Malcolm and Iain Baird share their thoughts on Julie Fulton’s non-fiction dedication to the life and inventions of John Logie Baird – televisor extraordinaire;
Review by Malcolm Baird (son) and Iain Baird (grandson), 6 September 2020
Television history is a complex subject. Primarily it stems from science and technology, closely allied with innovative thinking, social sciences, business acumen and “politics”. It was developed mainly as a broadcast medium, carrying news and culture and sport to millions of viewers. But as it approaches its 100th birthday, television is becoming an important person-to-person channel of communication; this new development is being driven by the COVID crisis. It is hard enough for a mature adult to get a handle on television history, but how on Earth can it be put across to young children?
Julie Fulton has met the challenge with a human story drawn from J.L. Baird’s own memoirs (1941) which are to be republished soon. Patrick Corrigan’s colour illustrations are more eye-catching than the (mostly) grainy black-and-white photos in the archives. We like Ms. Fulton’s use of time-lines which give the young readers a sense of history, moving along in parallel to the growth of television. “Mister TV” also recognizes that many people in different countries have contributed to television, both in the early days (Nipkow, Rosing, et al.) and in the later stages (Farnsworth, Zworykin, et al.).