News Release

91 years after the birth of television, IEEE celebrates John Logie Baird’s invention in London and asks: how did we get here… and what’s coming next?

LONDON, UK – 13 January 2017 – IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organisation, is celebrating the birth of television with the unveiling of a historical street plaque in Soho, London, followed by a major one-day event at London’s famous Royal Institution on Friday 27 January 2017.

The free-to-attend event commemorates John Logie Baird’s first public demonstration of television, back in 1926, and looks at how TV technology developed through the 20th century and into the modern world.

Members of the press are warmly invited to join IEEE at the Royal Institution on Friday 27 January 2017, whether for the whole day or just for the morning programme beginning promptly at 11:00 followed by lunch.

Speakers at the event – entitled ‘The evolution of television from Baird to the digital age’ – include expert engineering professionals from the television
industry, including the BBC and Sky TV. Also speaking will be Iain Logie Baird, John’s grandson.

One day earlier, on Thursday 26 January 2017, IEEE will unveil a bronze ‘Milestone’ plaque commemorating John Logie Baird’s first public demonstration
of television, exactly 91 years to the day.

This historical street plaque is to be dedicated and mounted at the site of Baird’s workshop at 22 Frith Street, Soho, London (these days, Bar Italia), where he
demonstrated his invention for the first time, in front of 40 representatives from the Royal Institution, on 26 January 1926.

A video report of the unveiling of the IEEE Milestone plaque will be shown during the celebration event at the Royal Institution the next day.

The Friday event’s morning programme consists of a celebration of Baird’s technological invention and the birth of television. After a buffet lunch, the afternoon programme comprises technical talks on television-related subjects, including the analogue-to-digital revolution, the role of British research in the development of the LCDs now used in almost all modern flat-screen TVs, and how television will change in the years to come.

Also in attendance will be worldwide representatives from IEEE, including IEEE President Karen Bartleson, IEEE Broadcast Technology Society President Bill
Hayes, and IEEE UK and Ireland Section Chair Ali Hessami.

The event will close at 16:00 with refreshments.

All invitations for this event are being handled through Eventbrite. Details and a click-through for FREE tickets can be accessed at:

For more information, including details on the unveiling of the IEEE Milestone plaque in Soho, please contact the organiser Prof Anthony Davies:


IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest technical professional organisation dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards and professional and educational activities. IEEE is the trusted “voice” for engineering, computing and technology information around the globe.

IEEE UK and Ireland Section

The UK and Ireland Section of IEEE has over 10,000 members and is part of  IEEE’s Region 8 which covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Section arranges keynote lectures and many other events throughout the UK and Ireland including those organised by the Chapters of IEEE Technical Societies.

IEEE Milestones programme

IEEE’s Milestones programme recognises historically significant advances in the field of electro-technology. To date, more than 160 IEEE Milestone bronze plaques have been dedicated and installed around the world.

The IEEE Milestone dedicated to John Logie Baird’s first public demonstration of television will be the 13th Milestone to be unveiled by IEEE’s UK and Ireland Section and the 38th within IEEE Region 8.

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The Royal Institution

21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS

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