He won many competitions, and it was the chief regret of his life that he was not selected to swim for Britain in the 1956 Olympics. news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/chat/hotseat/newsid_1858000/1858355.stm All rights reservedMoneyWeek and Money Morning are registered trademarks. All the swimming, who knew ... A great article and a great man! Available for everyone, funded by readers. Jeff Bezos' ex-wife now the richest woman in the world. Trevor Baylis: The inventor who wound up a success A programme on the spread of Aids in Africa inspired inventor Trevor Baylis to invent a radio that didn't require batteries. Amazon's massive Labor Day sale launched early A few years before his wind-up radios began to sell at the rate of 120,000 a month, many of them bound for Africa, he had conceived more than 200 devices to help people with disabilities. Eventually, utilising his swimming skills, Trevor formed his own aquatic display team who performed stunts and tricks such as diving into a tank of water from a great height. It was then that the BBC featured his product on TV. He liked to proclaim: “I don’t do things because I want to do good; I do things because I like to show off.” Nevertheless he did a great deal of good with the wind-up radio, which he conceived in 1991 and first produced in 1994. It wasn’t until 1991 when the primary reason most people know about Trevor occurred, he was watching a program about the spread of AIDS in Africa and that a way to help prevent the spread of the illness would be via information using radio broadcasts. His invention of the clockwork radio came about after he had reflected that if an old-style gramophone could be wound up with clockwork and produce a sound, so could a radio. National Service eventually beckoned when he was old enough and Trevor stayed in the army until 1961 as a physical training instructor. Times were tough during WWII, and the Baylis family struggled as did many others during the time of rationing and international calamity. Inventors and the Invention: Trevor Baylis Early Days Trevor was born in 1937, in Kilburn, the son of an Engineer, Cecil, and Gladys, who was an aspiring artist. "Whether it was Whittle's jet engine or Cockerell's hovercraft, they all ended up with nothing. The success rate of his devices, assessed across 97 activities in hospitals, was 76%; the NHS funded a nine-month study and bought eight sets of what he called Orange Aid equipment. Why did Trevor Baylis invent the wind up radio? During the summer months, he cruises around in his vintage E-type Jaguar, visiting the emporiums on Twickenham High Street and partaking of a decent bag of fish and chips when he has the chance. Twenty-five years ago, Craig Newmark lost his job at a brokerage and fired off an email to friends. Thanks to some painstaking work from Baylis, they now ran for up to an hour on 30 seconds of winding, and in 1996 they won the BBC Design Award for Best Product and Design. ", Craig Newmark: the nerd who shook up the media giants, Great frauds in history: the Independent West Middlesex Fire and Life Assurance Company's early Ponzi scheme, Mukesh Ambani: the Indian billionaire eyeing global expansion, Great frauds in history... John Factor’s penny-stock scams, The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm, Don’t miss this bus: take a bet on National Express. Times were tough during WWII, and the Baylis family struggled as did many others during the time of rationing and international calamity. He patented the idea and then tried to get it into production, but, as happens with many inventors he faced rejection from everyone he approached. Countless years taking things to bits to see how they tick...now Fighting the good SEO & content battle at Kempston Controls! So he went to the City. Trevor Baylis Brands was started by Trevor Baylis, the famous inventor of the Clockwork Radio and helped inventors for many years.The original company closed following Trevor’s death. Thanks. Purely Pools made the first free-standing swimming pools in the UK, and moving up through the ranks Trevor found himself in the research and development role. Despite the success of his wind-up radio and several other manually charged products including a torch, a mobile phone charger and an MP3 player, Trevor received little of the profits. “It was a fateful error,” he wrote in his 1999 autobiography, Clock This. Trevor was also busy conducting tours and interviews all over the world, and he was also presented with an OBE in the same year. In later years, and for the first time comfortably off, he set up Trevor Baylis Brands, a company to help other inventors turn their ideas into successful products. Losing a friend during a daring stunt display and through friends injured during stunts over the years, Trevor realised that disability was but one slip away. The Trevor Baylis Brands PLC. He had many women friends, and dedicated his autobiography to 21 of them, but never married. All of a sudden the offers started coming in.". Around this time he declared himself a Marxist, though a less political individual it would have been difficult to find. Last modified on Fri 9 Mar 2018 10.18 EST. Trevor also won the fabulous accolade of Pipe Smoker of the Year, which cheered him no end, having been an avid pipe smoker since the age of 15. The hand-cranked radio allows people in remote communities to have access to modern broadcasting—all without needing an external power source, aside from your own hand. His mother, Gladys (nee Brown), and father, Cecil – a quality inspector with the Britannia Rubber and Kamptulicon Company near Wembley – had met at a church hall dance. By the end of 1995, a factory in South Africa started churning out the radios, now called the Freeplay' radio. He did most of this in less than three months of creative effort in which food and sleep played inconspicuous roles. Trevor still lives alone on Eel Pie Island in a home he built himself, spending his time watching television, sitting in his hot tub in his garden admiring the view and walking his trusted dog, Ike. In 1989, he watched a TV programme on Aids in Africa, which reasoned that one way of halting the spread of the disease was by educating people through radio. All the latest articles, projects, new product reviews, and competitions, Discuss ideas with our professional engineering community, Software created to help you in your design process, A collection of resources to help speed up your design process, Get help from trusted 3rd parties with your design and build process, A collection of materials to help students and professionals alike. “It would have left me slack with boredom,” he said. The technology’s British inventor, Trevor Baylis, died today at the age of 80. The original prototype included a transistor radio, an electric motor from a toy, and a music box clockwork mechanism. For this work he was appointed OBE in 1997. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. Professional investor Zehrid Osmani of the Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust, picks three stocks that he thinks should be able to weather the coron…, The gold bull is back! When his service was completed he then joined a company called Purley Pools as a salesman, using his swimming background to boost sales. Rejections from Richard Branson and Phillips followed, and by 1995 he thought that the product was doomed. He lived for many years on Eel Pie Island near Twickenham, west London, with a workshop just inside the front door and pictures of himself and his inventions all over the house.
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