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John Logie Baird


Eighty years ago John Logie Baird invented the television. He was born on 13th August 1888 in Helensburgh, Argyll Scotland. His father was the Reverend John Baird who was a Presbyterian Minster. He attended Glasgow University but because of the First World War he was unable to finish his degree.
televisionIn 1922 he embarked on his journey to produce a television. He had been fascinated by technology from a young age. His first attempt was more like something from Blue Peter (the children's television programme) he used materials such as a washstand, biscuit tin and cardboard. One of the experiments involved a Nipkow disc it was called after Paul Nipkow a German who invented it, disc was an image scanning device. He then showed in 1924 that with the use of analogue it was possible to transmit a motionless image. Analogue is what determines the picture and sound information for television. Now with digital television analogue is gradually being fazed out. Towards the end of 1925 Baird managed to transmit a moving image, the first of its kind, and though the picture was poor it showed what could be achieved.
When he began to put forward his idea people not only didn't believe him they actually thought he must be insane to even suggest such a thing. In 1931 he did probably one of the trickiest things by televising the first live broadcast which was the Epsom Derby. Baird Television Development Company Ltd was set up in 1927 and the BBC used his system to broadcast. But EMI - Marconi had developed and improved things even further and the Baird system was replaced by them.
In 1931 Baird married a concert pianist Margaret Albu and they had a son and a daughter.
Baird went on to make other inventions but is known for beginning the creation of television. He died on 14th June 1946 after suffering a stroke earlier in the year. If you are interested in discovering more about this amazing invention the Science Museum in London has a working model of his To find out more visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

© Children's Web Magazine 2006

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