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Subject: ‘Famous Inventors’

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Unlucky Logie Baird

Posted in Communications, Famous Inventors, Historical articles, Inventions on Saturday, 9 September 2017

This edited article about inventors originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 889 published on 3 February 1979.

Logie Baird, picture, image, illustration

John Logie Baird works on his pioneering experiments with image transmission which would lead to the invention of television, by John Keay

What could a man build with an old tea chest, a biscuit box, darning needles, the lenses of old bicycle lamps, electric motors due for the scrap heap, lengths of wire and assorted odds and ends?

The people of Hastings, where these purchases were made in the early 1920s, did not know and certainly would never have guessed that it was the raw material for the world’s first practical television transmitter – and that the tousle-headed, bespectacled young Scotsman John Logie Baird who bought them was to become famous as the pioneer of TV.

Baird was a sick man. He had come to Hastings on the south coast for his health, despite his lack of money. But he was determined to achieve the transmission of vision by radio.

Although others before him had established some basic principles of picture transmission, it was Baird who put them into practice.

How do you send a picture through the air? You send it, strip by strip, in the form of radio signals, and at the other end you have a receiver, like our modern televisions, which decodes these signals strip by strip and turns them into a picture again.

For months, Baird worked alone in his attic laboratory, struggling to transmit a recognisable image. In October, 1925, the breakthrough came: he successfully transmitted a picture of a ventriloquist’s dummy from one end of his apparatus to a receiver elsewhere in his room. Baird had proved to himself that it could be done – now all that was necessary was to convince the public.

On 27th January, 1926, at the famous London store of Selfridges, John Logie Baird gave the first public demonstration of television. A blurred image of a human face was transmitted, but it was strong enough to be recognised. Television had arrived.

But there was rather a sad end to Baird’s pioneering work. The system that he had invented was too crude to give the perfect reproduction we expect today, and ultimately another system was adopted by the BBC and other broadcasting organisations of the world.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 113

Posted in Actors, Best pictures, Customs, Discoveries, Famous Composers, Famous crimes, Famous Inventors, Historical articles, History, Inventions, Leisure, Science, Theatre on Thursday, 26 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows a scene from Tosca.

La Tosca, picture, image, illustration

La Tosca by Sardou

The second picture shows a kite flying festival in the imperial gardens, China.

kites, picture, image, illustration

Kite flying festival in the imperial gardens, China

The third picture shows Nikola Tesla’s experiment producing light generated by an electric transformer, 1895.

Nikola Tesla, picture, image, illustration

Nikola Tesla's experiment producing light generated by an electric transformer, 1895

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 110

Posted in America, Architecture, Art, Best pictures, Educational card, Engineering, Famous Inventors, Historical articles, History, Inventions, Railways, Revolution, Transport, Travel on Thursday, 26 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the Colossus of Nero, by the Sculptor Zenodore, 66 AD.

Nero, picture, image, illustration

The Colossus of Nero, by the Sculptor Zenodore, 66 AD

The second picture shows George Stephenson’s locomotive Rocket, 1830.

Rocket, picture, image, illustration

George Stephenson's locomotive Rocket, 1830

The third picture shows the Philippine Revolution and its leader.

Philippines, picture, image, illustration

Emilio Aguinaldo, Filipino revolutionary leader and politician

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 47

Posted in America, Best pictures, Communications, Educational card, Famous battles, Famous Inventors, Farming, Historical articles, History, Industry, Inventions, Plants, Trade, War on Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows the French capture of Sontay in Vietnam.

Sontay, picture, image, illustration

The Capture of Sontay

The second picture shows a tobacco plantation in Cuba.

Cuba, picture, image, illustration

Tobacco plantation, Cuba

The third picture shows Samuel Morse, American inventor and telegraphy pioneer.

