Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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of 36 Victoria Street, London, SW1. Telephone: Abbey 4852. Cables: "Scofony"

1923 George William Walton filed patent on a system of television that he had developed[1].

1930 The company was founded by Solomon Sagall to develop the system invented by G. W. Walton. Partners:Gaumont British, Ferranti Electric, and Oscar Deutsch (chairman of Odeon Theatres).

1935 Working agreement between the television firm of Scophony Ltd and E. K. Cole radio manufacturers, with investment by Cole's[2]. Scophony had produced one of 4 television systems in the UK; this was based on an optico-mechanical system suitable for commercial projection[3].

1936 Public company[4]. It had 126 patents on the system.

1939 With the outbreak of the Second World War, the British Broadcasting Corporation stopped television broadcasting. Consequently, it became impossible for Scophony to continue in the commercial development, manufacture and sale of television equipment in England. It therefore sent personnel to the United States, opened an office in New York City, and began demonstrations of its product and other activities preliminary to establishing a manufacturing and selling business in this country.

1941 Late in the year, Scophony found itself in financial distress, in part because of restrictions imposed by the British Government on the export of currency. It became imperative that new capital from American sources be found for the enterprise.

1942 Accordingly Arthur Levey, a director of Scophony and one of its founders, undertook negotiations in New York with American motion picture and televisions interests, including Paramount and General Precision. They culminated in the execution of three interlacing contracts, the so-called master agreement of July, 1942, and two supplemental agreements of August 11, 1942.

1947 British Industries Fair Advert as Specialists in the design and construction of optical, mechanical, electrical and electronic instruments including: Electronic Stroboscope; Dynamic Balancing Equipment; Kine Theodolites; Photo Theodolites; High Speed, High Cycle Electric Induction Motors; High Speed Cameras; Electrically Driven High Speed Gyroscopes and Gyroscopically-controlled Instruments; Recording Theodolites; Fractional H.P. Induction Motors; Television Receivers and Transmitters; Skiatron Tubes; Photonymographs. (Scientific and Optical Section - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1066) [5]

1948 Acquired John Logie Baird Ltd, television manufacturers, and the associate company W. Andrew Bryce and Co, manufacturer of transformers and components; new factory at Wells and expansion of television production at the Wembley factory[6].

1949 The company was renamed Scophony-Baird Ltd[7], of Lancelot Road, Wembley, Middlesex.

1952 In September, the company changed its name from Scophony-Baird Ltd to Baird Television Ltd.

1960 Radio Rentals acquired the Baird Company.

See Also

  • [1] Radio Museum

Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 28 July 1936
  2. The Times, 4 April 1935
  3. The Times, 16 July 1935
  4. The Times, 8 June 1936
  5. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 417; and p242
  6. The Times, 30 November 1948
  7. The Times, 3 February 1949