Information About The Book:
'The Inventor Of Stereo: The Life & Works Of Alan Dower Blumlein'
by Robert Charles Alexander - ISBN 0-240-51628-1, Publ. Focal Press, 1999.
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The Blue Plaque on the wall at 37, The Ridings, Ealing, London.
This was the last residence of Alan Dower Blumlein before his untimely death in 1942.
The plaque was erected by the Greater London Council in 1977.
Information About The Book
"Shortly after 4.20 p.m. on Sunday, 7 June 1942, a glorious summer's day, clear skies, warm sunshine and perfect visibility for flying, a Halifax bomber crashed into the steep hillside of a valley just north of the River Wye near the village of Welsh Bicknor in Herefordshire. All eleven occupants aboard were killed in the enormous fire, which engulfed the aircraft on impact. Of the scientific personnel who died that day, Alan Dower Blumlein stands out as possibly the greatest loss. "A national tragedy", one of his colleagues would call it, for Blumlein was, without any doubt, at a time when scientific genius was at its foremost, one of the most brilliant engineers of the twentieth century".
were the very first words that I wrote when I had decided that
a child, fascinated by all manner of audio devices, I had been introduced
to the concept of stereo at the age of five by my father. It was at this
time that I first heard the name Alan Dower Blumlein. In later years,
when I became a lecturer in audio engineering, I passed on this information
to my students, many of whom were as fascinated by this extraordinary
man and his achievements as I was.
And yet, despite 128 patents, many of which affect our everyday lives even now in the twenty-first century, there was little information written about Blumlein, his life or his works. It was as if all written knowledge of the man had vanished from the face of the earth after 1942.
closer, detailed inspection of archived material revealed that a small,
but dedicated band of followers had, over the years, kept alive the
hope that one day a book which might do credit to this man would appear.
For very nearly thirty years the academic and scientific world was kept
in suspense by the ravings of the first 'official biographer', Francis
When however, Thomson died in February 1998, no biography, no article, not even a single word had been published by a man who vociferously kept at bay any attempt to usurp his 'right' to what he saw as an exclusive work.
By this time however, I had been working on my book for over three years, secured a publisher and had contacted the Blumlein family, EMI, and the few colleagues of Blumleins' who remained alive.
The book launch
On 26 August 1999, a gathering of 150 specially invited guests, including Simon and David Blumlein, the two sons of Alan Blumlein, were present at Central Research Laboratories in Hayes (the modern day successor to the old R&D Department where Blumlein worked), for the launch of my book 'The Inventor of Stereo: The Life and Works of Alan Dower Blumlein'.
It was a great pleasure for me to be able to present copies of the book not only to the Blumlein family, but also to no fewer than six of Alan Blumlein's colleagues, the youngest of whom was then 89 years of age.
is an example of Alan Blumlein's handwritten notes
are the Blumlein famil with author Robert Alexander
Blumlein addresses a packed session of the Institute of Electrical Engineers,
is discussing the Marconi-EMI high definition television system which
system based on 405-lines constituted the worlds first regular television
Having waited for over half a century for a tribute to this extraordinary man, of whom the word 'genius' fails to do him justice, I see my book as the start of a process of worldwide public recognition for Alan Dower Blumlein. Please take the time to read through the elements of this website and judge for yourself how poorer we would all be without Stereo, Television, Radar and the many other things that Alan Blumlein turned his talent to.
To contact Robert Charles Alexander, the author of 'The Inventor of Stereo: The Life and Works of Alan Dower Blumlein', by direct e-mail:
Details of how to obtain this book from the publishers Focal Press, of through Amazon can be found on the 'Purchase Book' page of this website.
Robert C Alexander Watford, May 2000
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