Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Stookie Bill

National Media Museum, Bradford
It may perhaps come as no surprise to those who criticize television as mostly mindless entertainment that the first face ever seen, transmitted, or recorded on television was that of a dummy. A very specific dummy, known cordially as "Stookie Bill," was the test subject for television pioneer John Logie Baird, who demonstrated the first practical television transmission from reflected light in 1926, made the earliest broadcasts of TV in Britain, the first trans-Atlantic broadcast, and the earliest recordings of a television signal -- in 1928! Stookie Bill, who was able to stand in front of a hot bank of lights longer and more patiently than any human subject, was Baird's go-to guy for all these early firsts.

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