As you unpack that stunning 70-inch, curved-screen 4K masterpiece to catch this year's Super Bowl or latest Ultra HD Blu-ray release, take a moment to pay respect to the origins of this magical device that was invented nearly 120 years ago, then further developed and refined by a number of global inventors and scientists over the next few decades.
One such fledgling contraption was created by Scottish engineer John Logie Baird, one of the inventors of the mechanical television, who demonstrated the first working television system on Jan. 26, 1926. In 1928 Baird launched the Baird Television Development Company, making the first transatlantic television transmission from London to Hartsdale, N.Y., in 1928 and later went on to broadcast the first BBC television program in November of 1929.
Here's a further description of the amazing British device from YouTube's geeky gadget team at Grand Illusions:
The Televisor was devised by the Scottish engineer and innovator, John Logie Baird, and a few thousand people were able to receive the early broadcasts, which used the BBC radio transmitters. You could buy a Televisor, but plans were also available to enable people to build their own. These early video pictures were only 30 lines - just as you will see in this video - and it is hard today to imagine the excitement these low resolution images created in the early 1930s. These early television trials led to the establishment of high definition broadcasting, which started in 1936 from Alexandra Palace in north London.
Here a video demonstrating the simple, rudimentary design of a 1929 Televisor, with a bottle-cap sized viewing screen and 30 lines of resolution, that, when compared to a modern TV, would calculate out to about one single pixel! Hey, I still don't fully understand how the toaster in my kitchen truly works, so even this archaic machine is pure sorcery to me. Squint and enjoy!