Morse, picture, image, illustration

Samuel Morse, American inventor and telegraphy pioneer

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 36

Posted in Architecture, Arts and Crafts, Best pictures, Communications, Discoveries, Educational card, Famous battles, Famous Inventors, Famous landmarks, Historical articles, History, Invasions, Inventions, Language, Legend, Literature, Medicine, Myth, Religion, Royalty, Science on Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Mehmed the Conqueror, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Mehmed, picture, image, illustration

Mehmed the Conqueror, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, makes his triumphal entrance into the Hagia Sophia after capturing Constantinople, 1453

The second picture shows Edward Jenner, who discovered a vaccine against smallpox.

Jenner, picture, image, illustration

Edward Jenner, English doctor and scientist who discovered a vaccine against smallpox

The third picture shows Scandinavian runes.

runes, picture, image, illustration

Scandinavian runes

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from educational trade cards, 20

Posted in Actors, Ancient History, Best pictures, Educational card, Famous battles, Famous Inventors, Historical articles, History, Institutions, Inventions, London, Oddities, Royalty, Science on Monday, 23 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from our large collection of 19th and early 20th century educational trade cards.
The first picture shows Archimedes and his eureka moment.

Archimedes, picture, image, illustration

Archimedes and his principle

The second picture shows the British banker Nathan Rothschild after the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.

Rothschild, picture, image, illustration

British banker Nathan Rothschild after the Battle of Waterloo, 1815

The third picture shows Charles Sherwood Stratton, better known as General Tom Thumb.

Tom Thumb, picture, image, illustration

Charles Sherwood Stratton, better known as General Tom Thumb

High-resolution scans of all educational cards can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.

Joseph Nicephore Niepce

Posted in Famous Inventors, Historical articles, History, Inventions, Science, Technology on Sunday, 22 November 2015

This unusual picture captures one of the most significant moments in the development of photography, when in 1826 r 1827 the French inventor, Joseph Nicephore Niepce, finally captured a permanent photographic image in the specially designed ‘camera’ shown in the illustration.

Joseph Nicephore Niepce, picture, image, illustration

Joseph Nicephore Niepce taking the world's first permanent photograph

Many more pictures of inventions can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

A Picture Palace of Edwardian Times

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Cinema, Famous Inventors, Historical articles, History, Inventions, London, Railways, Technology on Saturday, 21 November 2015

This striking and historically accurate picture shows the sensational screening of the Lumiere film, L’Arrivee d’un Train A la Ciotat at the Regent Street Polytechnic in London. It is a perfect pictorial representation of one of the famous films and great moments in the early history of cinema.

cinema, picture, image, illustration

A Picture Palace of Edwardian Times by Peter Jackson

Many more pictures of cinema can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Louis Daguerre the inventive photographer

Posted in Art, Artist, Famous Inventors, Historical articles, History, Inventions, Science, Technology on Friday, 20 November 2015

This informal portrait of Louis Daguerre cleverly shows the scenic artist and pioneering photographer with the subject of a world-famous photographic image made by him in 1838. The view from his window seen in colour in this picture, became a black and white photograph of the boulevard which fortuitously captured the first ever human forms in a photographic image: the bootblack polishing a man’s shoes on the pavement corner on the left.

Louis Daguerre, picture, image, illustration

Louis Daguerre

Many more pictures of inventions can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures from ‘The Illustrated Times’, 7

Posted in Animals, Best pictures, Customs, Engineering, Famous Inventors, Historical articles, History, Industry, Oddities, Politics, Ships, Sport, The Illustrated Times on Sunday, 15 November 2015

We have selected three of the best pictures from ‘The Illustrated Times’, a nineteenth-century illustrated newspaper and rich source of remarkable engravings.
The first picture shows a scene during the Spanish military coup in 1856.

Spain, picture, image, illustration

The Coup d'Etat at Madrid, a Conflict in the Calle Mayor by Gustave Janet

The second picture shows Mr Robert Stephenson, the great engineer.

ship, picture, image, illustration

Portrait of Mr Robert Stephenson, with a view of the great hydrolic ram used in launching the Leviathan

The third picture shows cat-racing at Liege.

cat, picture, image, illustration

Cat-Racing at Liege

High-resolution scans of all the illustrations from ‘The Illustrated Times’ (London 1855-1866) can be found in the Look and Learn picture library.