of the Baird system's cameras, with their developer tanks, hoses, and cables.
Baird's television systems were replaced by the electronic television system developed by the newly formed company EMI-Marconi under Isaac Shoenberg, which had access to patents developed by Vladimir Zworykin and RCA. Similarly, Philo T. Farnsworth's electronic "Image Dissector" camera was available to Baird's company via a patent-sharing agreement. However, the Image Dissector camera was found to be lacking in light sensitivity, requiring excessive levels of illumination. Baird used the Farnsworth tubes instead to scan cinefilm, in which capacity they proved serviceable though prone to drop-outs and other problems. Farnsworth himself came to London to Baird's Crystal Palace laboratories in 1936, but was unable to fully solve the problem; the fire that burned Crystal Palace to the ground later that year further hampered the Baird company's ability to compete.
Baird made many contributions to the field of electronic television after mechanical systems had taken a back seat. In 1939, he showed a system known today as hybrid colour using a cathode ray tube in front of which revolved a disc fitted with colour filters, a method taken up by CBS and RCA in the United States.
As early as 1940, Baird had started work on a fully electronic system he called the "Telechrome". Early Telechrome devices used two electron guns aimed at either side of a phosphor plate. The phosphor was patterned so the electrons from the guns only fell on one side of the patterning or the other. Using cyan and magenta phosphors, a reasonable limited-colour image could be obtained. He also demonstrated the same system using monochrome signals to produce a 3D image (called "stereoscopic" at the time). In 1941, he patented and demonstrated this system of three-dimensional television at a definition of 500 lines. On 16 August 1944, he gave the world's first demonstration of a practical fully electronic colour television display.His 600-line colour system used triple interlacing, using six scans to build each picture. Similar concepts were common through the 1940s and 50s, differing primarily in the way they re-combined the colours generated by the three guns. One of them, the Geer tube, was similar to Baird's concept, but used small pyramids with the phosphors deposited on their outside faces, instead of Baird's 3D patterning on a flat surface.
In 1943, the Hankey Committee was appointed to oversee the resumption of television broadcasts after the war. Baird persuaded them to make plans to adopt his proposed 1000-line Telechrome electronic colour system as the new post-war broadcast standard. The picture resolution on this system would have been comparable to today's HDTV (High Definition Television). The Hankey Committee's plan lost all momentum partly due to the challenges of postwar reconstruction. The monochrome 405-line standard remained in place until 1985 in some areas, and the 625-line system was introduced in 1964 and (PAL) colour in 1967. A demonstration of large screen three-dimensional television by the BBC was reported in March 2008, over 60 years after Baird's demonstration.
Some of Baird's early inventions were not fully successful. In his twenties he tried to create diamonds by heating graphite and shorted out Glasgow's electricity supply. Later Baird invented a glass razor, which was rust-resistant, but shattered. Inspired by pneumatic tyres he attempted to make pneumatic shoes, but his prototype contained semi-inflated balloons, which burst (years later this same idea was successfully adopted for Dr. Martens boots). He also invented a thermal undersock (the Baird undersock), which was moderately successful. Baird suffered from cold feet, and after a number of trials, he found that an extra layer of cotton inside the sock provided warmth.
Baird's numerous other developments demonstrated his particular talent at invention. He was a visionary and began to dabble with electricity. In 1928, he developed an early video recording device, which he dubbed Phonovision. The system consisted of a large Nipkow disk attached by a mechanical linkage to a conventional 78-rpm record-cutting lathe. The result was a disc that could record and play back a 30-line video signal. Technical difficulties with the system prevented its further development, but some of the original phonodiscs have been preserved, and have since been restored by Donald McLean, a Scottish electrical engineer.
Baird's other developments were in fibre-optics, radio direction finding, infrared night viewing and radar. There is discussion about his exact contribution to the development of radar, for his wartime defence projects have never been officially acknowledged by the UK government. According to Malcolm Baird, his son, what is known is that in 1926 Baird filed a patent for a device that formed images from reflected radio waves, a device remarkably similar to radar, and that he was in correspondence with the British government at the time. The radar contribution is in dispute. According to some experts, Baird's "noctovision" is not radar. Unlike radar (except Doppler radar), Noctovision is incapable of determining the distance to the scanned subject. Noctovision also cannot determine the coordinates of the subject in three-dimensional space.
From December 1944, Logie Baird lived at 1 Station Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, immediately north of the station and subsequently died there on 14 June 1946 after suffering a stroke in February.The house was demolished in 2007 and the site is now apartments named Baird Court. Logie Baird is buried with his mother, father and wife in Helensburgh Cemetery, Argyll, Scotland.
Australian television's Logie Awards were named in honour of John Logie Baird's contribution to the invention of the television. Baird became the only deceased subject of This Is Your Life when he was honoured by Eamonn Andrews at the BBC Television Theatre in 1957.
He was played by Michael Gwynn (and also by Andrew Irvine, who played him as a boy) in the 1957 TV film A Voice in Visionand by Robert McIntosh in the 1986 TV drama The Fools on the Hill.
