75th anniversary of the death of John Logie Baird (1888-1946), a Scottish inventor, known as the Father of Television. In 1926 he demonstrated the first working television and went on to invent the first publicly demonstrated colour television system.
In early 1923, and in poor health, Baird moved to Hastings. He built what was to become the world’s first working television set using items including an old hatbox and a pair of scissors, some darning needles, a few bicycle light lenses, a used tea chest, and sealing wax and glue.
In his laboratory on 2 October 1925, Baird successfully transmitted the first television picture with a greyscale image: the head of a ventriloquist’s dummy nicknamed “Stooky Bill” in a 32-line vertically scanned image, at five pictures per second.
On 26 January 1926, Baird repeated the transmission for members of the Royal Institution and a reporter from The Times. He demonstrated the world’s first colour transmission on 3 July 1928. The demonstration was of a young girl wearing different coloured hats. The young girl, Noele Gordon, went on to become a successful TV actress, famous for the Birmingham-based soap opera Crossroads.
Not all of his inventions were quite as successful as the television. In his twenties he tried to create diamonds by heating graphite. Later Baird invented a glass razor, which was rust-resistant, but shattered. Inspired by pneumatic tyres he attempted to make pneumatic shoes, but his prototype contained semi-inflated balloons, which burst (years later this same idea was successfully adopted for Dr Martens boots!).