Officially it was called a pictorial-transmission machine. The man who invented it called it a televisor for short. It was the first working TV system, and it was demonstrated on this date in London in 1926.

Scottish inventor John Baird based his invention on the idea of a German scientist, who suggested a rotating disc system to convert images to electronic signals.

Anybody who went to a Buffalo Bills game in the early 1970s will remember the first video board at the stadium. It was a black and white screen, and the images had only four shades…white, gray, grayer and grayest. It was almost impossible to see on a sunny day. It was better at night, but the images were kind of ghostly looking.

Baird’s first TV screen was pretty much the same, but even more primitive with just light and dark images showing up on the screen. He used a camera focused on a couple of ventriloquist dummies behind a curtain to demonstrate the system. And for the time it was pretty impressive.

Two years later, Baird made an overseas broadcast from London to New York City over phone lines. The first color TV was demonstrated that same year. The first homes to receive a TV broadcast were in Schenectady, N.Y. in 1928 using TV sets built by General Electric, then based in Schenectady.