Biography of John Logie Baird

Photo of John Logie Baird

John Logie Baird was a twentieth century pioneer of television.

When and Where was he Born?

13th August 1888, “The Lodge”, Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire, Scotland.

Family Background:

John Logie Baird was the fourth child the Reverend John and Jessie Baird.


Lachfield Academy. Studied electrical engineering at The Royal Technical College, Glasgow (Now the University of Strathclyde). University of Glasgow.

Timeline of John Logie Baird:

As a child he invented a telephone system for “The Lodge” and connected it to the houses of some of his local friends and also wired up the house so that it was the first in the district to benefit from electric lighting.

1900: Baird experiments with developing a glider which flew from the top of the house.

1914: John Logie Baird graduates from University. He repeatedly tries to enlist in the army during the First World War, but due to his physical ill-health he is refused.

1920: Baird visits Trinidad in the West Indies.

1922: He becomes ill and is forced to leave his work as an engineer for the Clyde Valley Electric Power Company. He works on his first ideas (which may have been founded whilst he was at university) on television, first in Folkestone and then in Hastings.

1924: Baird’s first prototype “Television” is first displayed at Selfridges Department Store in London.

1925: The first human face, that of his office assistant William Taynton, appears on a television screen.

1926: Baird unveils his first fully working mechanical television at the Royal Institution in London on 26th January which he had been working on from his small laboratory in Soho, London. This is hailed as the first true television.

1927: He sends television pictures by cable from London to Glasgow.

1928: He transmits a signal across the Atlantic from London to New York. He demonstrates his first colour television pictures. He was also working on radio waves at the time and developed a system which was to become Radar.

1929: The BBC is granted a license to transmit television pictures with Baird’s 30 line mechanical device.

1930: Televised pictures begin on large screens.

1931: He marries the concert pianist Margaret Albu.

1935: John Logie Baird invents Noctovision which was an instrument able to see images in the dark.

1936: The BBC starts transmitting Baird’s 240-line system.

1937: He is dismissed by the BBC who then favoured the 405 line electric scanning mode developed by Marconi and EMI.

1938: Baird visited Australia with his wife.

1941: Stereoscopic Colour television becomes fully developed.

1944: Telechrome, the first colour mechanical tube is displayed for the first time.

When and Where did he Die?

14th June 1946, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England after suffering a stroke.

Age at Death:



1931 to the concert pianist Margaret Albu.

Site of Grave:

Helensburgh, Scotland. Memorial window in the West Kirk, Colquhoun Square, Helensburgh.

Places of Interest:


Museum of the Moving Image, Waterloo.
Science Museum.


8 Queen’s Avenue, Hastings is the site of Baird’s Television laboratory.