Royal Mint announces new 50p coin in celebration of Scottish inventor John Logie Baird

Scottish inventor John Logie Baird is to be honoured with a new 50p coin, the Royal Mint has revealed.

The national coin maker has released images of the commemorative piece, which is part of its collection celebrating contributions to science. 

Logie Baird, an 20th century engineer, invented the first working televisions in the early 1920s and demonstrated his prototype for the first time in January 1926. 

The Royal Mint have designed the piece aged of the 75th anniversary of the death of the “Father of Television”.

The coin depicts a graphic image of a broadcast transmission, featuring concentric circles pulsing outward from a silhouette of the Crystal Palace mast in London, the site of Mr Logie Baird’s television station and transmitter.

Clare Maclennan, a director of commemorative coins at The Royal Mint, said: “The design represents Baird’s accomplishments and the invention of broadcast transmission, which has shaped culture and entertainment as we know it today.

“It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with the Baird family to commemorate a true British icon and a pioneer of one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century.

The Helensburgh-born engineer studied electrical engineering at Glasgow’s Royal Technical College, before his experimental invention of the television saw him achieve many first in television technology

He relayed a static image in 1924 and took out his first television patent in 1923.  On 26 January 1926, he gave the first public demonstration of a true television system - referred to by Logie Baird as a “televisor” - in London. 

In 1928, he demonstrated the first transatlantic TV transmission from London to New York.

His grandson, Ian Baird, said: “The Baird family feels extremely honoured that The Royal Mint has chosen to recognise my grandfather’s contributions in this way.

“He was involved in both the technology and the progress of television broadcasting and the coin design illustrates his dual role as a pioneer in the scientific world as well as in a brand-new medium of communication.”

The coins are available in limited edition Gold Proof, Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort (a thicker coin), as well as a Brilliant Uncirculated editions, with prices ranging from £10 to £1,005.