For regular followers of our blog, you will no doubt be aware of the enthusiasm and strong belief we hold in the power of innovation within business. Organisations that are disrupting their markets, traditional processes being thrown out of the window in a bid to move and flex with a changing economy. But when it comes to remarkable innovation, and in particular, inventions, we particularly enjoy shining some light on the remarkable men and women in British history who have led the way for the rest of us.
And so, today’s blog may be slightly different. Today we pay homage to one of these remarkable people. The news broke today of the passing of Trevor Bayliss – the inventor of the wind-up radio. A local in our own community here in South West London, Trevor had also worked as a film & TV stuntman and an aquatic showman, but it was after viewing a documentary about the AIDS epidemic in Africa that a chord was struck with Trevor as he realised the power of education in combatting the epidemic. And so, with his mission to get educational radio programs to parts of the continent, he created a radio that could work anywhere – and thus the wind up radio was born.
No need for electricity or batteries, the wind-up radio was destined for third-world countries where education on living and staying healthy was critically needed. Created in 1991, the radio ran for 14 minutes before requiring another wind up charge and in 1994, the BayGen Power Industries was set-up in Cape Town, South Africa, employing disabled workers to manufacture the Freeplay Wind Up Radio.
Although the radios were sold all over the world, they were hardly created for first-world countries. And it’s because of a simple act where one man believed in the power of changing lives, the wind-up radio led the way for masses of new inventions and technology that enable and equip and affect major change.
Apart from his creation for which he was awarded the OBE, he was also appointed CBE in 2015 after campaigning to make theft of intellectual property a white-collar crime.
He also went on to create the Trevor Baylis Brands organisation which was originally set up to help inventors who were struggling to develop and protect their ideas. Since then TBB has helped over 10,000 inventors and entrepreneurs and launched several spin-off companies, contributing to a booming new economy through innovation.
So, today, we salute you, Mr Baylis. And we thank you for being another example of ingenuity and can-do optimism.
To read more about Trevor, click here.