Skip to main content
A B C D(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) E F G H I(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) J(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) K L M N O P Q(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) R S T U(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) V W X(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) Y(/People and pioneers/Pioneers/) Z

Baird conducting a television experiment in London, 1927 Baird, John Logie (1888-1946)

John Logie Baird played a key role in popularising television in Britain.

He grew up in Glasgow under the watchful eye of his father, a Presbyterian minister, and followed his father's strict Calvinist approach to work. In 1914, he moved to London to look for work, having successfully completed his electrical engineering diploma.

Baird was forced to give up business in 1922 after a serious illness, but this meant he could focus purely on his inventions. He unveiled the 'Televisor', an experimental television device, to fascinated spectators at the Selfridges department store, in 1924 and transmitted the fuzzy image of a ventriloquist dummy's head. The following year, he bribed a frightened office boy, William Taynton, to become the first human seen on TV.

fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

featured story

100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...