UK’s export bar on John Logie Baird archive

Scottish engineer and pioneer of television John Logie Baird. Picture: Getty Images

Scottish engineer and pioneer of television John Logie Baird. Picture: Getty Images

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AN export bar has been placed on an archive from John Logie Baird’s first transmission of Transatlantic television pictures in the hope that it will prevent the materials - which include the first use of the acronym TV - leaving the UK.

A UK buyer will need to match the £78,750 asking price for the archive, described as a “treasure trove” of materials, for it to remain here.

It belongs in Britain where it would be of huge importance for the study of the history of television, and I hope a UK buyer will come forward to save it for the nation

Ed Vaizey

It includes a disc featuring what has been described as the world’s earliest surviving video recording, depicting images of ‘Stookie Bill’, one of Baird’s ventriloquist dummies, as well as the Scottish inventor’s assistant Benjamin Clapp’s radio log books.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Britain led the world in the development of television technology in the 1920s, all due to the pioneering work of John Logie Baird and his colleagues.

“It belongs in Britain where it would be of huge importance for the study of the history of television, and I hope a UK buyer will come forward to save it for the nation.”

Christopher Rowell, member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, which recommended the temporary export bar, said that the archive “represents British ingenuity and invention at the highest level.

“The notes contain the first ever use of the acronym TV for television.

“The excitement of the achievement rests in these objects, which we hope will remain in this country as a permanent testament to Logie Baird and his team. Their departure abroad would also be a serious loss to scholarship.”

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