Trevor Baylis, inventor of the wind-up radio, dies aged 80 (theguardian.com).
Trevor Baylis, the creator of the wind-up radio that helped millions in the developing world to access life-saving information, has died aged 80.
The inventor, who was awarded a CBE in 2014 for services to intellectual property, died of natural causes on Monday morning, having been ill for some time.
His wind-up radio invention not being just some gimmick but a life saver:
He was best known for his BayGen clockwork radio, which he began work on in 1991 while watching a documentary about Aids in Africa that highlighted the value of educational radio programmes in tackling the spread of HIV.
A first working prototype of the radio ran for 14 minutes and, after Baylis appeared with it in 1994 on Tomorrow’s World on BBC One, it was put into mass production in Cape Town, South Africa, by a company that employed disabled workers to manufacture it.
But the inventor and former stuntman and circus performer suffered himself from financial difficulties having received little of the profits from sales of the device, and urging the government to introduce stronger legal protection for inventors, but held true to his contempt for “spivs, crooks, and venture capitalists” saying that “In business, basic decency has no cash value” (obituary, theguardian.com) and was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997 and awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours list.
And sadly, having been ill for some time he died having no known living relatives, but as an inspiration to many.
- Inventor Trevor Baylis warns of danger of “Google generation” (Pick of the Week 31st December 2012)