Talk:John Logie Baird

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This article is a mess!!![edit]

Rather than being about the life and work of Baird it reads as a potted history of television with lots of interjections about others doing this and that. It smacks of an attempt to belittle Baird's work.

So what if others improved upon Baird's work, there are other articles for that to be put forward.

This article needs a re-write but I don't have the health to do it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.93.188.183 (talk) 17:34, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Baird's life[edit]

I'd like to see more biographical data - I've just read "Tube" by David Fisher ( see my user page or Philo Farnsworth )and it gives a lot of dates and events in Baird's life, including his early days selling soap and socks, his poor health, his mistress, and eventual marriage. "Tube" doesn't say a thing about Baird during the war. Could it be that the reason governments don't acknowledge his contributions to radar is that they didn't exist? --Wtshymanski 14:28, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

The authors of "Tube" were ignorant of Baird's war-time work. The most accurate book on Baird's life is JLB: A Life 90.208.135.135 (talk) 20:19, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

"he tried to persuade English authorities to adopt a 1000 line colour system as standard" It's a pity they waited until the digital age to do so. I wish that experimental 1000+ line video recordings existed from the 1960s and that older analog video formats were designed with such systems in mind.203.214.75.127

If you are going to put something in quotation marks then use the acyual quote. In this case: "Baird persuaded them [the British [sic] authorities] to make plans to adopt his proposed 1000-line Telechrome electronic colour system as the new post-war broadcast standard. " Acorn897 (talk) 02:52, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

What happened?[edit]

Why didn't anyone follow up this technology?:

"In 1928 he demonstrated the first colour television and true stereoscopic television. In 1932 he was the first to demonstrate ultra-short wave transmission. In 1941 he demonstrated a 600 line HDTV colour system, and during 1944 he tried to persuade English authorities to adopt a 1000+ line colour system as standard. He also demonstrated a big screen television system at the London Coliseum, Berlin, Paris and Stockholm."

"Increased public awareness after his successful demonstration of television in January 1926 encouraged a highly productive Experimental period where he developed and demonstrated colour television, 3D television, near-infra-red television and recorded television ("Phonovision")."

"In the early 1940s Baird demonstrated a 600 line high definition color set he called telechrome as well as a stereoscopic 3D set, at the end of world war 2 there was a rush to restart operations of the existing TV system and Baird's colour system was pretty much forgotten when he died."

How did it work? Does the objects used for demonstration still exist? If not, they should be built again and placed on museum. And maybe they can inspire people to improve television even today. All this proves once more that it is not always the best technology and best inventions that wins and keeps evolving.

As far as I can recall (it's been awhile since I've read up on this, so I might be wrong), Baird's laboratory was bombed during the blitz, and the plans and prototypes for most of his inventions were lost. The article is a little fuzzy on his later inventions, possibly because of the aforesaid lack of information about them. His earlier models still exist though. Gershwinrb 07:00, 11 February 2006 (UTC)


HDTV? That acronym could confuse people.. could you hook an Xbox360 up to it!?

- Not only did he invent the first working television, but also demonstrated nigh vision and made the first recordings to disc. Way ahead of his time. Some of principles were applied to the first broadcasts from the moon, so don't let anyone say that he didn't invent tv. Plasma tv is tv via pixels, JLB did this as well (it was bulbs which have been replaced by pixels, however it's the same principle). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 212.183.134.129 (talk) 19:43, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I thought Baird invented interlacing? The disc shown on this article does not have two spirals but his "final" working ones did. Interlacing is still integral to how televisions work. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.75.49.254 (talk) 15:28, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

It seems strange today but EMI-Marconi really did market their 405 line television system as 'High Definition Television'. Although that description would raise more than an eyebrow or two today, the system was considered (at least by EMI-Marconi) to be high definition in comparison to Baird's 240 line system. 86.178.176.77 (talk) 19:06, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

A significant factor in JLB being "side-lined" in his endeavours was, appartently, the hostility of Lord Reith toward him. I think this featured in a BBC drama/documentory some years ago. Does anyone recall this? If indeed Lord Reith had impeded JLB then it warrants record in the main article because Reith's actions may have pointed the evolution of television in a different direction. Certainly JLB was disillusioned by his treatment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.148.36.38 (talk) 17:42, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes. This is mentioned in an excellent book, "Vision Warrior: Hidden Achievement of John Logie Baird" by Tom McArthur and Peter Waddell, ISBN-10: 0907618049 ISBN-13: 978-090761804. Acorn897 (talk) 02:58, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Picture[edit]

Found this picture for possible use.


