January 2011: Television & John Logie Baird: Jon Weller

Our first meeting in 2011, the talk by Jon Weller about John Logie Baird, was a cracker.  JLB can come across as a rather dour person, someone who would now be referred to as a ‘geek’, who developed the idea of a ‘hand knitted in Scotland’ type of mechanical television.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  JKB was a charming and savvy entrepreneur who turned his hand to many diverse and sometimes strangely amusing ways of making money.  The ‘jam from Trinidad’ was not the most successful, nor the glass razor blades, but the (mainly caustic) soap was and helped finance his subsequent work on television.  Jon brought the story to life, providing an understanding into the personality of the man and deep insight into the development of television. We were treated to museum class exhibits including the world’s oldest off air TV recording, not viewable when made in 1934 but there for us to see now thanks to Jon’s technical expertise.  A truly enthralling evening.