On This Day, Jan. 27, 1926 – John Baird Demonstrates His New Invention – Television
1926 – John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, demonstrated a pictorial transmission machine called television.
Baird is remembered as the inventor of mechanical television, radar and fiber optics. Successfully tested in a laboratory in late 1925 and unveiled with much fanfare in London in early 1926, mechanical television technology was quickly usurped by electronic television, the basis of modern video technology. Nonetheless, Baird’s achievements, including making the first trans-Atlantic television transmission, were singular and critical scientific accomplishments. Lonely, driven, tireless and often poor, the native Scot defined the pioneering spirit of scientific inquiry.
During his long career, John Baird created a host of television technologies. Among them, phonovision, a forerunner of the video recorder (which largely still relies on mechanical scanning); noctovision, an infra-red spotting system for “seeing” in the dark; open-air television, a theater-projection system; stereoscopic color TV; and the first high-definition color TV. According to present-day TV historians, Baird only pursued mechanical scanning to get a television system working as quickly as possible. He changed to electronic scanning in the early 1930s and refined the system to a high degree. Before he died in 1946, Baird was drafting plans for a television with 1,000 lines of resolution and he had earlier patents for television with up to 1,700 lines of resolution using interlacing technology. The world would not catch up with him until 1990 when the Japanese introduced a TV with 1125 lines of resolution per frame.
1606 – The trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators began. They were executed on January 31.
1870 – Kappa Alpha Theta, the first women’s sorority, was founded at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in Greencastle, IN.
1880 – Thomas Edison patented the electric incandescent lamp.
1888 – The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, DC.
1900 – In China, foreign diplomats in Peking, fearing a revolt, demanded that the imperial government discipline the Boxer rebels.
1927 – United Independent Broadcasters Inc. started a radio network with contracts with 16 stations. The company later became Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
1943 – During World War II, the first all American air raid against Germany took place when about 50 bombers attacked Wilhlemshaven.
1944 – The Soviet Union announced that the two year German siege of Leningrad had come to an end.
1945 – Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
1948 – Wire Recording Corporation of America announced the first magnetic tape recorder. The ‘Wireway’ machine with a built-in oscillator sold for $149.50.
1951 – In the U.S., atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
1967 – At Cape Kennedy, FL, astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo I spacecraft.
1967 – More than 60 nations signed the Outer Space Treaty which banned the orbiting of nuclear weapons and placing weapons on celestial bodies or space stations.
1968 – Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was released. The release came 6 weeks after he was killed in a plane crash.
1973 – The Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
1977 – The Vatican reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on female priests.
1981 – President Ronald Reagan greeted the 52 former American hostages released by Iran at the White House.
1984 – Wayne Gretzky set a National Hockey League record for consecutive game scoring. He ended the streak at 51 games.
1985 – The Coca-Cola Company, of Atlanta, GA, announced a plan to sell its soft drinks in the Soviet Union.
1997 – It was revealed that French national museums were holding nearly 2,000 works of art stolen from Jews by the Nazis during World War II.
1998 – First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on NBC’s “Today” show. She charged that the allegations against her husband were the work of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
2010 – Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iPad.
Source: On-This-Day.com; thcop.net