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Television and Me: The Memoirs of John Logie Baird Paperback – 7 Apr 2004
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"...Baird was not given the recognition which was his by right during his lifetime." -- The Scots Magazine, September 2004
"...the most influential Scot who ever lived..." -- Daily Mail, January 07, 2005
"His memoir is a fabulous distillation of all the joy and bitterness, hurt and humour of an extraordinary man." -- Daily Mail, January 07, 2005
"John Logie Baird is hailed as the genius who invented television and changed the course of the 20th century." -- Evening News, May 13, 2004
'charming and informative' -- Kinema, Canada
' not bogged down in technical details, but self-effacing and witty ' -- The Herald
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I was born in 1888. My father was the Minister of the West Parish of Helensburgh, a small watering place near Glasgow. He had gone there immediately after finishing his studies at Glasgow University, where he obtained his MA and BD, and showed remarkable talent. A small body of residents in this little seaside resort sent a request to the University that a student should be sent to open a small church to serve their needs, and my father was chosen for the task.
Among those who came to his church was Miss Jessie Inglis, one of a wealthy family of shipbuilders, who came to Helensburgh for the summer, and looked rather askance at the struggling young clergyman when he proposed marriage. The opposition, however, was overcome, and Miss Jessie Inglis became Mrs Baird. The little church prospered; my father must have been energetic and enterprising. Among his other activities he formed a literary society, of which the future Prime Minister, Bonar Law, was once a member.
Top customer reviews
If you think of JL Baird only in terms of TV, you're missing perhaps some of the most interesting chapters of his life - I now have visions of him lurching along the prom in oversized boots containing balloons (pneumatic soles!), selling the "Baird Undersock" and fighting off swarms of insects at a tropical jam factory... much more entertaining!
A great book and one you should read.
It may sound like a cliche, but having read this over a couple of days I felt I knew Baird a little, almost as if - having heard of my fascination with his subject - he'd been kind enough to visit for the weekend, sharing his anecdotes over dinner and a few brandies into the wee small hours. Baird pulls no punches, least of all where he is the butt of his own humour. There are some wonderful laugh-out-loud moments - for example when he describes the hordes of insects that were attracted by his industrial-scale jam production in Trinidad, and later, his memorable description of a pompous and red-faced director patronising him across the board room table through clouds of cigar smoke.
But this is not just humour - it's also a gripping tale of the life of one of technology's true pioneers, and it brings to life the drama of the two decades that saw the gestation and birth of British television. Testament to the man is that Baird achieved so much with the rudimentary technologies available to him, and defied scepticism on many fronts in order to demonstrate the world's first working television system. That he was later eclipsed by all-electronic systems that outperformed his partly mechanical apparatus is to take nothing from the achievements of this remarkable man; he was the first to show both that it COULD be done, and how. All else, as a journalist remarked at the time, was a matter of pounds and pence - which is where the big companies like EMI came in, who, with their well-funded research establishments, inevitably overtook Baird.
This is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the history of television, broadcasting, electronics or technology in general. It deserves to be in the best-seller lists, and certainly not relegated to a slighly dusty corner.
Baird fully describes the process leading to television but, more interestingly, gives great insights into his earlier work- much it frankly bizarre!
This is a lovely book- offering a great insight into the mind of an eccentric inventor!
technically minded, a fascinating survey of Baird's own thoughts as he pioneers his products.
Were honours to be as easily won in the 1930's as they are today, there is no doubt
whatsoever that Baird would have been (quite rightly) knighted for his genius and tenacity,
with a peerage to follow.
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