John Logie Baird

1888 - 1946

Engineer. Born in Helensburgh, the son of a clergyman, Baird was educated at the University of Glasgow. After working as an engineer, a career curtailed by ill-health, Baird spent a brief period in the West Indies before settling in the South of England. He was the inventor of the television, successfully transmitting the first picture in 1924 using a mechanical system of capturing a picture. He later developed ideas such as colour, 3-D and large screen television, together with stereo sound. He developed radio direction-finding, contributed to the development of RADAR and also took out a patent on fibre-optics, a technology now used to carry many telephone calls and traffic on the internet. Although possessing great vision, Baird was not a good businessman and lost out when the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) adopted an alternative electronic system in 1937, which had been designed by Marconi-EMI. This alternative system had been proposed by another Scotsman, A.A. Campbell-Swinton (1863 - 1930).

Although Baird is best known for television, it was his later developments which in many ways were the more farsighted and successful. He died in Bexhill (Sussex).

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better