He had it coming to him. It took 173 years, but the Scottish engineer finally received recognition for his invention in the early 1800s helped build the foundation for today’s television .
A Technical/Engineering Emmy is going out to Alexander Bain for inventing “the concept of scanning for image transmission.” That’s how the nominating committee for the 2015 awards. Scanning an image and then transmitting it so it can be reproduced elsewhere is, of course, key to how broadcast television and many other aspects of image transmission are based.
Bain patented one of the very first facsimile machines in 1843. That early date changes how most of us think of those days – after all, Edgar Allen Poe was still around, which might give some sense of how Bain and other inventors had their sights far afield from the present.
Bain’s patent included linear (horizontal) scanning lines, pixels, and both line and frame synchronization, according to an article posted on the Early Television website.
This info comes courtesy of Mark Schubin, engineer, Lifetime SMPTE fellow and an always entertaining media historian. You can find more on Bain and other inventors and inventions key to today’s media technology by visiting this page on early television developments.