One of the most significant inventions of the last 100 years took place in Queens Arcade, Hastings

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 89.240.15.110 (talk) 17:18, 2 May 2007 (UTC).

amnd he died yesterday —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.184.207.19 (talk) 13:56, 7 April 2011 (UTC) ONE DAY HE FARTED ON HIS BROTHER —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.184.207.19 (talk) 14:10, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Hastings[edit]

Shouldnt the article mention Hastings since it is the Birthplace of tv Blackwave...... (talk) 13:34, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Uncited Quote[edit]

Can anybody cite this?:

"Malcolm Baird said in an interview that had his father known how TV would turn out in sixty years time, he would have dropped it and turned to other inventions."

I'd love to know what he actually said. It sounds like something Douglas Adams would say. 157.190.80.40 (talk) 18:10, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Who's in the Picture?[edit]

Is the face in the picture William Edward Taynton or Stooky Bill? --Crackthewhip775 (talk) 03:41, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Neither -- the man in the scan is Oliver Hutchinson, Baird's business partner. Perhaps this could be added to the caption ... Clevelander96 (talk) 01:56, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I've now added the name to the caption. Clevelander96 (talk) 16:18, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Date of first public demonstration[edit]

Was it 26 or 27 January? David Ross in Scotland: History of a Nation says 27, and this day was here as well until this edit. Is there any conclusive reference to be found? --Duncan MacCall (talk) 20:32, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

The demonstration was on 26 January (Kamm & Baird 2002, p. 69); the newspaper stories, of course, ran the next day, the 27th. Since Baird's son is the co-author of this well-documented and authoritative biography, I should think it would be a conclusive source Clevelander96 (talk) 01:53, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, slipshod citing of newspapers sounds like a probable cause of this discrepancy. Thanks for explaining. --Duncan MacCall (talk) 14:56, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Scottish vs. British[edit]

I note that there's been another change -- the latest of several -- from Scottish to British for Baird's nationality. This clearly seems to be a matter about which some feel strongly, but after carefully reading through Wikipedia:Nationality_of_people_from_the_United_Kingdom, it seems to me there are strong arguments to identify Baird as Scottish (which of course also allows that, given his dates, he was "British" as well). The key points to me seem to be:

  • He appears on numerous lists of Scottish Inventors online -- for example here and here -- and his Scottish nationality is therefore clearly a matter of pride for many Scots.
  • He is cited in the majority of print sources as a Scottish inventor -- Google Books brings up 147 citations in books where he is cited as a "Scottish Inventor," versus 40 as "British Inventor"
  • Baird self-identified as Scottish, according to recent biographers, including Kamm and Baird (the latter being Malcolm Baird, the inventor's son).

So unless there are other arguments that could be made -- in which case, they should be posted here -- I feel that "Scottish" is the more apt designation. Clevelander96 (talk)

After watching the edit wars for Tesla, Jedlik,and now Baird, I propose anyone born or living east of Mid-Atlantic Ridge and west of the Volga be just called "European". --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:18, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
LOL, that will just give us further problems, especially when Turkey -- if it does -- joins the EU! But how about a compromise: Scottish (British) ? Clevelander96 (talk) 13:18, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
  • No, that's not a good compromise. on Wikipedia I believe we should have the nationality the person legally was. Logie Baird was born in 1888, 181 years after the Acts of Union 1707 caused the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the end of the independent "Scotland" and "England". Scottish is still certainly a valid term in self-description, but it is an ethnicity, not nationality. Much as some people would like, there no longer, as of 2009 exists an independent Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland or England, but a United Kingdom of equally British people. I may be 100% English, but my passport has not nor never will called me "English", I am forever a Briton. Logie Baird, being born when he was, was a British inventor, he simply took pride in his regional identity. This is a pretty minor debate if you ask me, since there's very little controversy in calling him British. A more substantial debate would be whether a figure like Oscar Wilde (born 1854) is actually Irish - he was born 53 years after Ireland was absorbed into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and 22 years before the creation of the Irish Free State. South-East7™Talk/Contribs 18:03, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Scotland is not a "region" of the UK, and "Scottish" is not an ethnicity. Scotland is still a nation, in a UNION of nations. If JLB self identified as Scottish then why should he not be listed as such? As someone else pointed out, we could use "European" for anyone from this particular region.2.125.67.48 (talk) 20:59, 17 February 2013 (UTC)Lance Tyrell
Well, if there were a single official Wikipedia policy along the lines you describe, I'd have no problem following it. As it is, the dust still seems unsettled; "Scottish" or "Scots" is preferred by many, the Scottish Parliament has a spiffy new (and very expensive) building, and other elements of a gradual devolution are marching along. "Scottish" isn't excactly an ethnicity either, as I've met people of Indian and Asian descent in cities like Glasgow who think of themselves as "Scottish." It's one of those strange sorts of not-quite-absorbed identities left over from the expansion of Britain over the centuries, and seems to demand some special set of considerations. All this is not, of course, to suggest that Scotland will leave the Union, but that it now acts and thinks of itself in a variety of nation-like ways seems a fact of life. I recall overhearing a heated argument at Victoria station between a Scotsman, who had a £20 note issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the counter server at Burger King, who refused to take it. So these are factors, and to my mind reasons why WP should have some kind of consistent policy. In short, I would be happiest if WP itself would adopt some clear policy, so that these debates could recede from article texts and into entries on the debates themselves. Clevelander96 (talk) 18:50, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


