And the Emmy goes to...

An Emmy award awarded to a Scottish inventor 130 years after his death for his pioneering work in image transmission has gone on display.

Wednesday, 31st August 2016, 9:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st August 2016, 10:54 am
25-08-2016 Picture Roberto Cavieres. Auld Kirk Museum, Kirkintilloch - Unveiling of Alexander Bain's Emmy Award

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) decided to posthumously honour Alexander Bain (1810-1877), who is buried in Kirkintilloch, for his outstanding achievement in technical or engineering development.

It was awarded at the 67th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards in Las Vegas in January, in recognition of inventing the concept of scanning for image transmission - said to be one of the fundamental principles of television.

East Dunbartonshire Council, who maintain Bain’s gravestone in the Old Aisle Cemetery in Kirkintilloch, were chosen as custodian of the award and the trophy has now been given pride of place in a new display at Kirkintilloch’s Auld Kirk Museum.

Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries President, Ivan Ruddock, helped council leader Rhondda Geekie unveil the Emmy last week.

He wrote an article in 2012 exploring the link between Bain and the fundamentals of television which played a key part in the decision to award the Emmy to Bain.

Dr Ruddock said: “Prior to the award of the Emmy, Alexander Bain was a virtually forgotten pioneer of the electric telegraph, the electric clock and the fax machine.

“He is now recognised for inventing the fundamental principles of image transmission and ultimately television that we still rely on today.”

Councillor Geekie added: “It was a huge honour - and quite a surprise - for the council to be asked to be custodians of the Emmy Award.

“It was particularly pleasing that some members of the Kirkintilloch and District Society of Antiquaries could join us at the unveiling as they played a vital role in ensuring the Emmy was awarded.

“Bain’s achievements have gone relatively unnoticed in the 138 years since his death however my predecessors in the Town Council of the Burgh of Kirkintilloch publicly noted the importance of his inventions and pledged in 1959 that his headstone be maintained in perpetuity.

“It is important that we now 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.

“I’m delighted that it will now be on public display so that everyone can have the opportunity to see this award and learn more about Bain.”