Why Did John Logie Baird Invent Television?

did-john-logie-baird-invent-television Credit: Zubin Shroff/Taxi/Getty Images

According to a BBC history article, John Logie Baird invented television because for many decades it had been a preoccupation of many scientists and inventors, and he had the natural ingenuity to accomplish the task. A biography of John Baird on Virtual Scotland, the official Scottish tourist website, further states that Baird's success was due to his perseverance in both the experimental and business phases of the project.

Baird became preoccupied with constructing a working television shortly after World War I, when he moved to the south coast of England. Setting himself up in a small workshop, he created the first working model out of odds and ends that included a tea chest, a biscuit tin, a toy electric motor, some bicycle light lenses, a pair of scissors, glue and sealing wax. In 1924, he transmitted a flickering image across the span of several feet. In 1925, he created the first real television picture in grayscale, first using a ventriloquist's dummy and then a human face. In early 1926, he demonstrated his device before 50 scientists. In 1927, he transmitted a television picture 438 miles through telephone lines from London to Glasgow, and in the same year he started the Baird Television Development Company. In 1928, his company was the first to transmit television images transatlantic between London and New York, as well as transmit television signals to a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. In the same year, he gave the world's first demonstration of color television.

Eventually, in the 1930s, a competing television system created by Marconi Electric and Musical Industries was adopted by the BBC and supplanted Baird's system. Nevertheless, he is widely acknowledged as a significant pioneer in the television industry.