So how exactly do we engineer some variety of clarification in WP policy? South-East7™Talk/Contribs 19:50, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Well, it looks as though the discussion of this issue became a sub-page, then an "essay," and then was largely archived and mothballed. I don't know quite how the process would work to re-start, but I would suggest someone propose a Wikipedia Manual of Style policy, either stating that the subsumed nation -- Scotland or Ireland -- within the UK either should or should not be used in the biography box. There could then be fresh talk and debate, and -- if we're lucky -- a final decision. Do you know any admins or active community members interested in doing this? You can respond directly on my Talk page, as this no longer seems a discussion of the Baird entry. Thanks, Clevelander96 (talk) 20:44, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Aww, isn't it cute - we've got our very own race war here on this page, as the various partisans claim different nationalities for Baird. Just like the "was Tesla a Serb or a Croat"? or the impenetrable fog surrounding people named either Ferenc or Franjo, depending on who last edited the article. I tell you, anyone who didn't have the sense to come to Canada should just be labelled "European". --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:48, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, it's not exactly a "race" war -- no one speaks of the "Scottish Race" anymore -- but it is a question of nationality/region and identity. Scotland is indeed part of the United Kingdom, and has been since the Act of Union, but there is considerable regional/national pride over Scottish figures such as Baird, and there has been, for many years -- however judged -- a process of devolution of certain authority upon Scotland. I would suggest either "Scottish (British)" or "Scottish/British" as Baird's nationality, but would prefer over either some consistent policy that Wikipedians agree upon. Clevelander96 (talk)
Serb! Croat! Serb! Croat! Serb! Croat! Duck season! Rabbit season!... Thank heaven Baird wasn't from some controversial part of the world like Macedonia. No wonder the Europeans start a world war twice a century.
What is the purpose of identifying the "ethnicity" or "nationality"? What did Baird's passport say on it? Could he have gotten a passport from Scotland with no United Kingdom references on it? Citzenship is definitely British. Ethnicity is also pretty definitely Scottish, though I have no picture of how closely Baird conformed to the plaid-wearing, whisky-drinking, pipes-playing, Burns-quoting, sheep-herding, penny-pinching, brouge-speaking stereotype of comic book fame. Why can't he be both, just like one can be a Texan and an American, or a Quebecois and Canadian. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:54, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
And the race war rolls on - the Sassenachs shall not claim Baird as one of their own. Could we not just agree that a Scot is a Brit? --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:35, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Did anyone read Wikipedia:Nationality of people from the United Kingdom#Changing an existing UK nationality? - Jcvamp (talk) 22:46, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

No, because this debate started a year before that section was written. I'm glad it's there, though, and as per all the discussion above, it makes sense to me to say that, as someone who is so frequently regarded as a "Scot," it makes sense to use Scottish ... Clevelander96 (talk) 12:34, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Here we go again [1], [[2]]. Good thing you can be both a Texan and an American, because you can't be both Scottish and British. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:31, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
British, British, British of course. Who cares about Scotland? It's all thistles and haggis, anyway. Here, have a glass of good British whisky, accompanied by a tune on the British Great Highland Bagpipes! Snezzy (talk) 17:50, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Once more around the barn [3]. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:02, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia tends to waver on such issues. British kings are improperly titled as English kings - yes those with the surname "Stuart"! The British Army long ago dealt with this issue and soldiers are listed as "Brit/Scot" or "Brit/Eng" etc. The suggested compromise sound like a fair one. Acorn897 (talk) 03:07, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

A reasonable solution. Unfortunately WP 'admin' are deleting comments and blocking accounts of people who don't conform to their ideology Hmnfscts (talk) 13:36, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Arthur Korn[edit]

While the new information on Arthur Kom is welcome here, it's not clear to me that this establishes that it was Korn who solved the problem of delayed signal response from selenium. If he had, then why would not U.S. companies, and/or the British Admiralty, both of whom had vastly greater resources at their disposal than Baird, have solved this problem much sooner? That said, it does seem certain that Baird was well aware of Korn's work; according to the Kamm and Baird biography, when Baird sailed to the Caribbean in November of 1919, he brought a copy of Korn's Handbuch der Phototelegraphie und Telautographie (1911) with him (Kamm & Baird 17). Clevelander96 (talk) 13:34, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Historical Scots to be immortalised at Holyrood[edit]

It looks likely that one of the 6 committee rooms of the Scottish Parliament will be named after Logie Baird:

--Mais oui! (talk) 08:26, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

London Addresses[edit]

Apparently he lived at 3 Crescent Wood Road, Sydenham, SE26 Lewisham, London. -- see Plaque #317 on Open Plaques.. Hoe does this tie in with 'he moved to upstairs rooms in Soho' -- was soho just his workshop?

