John Logie Baird

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John Logie Baird FRSE (1888-1946)[1] was a Scottish[2] engineer and inventor of the world's first practical, publicly demonstrated television system, and also the world's first fully electronic colour television tube. Although Baird's electromechanical system was eventually displaced by purely electronic systems (such as those of Philo Farnsworth), his early successes demonstrating working television broadcasts and his colour and cinema television work earn him a prominent place in television's invention.

In 2002, Logie Baird was ranked number 44 in the list of the "100 Greatest Britons" following a UK-wide vote.[3] In 2006, Logie Baird was also named as one of the 10 greatest Scottish scientists in history, having been listed in the National Library of Scotland's 'Scottish Science Hall of Fame'.[4]

Contents

Early years

Baird was born in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire (Helensburgh is now in the Argyll and Bute council area). He was educated at Larchfield Academy (now part of Lomond School), Helensburgh; the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (which later became the University of Strathclyde); and the University of Glasgow. His degree course was interrupted by World War I and he never returned to graduate.

Television experiments

Although the development of television was the result of work by many inventors, Baird was a prominent pioneer and made major advances in the field. Particularly in Britain, many historians credit Baird with being the first to produce a live, moving, greyscale television image from reflected light. Baird achieved this, where other inventors had failed, by obtaining a better photoelectric cell and improving the signal conditioning from the photocell and the video amplifier.

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