Glasgow & West Scotland

TV pioneer's Emmy award arrives in Scotland

Alexander Bain
Image caption Alexander Bain died in Kirkintilloch in 1877

An Emmy awarded to a Scottish inventor almost 140 years after his death has arrived in East Dunbartonshire.

Alexander Bain was given the honour for his pioneering work in the transmission of images.

The inventor was born at Watten in Caithness in 1810 and died in poverty in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, in 1877.

The Emmys are a series of awards for television excellence - the equivalent of the Oscars in the film industry.

Bain's invention is said to be one of the fundamental principles of television.

The honour was awarded at the 67th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas in January.

'Innovative work'

During his lifetime, Bain's achievements included the invention of the electric clock and important contributions to the electric telegraph, but he is perhaps best known as the inventor of the fax machine, which he patented in 1843.

The invention, which came 33 years before the patent was given for the telephone, contained the fundamentals of what would become television.

It was the first time an image had been scanned from one location to another.

Image copyright Alistair K Watson
Image caption Dr Ivan Ruddock and council leader Rhondda Geekie with the award in East Dunbartonshire

His invention was so advanced that it would be another 80 years before the breakthroughs which led to modern television's development.

East Dunbartonshire Council, which maintains Bain's gravestone in the Old Aisle Cemetery in Kirkintilloch, has been chosen as custodian of the Emmy award.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: "Arrangements are now being made to have the Emmy put on public display in the Auld Kirk Museum in Kirkintilloch so everyone can have the opportunity to see this prestigious award and learn more about the work of Alexander Bain.

"Bain's achievements have gone relatively unnoticed in the 138 years since his death and it is important that we play our part in helping to bring his innovative work to the attention of a new generation of budding young engineers and help inspire them."

The council said Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries played a "key role" in ensuring the Emmy was awarded to Bain.

The society's president, Dr Ivan Ruddock, said: "It is no exaggeration to state that he can be considered the father of television, and is consequently worthy of the recognition that the award of this Emmy represents."

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