John Logie Baird's original experimental television apparatus, 1925-1926

1925-1926 in United Kingdom
John Logie Baird

Transmitting portion of original television experimental apparatus, created and used by John Logie Baird, with a dummy head of "Stookie / Stooky Bill". 1925-1926.

This original Television apparatus was made of 16 lenses fitted in two half-spirals on a cardboard disc cut from a hat box. This was connected to a large motor mounted on an old tea chest which turned the disc. As the disc rotated, each of the lenses scanned a different part of the subject and focused light into Baird's secret photosensitive cell, where it was turned into an electrical signal which could be sent to a receiver.

Receiving equipment had a similar disc and showed small but recognisable images of human faces with 32 lines of resolution on a ground glass screen. The light was provided by a neon tube which shone through the spinning receiver disc onto the glass.

John L Baird succeeded in transmitting the silhouette in 1923 and the full recognisable image in 1925. During the experiment, a dummy head called ‘Stooky Bill’ was used as the apparatus would become too hot for humans.


Radio Communication
Object Number:
aluminium (metal), cardboard, electrical components, glass, hair, paint, plaster of Paris and wood (unidentified)
overall (estimate): 335 mm x 780 mm x 655 mm,
  • tools and equipment
John Logie Baird