See the recent bio by Kamm and Baird -- it was always given out that Baird lived in the garrett on Frith Street in Soho, as it fitted the idea of an impoverished inventor, but Baird had a home elsewhere and was in fact usually driven (!) to his laboratory. In any case, the move to Crescent Wood Road came later, in the 1930's when this was convenient to the Baird studios at Crystal Palace. Clevelander96 (talk) 12:20, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Citation needed[edit]

Could we get a citation for Sanabria first on VHF ? Chicago Television By Daniel Berger, Museum of Broadcast Communications, Steve Jajkowski, Bob Sirott according to Google Books, says W9AXO used 2000-2100 kHz to transmit video, that's not even 'short wave' but medium wave. He's obscure, but he's showing up in books. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:14, 16 January 2011 (UTC)


Alexandra Palace burned?[edit]

There was apparently a fire in the Alexandra Palace in 1936, but was it in fact completely destroyed? The article says "..the fire that burned Crystal Palace to the ground later that year." If it were burned to the ground, then the extensive 1935 rebuilding to prepare for television would have been lost and the place would have needed a complete rebuild. Was it just a fire in Baird's portion of the place? Edison (talk) 03:45, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Hi Edison, you're mixing up the Crystal Palace in Sydenham with Alexandra Palace near Muswell Hill. Both had several fires -- Alexandra Palace was destroyed by fire in 1873, just sixteen days after it opened, but was entirely rebuilt. A second major fire in 1980 caused extensive damage but this was also repaired. The Crystal Palace had an earlier fire as well in 1867, which destroyed much of the North Transept, but was repaired and stood until November 1936 when it was, indeed, entirely destroyed by fire. The stone terraces survived, as did the towers (though these were demolished later), and Baird's facilities in the palace proper were destroyed with it. Some Baird equipment and manufacturing facilities were in the "School of Arts Building" on the CP grounds and these survived. Clevelander96 (talk) 15:15, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Birth date[edit]

IPs have recently been tinkering with the birth date – apparently for good reason, because the article contradicts itself. One of the sources (the BBC) is online and can easily be checked. It lists the 14th as the birth date. The article says other one says he was born on the 13th, but it (Burns) is not readily accessible online. Does it really say he was born on the 13th? BarrelProof (talk) 20:07, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Web; 14, 13,13, 13,
and books; 1888 John Logie Baird born on 13th August in Helensburgh, Scotland 1893, Logie Baird was born on August 13th, 1888, in Helensburgh, Dumbarton, John Logie Baird (13 August 1888-14 June 1946)
And news; 1888: John Logie Baird, the electrical engineer who helped pioneer television, was born in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire (ON THIS DAY 13th AUGUST)
Looking over it the 13th seems to be more common, and the only one in hard print that I found. Murry1975 (talk) 04:27, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia itself has a contradiction. August 13 lists J. L. Baird to be born on 13th August,1888 while this page John Logie Baird mentions the date to be 14th. --Discoveranjali (talk) 18:01, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

A claim too far?[edit]

The article currently claims that "On 16 August 1944, [Baird] gave the world's first demonstration of a fully electronic colour television display." Four and a half years earlier, on 5 February 1940, on the other side of the pond, RCA privately demonstrated an all-electronic color display to several members of the FCC. At that time, like some of Baird's prototypes (including the one at his 1944 demo?) it was a two-color display, with the images on two monochrome CRTs visually superimposed by a transparent mirror. Later, three-CRT "Trinoscope" direct-view and projection versions were demonstrated, the last of them in 1950 just before RCA produced their first prototype shadow mask CRTs.

As with so many "first" claims, validity very probably depends on nuances of meaning and exact definitions, e.g., of what constitutes a "demonstration". Can anyone enlighten me about the exact nature of Baird's 1944 demo? It is not apparent from the web cite, and Google Books denies me access to what are presumably the relevant pages of the cited Abramson book. AVarchaeologist (talk) 01:25, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Early career[edit]

'His degree course was interrupted by World War I and he never returned to graduate.' Presumably this means that he served in the armed forces. Any details? Valetude (talk) 22:45, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Faulty protection[edit]

This article is supposed to be protected such that any edits by unregistered and new accounts are subject to review before being accepted.

It would seem that this mechanism is not working as a brand new account (ScotsHelen (talk · contribs · count · logs · page moves · block log)) has made 3 unconstructive edits (which are in fact the only 3 edits that this user has made) which have changed the article without any acceptance. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 11:56, 10 July 2014 (UTC)