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Logie Baird and 30 line Bush mirror drum TV receiver, 1935 Baird & Zworykin

Vladimir Zworykin and John Logie Baird are usually cited as the fathers of TV - but both in the end were unsuccessful, because they missed vital aspects of The Big Picture.

This was literally true in Zworykin's case. He developed a cathode ray tube system that he called an 'Iconoscope' . This scanned images electronically - the right answer - but did so using screens only two inches across - that impressed no one.

As for Baird, he was the first to demonstrate TV - but using a mechanical scanning system that had little room for development. Baird was given many opportunities to change his business over to electronic scanning - but seemed unable to see which way the wind was blowing until it was too late.
 
 

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...