Trevor Baylis the inventor of the wind-up radio has been appointed a Commander of the British Empire for services to intellectual property by the Queen at a ceremony at Windsor Castle. Mr Baylis came up with the Baygen clockwork radio in 1991 after watching a documentary on Africa that proposed educational radio programmes could be used to tackle the spread of the AIDS virus. Inspired by what he saw, Mr Baylis went off to his workshop to build a protoype. Making do with what he had to hand, the inventor used a small transistor radio, a clock work mechanism borrowed from a music box and an electric motor taken from a toy car to build his radio. Then it was time to face the inventor’s dilemma: how to get the invention into production? Mr Baylis had the added problem of having to convince potential investors that his radio was not a wind up when actually it was. He got his breakthrough after his radio was featured on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World programme in 1994 and investors soon came knocking on his door. He then formed the company Freeplay Energy and the rest is history. As for the Queen, it turns out Her Majesty is a fan and still has one of Baylis’ radios.
March 24, 2015