90 Years since John Logie Baird held the first public demonstration of live television and changed the industry forever

Today marks 90 years since the TV industry was changed forever. Ninety years ago, to the day, we saw the first public demonstration of live television.

Scottish engineer, innovator and inventor, John Logie Baird, was one of the inventors of the mechanical television and held the public demonstration of the first working television system on 26 January 1926. The demonstration saw members of the Royal Institution and a special Times journalist gather in his laboratory on 22 Frith Street Soho, to view a small 3.5in by 2in image of a woman standing in a different room.

“The image transmitted was faint and often blurred, but substantiated a claim that through the ‘televisor,’ as Baird has named his apparatus, it is possible to transmit and reproduce instantly the details of movement, and such things as the play of expression on the face,” recalled the journalist.

Many historians credit Baird with being the first inventor to produce a live, moving, greyscale television image from reflected light, where other inventors failed.

In the following years, the Baird Television Development Company achieved the first transatlantic television transmission. Following this, he developed the first colour television system and brought out the world’s first mass produced television set in 1929.

When mechanical TV started to fall behind, Baird didn’t give up, but continued to innovate and eventually demonstrated the first fully electronic colour TV in 1944.

Baird dominated TV innovation for three decades, and played a huge part in creating the industry we know today.

DTG Staff  |  26.01.2016

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