In his home in Hastings, self-employed inventor John Logie Baird (1888-1946) sought the means to transmit and receive images. For decades this had been the dream of scientists and science fiction writers alike until Baird demonstrated a crude picture of a cross in 1923.
By 1925, Baird’s television apparatus was still basic but more effective: 16 lenses fitted in two half-spirals on a cardboard disc cut from a hat box. This was connected to a large motor mounted on an old tea chest which turned the disc. As the disc rotated, each of the lenses scanned a different part of the subject and focused light into Baird's secret photosensitive cell, where it was turned into an electrical signal which could be sent to a receiver. Receiving equipment had a similar disc and showed small but recognisable images of human faces with 32 lines of resolution on a ground glass screen. The light was provided by a neon tube which shone through the spinning receiver disc onto the glass.
On 26 January 1926, Baird demonstrated a similar apparatus to scientists from the Royal Institution in an attic room in London, making it the world’s first public demonstration of true television.
National Media Museum
- South East
- Key Individuals
- John Logie Baird,