IET - Alan Blumlein - inventor and engineer

2nd September 2021 6:00 pm

Alan Dower Blumlein (often referred to by his initials ADB) left a legacy of 128 patents by the time a Halifax aircraft crashed and killed him (along with all 10 other passengers and crew) in 1942. At that time Britain was in the grip of World War II and Alan Blumlein was just 38 years old. The flight was associated with secret development of airborne radar, for which Alan was witnessing the efficacy of a magnetron.

Simon, his elder son, was age 6 at the time, and we are privileged that some 79 years later he has recorded a touching account of the life and work of his father, made at Solent University earlier this year. As well personal reflections, in the presentation Simon covers:

  • A number of Alan Blumlein’s profound engineering developments prior to his work on airborne radar. Many of the resulting technologies are the antecedents of the glue that holds together much of our lives, such as in television, broadcasting, and even computers.
  • The two papers presented to the IET - in its former guise as the Institution of Electrical Engineers.
  • Perhaps most well known of all, Alan Blumlein’s invention of stereo. Woven into this story are now household names such as EMI and the famous Abbey Road studios.

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