John Logie Baird

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Baird, John Logie (1888–1946). Television inventor. Baird came from Helensburgh (Dumbartonshire) and studied electrical engineering at Glasgow University. In poor health, he moved to Hastings in 1922, where he experimented with a crude home-made transmitting apparatus. By 1925 he was able to demonstrate shadowy television in Selfridge's store and followed with a public demonstration to members of the Royal Institution. His machine is preserved in the Science Museum at south Kensington. In 1927 he formed his own company. An experimental BBC television service was started in 1929 and regular broadcasts from Alexandra palace in 1936. Baird was greatly disappointed that, after trials, the service used a rival high-definition transmitting system, developed by Marconi-EMI. In 1937 the Cup Final and in 1938 the Boat Race were shown on television, but when the service closed down at the start of the Second World War, there were still only 20,000 sets in use.

J. A. Cannon

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Baird, John Logie (1888–1946) Scottish electrical engineer, inventor of television. In 1926 he demonstrated the first working television to members of the Royal Institution, London. In 1928 he transmitted to a ship at sea, and in 1929 was granted experimental broadcasting facilities by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). In 1936 his 240-line, part-mechanical, television system was used for the world's first public television service by the BBC. In 1937 it was superseded by Marconi's fully electronic scanning.