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IEEE Plaque Unveiling & The Evolution of Television from Baird to the Digital Age
26 & 27 January 2017

The IEEE Board of Directors approved an IEEE History Milestone Plaque to recognise the first public demonstration of television on 26th January 1926, installed in Frith Street, Soho, the unveiling ceremony held on 26th January 2017.

The IEEE UK and Ireland Section held a full-day event at the Royal Institution of Great Britain to celebrate the first public demonstration of television on 26th January 1926 at 22 Frith Street, London by John Logie Baird. The demonstration is recorded as being attended by some 40 members of the Royal Institution (RIGB).

On Friday 27th January 2017 the Royal Institution of Great Britain hosted over 150 specially invited guests to celebrate the evolution of television from Baird to the digital age. Speakers included IEEE President Karen Bartleson, Region 8 Director Margaretha Erikson, President of IEEE Broadcast Technology Society, and IEEE UK and Ireland Section Chair, Ali Hessami.

Donald McLean, author of the award-winning book 'Restoring Baird's Image' explained how a poor inventor could achieve such an amazing string of 'firsts', ahead of any established corporation, commencing with the world's first demonstration of what he called 'true' television in January 1926.

Iain Logie Baird speaking at the IEEE Iain Logie Baird spoke about John Logie Baird, the person. He summarised his grandfather's childhood, growing up in Helensburgh, with a fascination with science fact accompanied by a strong influence of the science fiction of HG Wells before University life in Glasgow and a brief 'conventional' working life as a young electrical engineer at the Clyde Valley Power Company.

Iain described some of John Logie Baird's successes and failures with his earlier inventions and businesses, including artificial diamonds, the Baird Undersock, a jam-making business in Trinidad, a soap business in London, and inflatable insoles for shoes! But it was during his time in Hastings that he had his 'eureka' moment when he first envisaged a method for 'seeing by wireless', which pre-empted his move back up to London and a new laboratory in the attic rooms of 22 Frith Street.

Other speakers were:

Cyril HilsumFormerly at RSRE Malvern and SERL'The UK Route to Liquid Crystal Television'

Nick WellsBBC R&D (retired)'The Revolution in TV Broadcastingfrom Analogue to Digital'

Chris JohnsChief Engineer, Broadcast Strategy, Sky TV'A Look at what TV will be in the Future'

Bill HayesPresident, IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and Director of Engineering and Technology at Iowa Public TV'The Impact and Future of Modern TV Related Digital Developments'

Click here for more details of the IEEE John Logie Baird Milestone Celebration including numerous photos and videos.