Special 50p coin launched for ‘The Father of Television’ John Logie Baird
By Thomas Hornall
John Logie Baird, the inventor of the first working television, will be celebrated with a new 50p coin, said the Royal Mint.
The life and work of the Scottish engineering pioneer will be honoured by the commemorative piece as part of the national coin maker’s tribute to innovation in science.
It was designed to mark the 75th anniversary of the death of the “Father of Television”, who lived from 1888 to 1946.
The coin depicts a graphic image of a broadcast transmission, featuring concentric circles pulsing outward from a silhouette of the Crystal Palace mast in London, the site of Mr Logie Baird’s television station and transmitter.
Mr Logie Baird achieved renown after managing to relay a static image in 1924, and in 1928 he demonstrated the first transatlantic TV transmission from London to New York.
His grandson, Ian Baird, said: “The Baird family feels extremely honoured that The Royal Mint has chosen to recognise my grandfather’s contributions in this way.
“He was involved in both the technology and the progress of television broadcasting and the coin design illustrates his dual role as a pioneer in the scientific world as well as in a brand-new medium of communication.”
The coins are available in limited edition Gold Proof, Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort (a thicker coin), as well as a Brilliant Uncirculated editions, with prices ranging from £10 to £1,005.
The son of a clergyman, Mr Logie Baird was born in Helensburgh on Scotland’s west coast and went on to study electrical engineering at Glasgow’s Royal Technical College.
Clare Maclennan, a director of commemorative coins at The Royal Mint, said: “The design represents Baird’s accomplishments and the invention of broadcast transmission, which has shaped culture and entertainment as we know it today.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with the Baird family to commemorate a true British icon and a pioneer of one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century.”