The Watering Hole: October 30 – John Logie Baird

On this date in 1925 Bonnie John Logie Baird demonstrated the first live motion television transmission in Great Britain. Baird built what was to become the world’s first working television set using an old hat box,  a pair of scissors, some darning needles, a few bicycle light lenses, an old tea chest, sealing wax and glue amongst other items.

John Logie Baird at Work – 16 Line Interlaced Scanning Wheel

Baird was a tinkerer who occasionally hit the mark with his inventions. His other ventures included:

  • A glass razor blade (Unsuccessful, it was terribly brittle, but ceramic would have worked.)
  • Thermal undersocks (Cotton liners which absorbed moisture, successful.)
  • Video recording (To wax disk at 78 RPM, some survive.)
  • Fiber optics (About 30 years before its time.)
  • A radio reflection system (A harbinger of radar.)
  • Infrared night object detection (Successful.)
  • Radio direction finding (Finding a radiating source, successful.)
  • Color television (His color wheel system was used by broadcasters as late as 1952 when RCA finally came up with a synchronization process (audio/video) entirely contained in the receiver.)

Baird developed working models of each of these concepts, but grew tired of what he had done, once the concept passed its initial stages.


13 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: October 30 – John Logie Baird

  1. Wow, quite the inventor!
    So now I know who to blame for all the wasted time I spent in front of the ‘telly’…

    • Is your Halloween candy prayed over by witches?

      Not yet!! 😀

      It’s funny, the woman in the photo attached to the article looks so normal — until you read it, and realize she’s as nutty as a fruitcake. I wonder if she’s Daryll’s mom?

      One of my favorite lines: “The devil is too stupid to understand that Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest 365 days a year.”

      Sooooo, if the devil is stupid, why do they worry about him so much? And how stupid are the people who’s behavior has been swayed by the debbil?

      (I found this on the ThinkFast this morning, posted by Leftside Annie)

  2. You bet the Halloween candy I give out tomorrow is jinxed. The little brats will all grow hair in their faces and/or on other body parts in a couple of years and their voices will crack and they will break out in pimples all over the face…hah!

    heheheheheheheh.. 😈

    • Ok. Sew Halloween costume for son – check
      Advise him not to use too much of the homemade fake blood on the carpet – check
      Tell him to take his mobile – check

      For the first time I’ll not be around when he goes trick or treating. My neighbour is accompanying the small crowd, I have to be in Geneva. He looks scary, but I think last year’s Jawa costume was better, he looked almost like out of the movie. Boys!

  3. I might explain why the synchronization process was a gate for RCA.

    The Baird system did not have a video processor. His system took each frame as an entity and demodulated the video and audio using identical circuitry – each frame was received and time sliced at a frame rate of 24 frames per second, much like slicing a sausage into four pieces and laying same on top of one another corresponding to red, green, blue and audio. The reception delay in the video portion of the signal was exactly equal to the audio portion. The Baird system also did not require a kine scope for synchronization with motion pictures and news cameras. It’s only short coming was a reliance on a mechanical color wheel. Dumont was pushing this technology for its simplicity (But, then, remember the Dumontster?).

    In the RCA system, the time required to process the video portion of the signal was enough to cause a noticeable delay between video and audio. RCA’s initial solution was to insert a delay in the broadcast by transmitting video slightly before audio. The NTSC panel objected to this approach because later technology could process video faster and as time rolled on, an out-of-sync problem would arise again. RCA finally relented and introduced an audio delay line in the receiver.

    They did this very quickly because CBS had come up with a comb filter approach (totally electronic – no mechanical color wheel.) that carried all the advantages of the Baird system and a receiver cost increase of 120% over B&W while the RCA system carried a 310% cost increase. The problem was that the CBS system missed the trials by 8 months.

  4. Waltered again! 😀

    I’m just glad the magic talking box with the moving pictures hasn’t been used for evil purposes like political misinformation and to get people to buy stupid stuff they don’t really want, but felt compelled to have due to subliminal suggestion.

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