Wednesday, 7 March 2018

This Is Not A Wind Up!

Well, actually, it is! This is a tribute to Trevor Bayliss, who died this week. He was the inventor of the Wind-Up radio.
Back in 1991 he was watching a programme about AIDS in the third world, and how the big problem was sharing information with people about how to keep healthy and avoid illness. 
Radio was a good way of communicating and educating - but Trevor realised that with now power lines, or easy access to batteries, radios were useless in remote parts of Africa. [this was before solar power was cheap and easily available, and before the internet had transformed the way information is spread across the globe]
He went off to his workshop and created a radio powered by a clockwork-type windup mechanism. This simple, relatively inexpensive device went into production. The impact it made has probably saved countless lives- and enabled people in remote corners of the world to tune into the radio - for news, education, sport and other entertainment.
Image result for windup radio
Trevor himself never really made any money from his invention. Initially it had been mass produced in his BayGen factory in Cape Town which employed disabled workers, but other people copied his idea and somehow others took the profits which might have been his. He subsequently worked to change the laws regarding intellectual copyright, and provide more protection for inventors like himself.  
Trevor left no immediate family, but many friends and admirers. He had a simple, generous, problem-solving approach to life - would that more people were on his wavelength. RIP Mr Bayliss.
[unrelated comment - if you are a Radio 4 fan like me, are you also finding The Archers incredibly dismal at the minute?]


  1. Trevor was a friendly pleasant person, he was highly visible around Twickenham, supported events in the town and would take time to chat with all and sundry.

    1. Thank you for sharing that - he does seem to have been an all round nice guy.

  2. What a wonderful man! Someone who truly saw a need and did something about it!

  3. I rarely hear the theme to the Archers all the way through - switching it off about three bars in! I know someone though who has left it alone for a while because it was depressing her


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