Who Invented the Mechanical Television? John Logie Baird Photos

A blue plaque is displayed at 22, Frith Street where on 26 January, 1926, Scottish engineer John Logie Baird gave the first ever public demonstration of moving pictures on his invention he called the 'television', on January 26, 2016 in London, England. This year celebrates the 90th anniversary of Baird's invention of the television. Baird is celebrated by Google in the January 26 Google Doodle.

Baird was a college student at the University of Glasgow when World War 1 broke out in 1914. He was at the time engaged in socialist politics, influenced by his need to work to maintain his education. When he volunteered to join the army after the outbreak of war, Baird was told he was unfit for service due to ill-health. In order to help the war effort, he instead went to work for the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Company where Baird helped to make munitions.

In 1925, Baird attempted to go public about the work he was doing on the television. He went to the offices of the Daily Express newspaper to talk about his plans. The editor at the time was unimpressed with the invention and said, "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." By 1927, Baird was able to transmit images from London to Glasgow, some 438 miles. Then, in 1928, he made the first television programs for the BBC and had been able to transmit images across the Atlantic ocean.

During his creative process, Baird used a ventriloquist dummy known as Stooky Bill in his experiments on television.

Here are the photos of Baird that chart his story from 1926 onwards, from the original mechanical television to the color television that we use today:



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