In 2014, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) inducted Logie Baird into The Honor Roll, which "posthumously recognizes individuals who were not awarded Honorary Membership during their lifetimes but whose contributions would have been sufficient to warrant such an honor".
On 26 January 2016, the search engine Google released a Google Doodle to mark the 90th anniversary of Logie Baird's first public demonstration of live television.
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Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in colour, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.
Color television is a television transmission technology that includes information on the color of the picture, so the video image can be displayed in color on the television set. It is an improvement on the earliest television technology, monochrome or black and white television, in which the image is displayed in shades of gray (grayscale). Television broadcasting stations and networks in most parts of the world upgraded from black and white to color transmission in the 1960s to the 1980s. The invention of color television standards is an important part of the history of television, and it is described in the technology of television article.
A Nipkow disk, also known as scanning disk, is a mechanical, rotating, geometrically operating image scanning device, patented in 1885 by Paul Gottlieb Nipkow. This scanning disk was a fundamental component in mechanical television through the 1920s and 1930s.
Paul Julius Gottlieb Nipkow was a German technician and inventor. He invented the Nipkow disk, one of the first successful technologies for television transmission. Hundreds of stations experimented with television broadcasting using the Nipkow system in the 1920s and 1930s, until it was superseded by all-electronic systems in the 1940s.
The intermediate film system was a television process in which motion picture film was processed almost immediately after it was exposed in a camera, then scanned by a television scanner, and transmitted over the air. This system was used principally in Britain and Germany where television cameras were not sensitive enough to use reflected light, but could transmit a suitable image when a bright light was shown through motion picture film directly into the camera lens. John Logie Baird began developing the process in 1932, borrowing the idea of Georg Oskar Schubert from his licensees in Germany, where it was demonstrated by Fernseh AG in 1932 and used for broadcasting in 1934. The BBC used Baird's version of the process during the first three months of its then-"high-definition" television service from November 1936 through January 1937, and German television used it during broadcasts of the 1936 Summer Olympics. In both cases, intermediate film cameras alternated with newly introduced direct television cameras.
The history of telecommunication began with the use of smoke signals and drums in Africa, the Americas and parts of Asia. In the 1790s, the first fixed semaphore systems emerged in Europe; however it was not until the 1830s that electrical telecommunication systems started to appear. This article details the history of telecommunication and the individuals who helped make telecommunication systems what they are today. The history of telecommunication is an important part of the larger history of communication.
The invention of the television was the work of many individuals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Individuals and corporations competed in various parts of the world to deliver a device that superseded previous technology. Many were compelled to capitalize on the invention and make profit, while some wanted to change the world through visual and audio communication technology.
Phonovision is a proof of concept format and experiment for recording a mechanical television signal on gramophone records. The format was developed in the late 1920s in London by Scottish television pioneer John Logie Baird. The objective was not simply to record video, but to record it synchronously, as Baird intended playback from an inexpensive playback device, which he called a "Phonovisor".
Analog high-definition television was an analog video broadcast television system developed in the 1930s to replace early experimental systems with as few as 12-lines. On 2 November 1936 the BBC began transmitting the world's first public regular analog high-definition television service from the Victorian Alexandra Palace in north London. It therefore claims to be the birthplace of television broadcasting as we know it today. John Logie Baird, Philo T. Farnsworth, and Vladimir Zworykin had each developed competing TV systems, but resolution was not the issue that separated their substantially different technologies, it was patent interference lawsuits and deployment issues given the tumultuous financial climate of the late 1920s and 1930s.
A number of experimental and broadcast pre World War II television systems were tested. The first ones were mechanical based and of very low resolution, sometimes with no sound. Later TV systems were electronic.
Kenjiro Takayanagi was a Japanese engineer and a pioneer in the development of television. Although he failed to gain much recognition in the West, he built the world's first all-electronic television receiver, and is referred to as "the father of Japanese television".
Stooky Bill was the name given to the head of a ventriloquist dummy that Scottish television pioneer John Logie Baird used in his 1924 experiments to transmit a televised image between rooms in his laboratory at 22 Frith Street, London.
A field-sequential color system (FSC) is a color television system in which the primary color information is transmitted in successive images and which relies on the human vision system to fuse the successive images into a color picture. One field-sequential system was developed by Dr. Peter Goldmark for CBS, which was its sole user in commercial broadcasting. It was first demonstrated to the press on September 4, 1940, and first shown to the general public on January 12, 1950. The Federal Communications Commission adopted it on October 11, 1950 as the standard for color television in the United States, but it was later withdrawn.
This is a list of events related to British television in 1938.
The following timeline tables list the discoveries and inventions in the history of electrical and electronic engineering.
Telechrome was the first all-electronic single-tube color television system. It was invented by well-known Scottish television engineer, John Logie Baird, who had previously made the first public television broadcast, as well as the first color broadcast using a pre-Telechrome system.
George Boris TownsendMBE was an English physicist who specialised in television engineering. He published a number of books and papers on television engineering.
This is a list of British television- related events for 1926.