FAMOUS SCOTS: John Logie Baird

In 1888, in the small Scots seaside town of Helensbugh, Dunbartonshire, an event took place that was of great interest to one family, their relatives and friends. The birth of a child is always an exciting experience for all concerned, but no one could have realised that this child was, in later life, going to invent something that would influence totally the everyday life of practically every household in the world.

The baby was John Logie Baird, and his invention was going to be television.

Baird's inventive tendencies started at an early age when he built an unofficial telephone system allowing him to talk to his schoolfriends. To supply electric light for his home he installed a gas driven dynamo. In another experiment he caused the local electricity supply to fail after he tried to make diamonds by passing a huge current through blocks of carbon.

It was not only in the world of electricity that his inventive mind found an outlet. He developed a special insulated sock that was warm in the winter and cool in the summer and he also tried his hand at mass-producing jams and chutneys.

In October, 1925 he obtained the word's first real television picture and went on to demonstrate it to the British public on January 26, 1926. The picture he managed to obtain on the screen was a small 30 - line, vertically scanned, black and red image.

Most people think of videos as a modern day development however Baird demonstrated video recording back in 1927. He was also first to broadcast a television picture across the Atlantic in 1928 and broadcast the first high definition colour picture in 1937. He was first to televise the Derby in 1931.

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