John Logie Baird (August 14, 1888 – June 14, 1946) was a Scottish engineer, innovator and inventor of the world’s first television; the first publicly demonstrated color television system; and the first purely electronic color television picture tube.
Baird’s early technological successes and his role in the practical introduction of broadcast television for home entertainment have earned him a prominent place in television’s history.
In 2002, Baird was ranked number 44 in the BBC’s list of the “100 Greatest Britons” following a UK-wide vote.In 2006, Logie Baird was 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’.
The development of television was the result of work by many inventors. Among them, Baird was a prominent pioneer and made major advances in the field. 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.
In his laboratory on October 2, 1925, Baird successfully transmitted the first television picture with a greyscale image: the head of a ventriloquist’s dummy nicknamed “Stooky Bill” in a 30-line vertically scanned image, at five pictures per second.Baird went downstairs and fetched an office worker, 20-year-old William Edward Taynton, to see what a human face would look like, and Taynton became the first person to be televised in a full tonal range. Looking for publicity, Baird visited the Daily Express newspaper to promote his invention. The news editor was terrified and he was quoted by one of his staff as saying: “For God’s sake, go down to reception and get rid of a lunatic who’s down there. He says he’s got a machine for seeing by wireless! Watch him — he may have a razor on him.”