Alan Blumlein’s name may not be at the top of the list when one things of radio and television pioneers, but his work in the 1930s helped chart many key features of modern broadcasting, including the world’s first stereo recording system.
Blumlein’s life and work, including his untimely death on a World War II radar testing mission, were recently highlighted on the BBC Radio 4 documentary program “Archive Hour” in the installment “The Man Who Invented Stereo.”
As part of the program, the BBC digitally restored audio video recordings of Blumlein’s early stereo recordings, including a 1934 performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and demonstrations of the “biaural sound” space.
As a recording engineer for EMI, Blumlein working on moving-coil microphones, disc-cutting technologies, and stereo recording. He earned 128 patents during his lifetime, and his name remains attached to the Blumlein Pair stereo recording technique.