30 Facts About Alan Blumlein


Alan Dower Blumlein was an English electronics engineer, notable for his many inventions in telecommunications, sound recording, stereophonic sound, television and radar.


Alan Blumlein received 128 patents and was considered one of the most significant engineers and inventors of his time.


Alan Blumlein died during World War II on 7 June 1942, aged 38, during the secret trial of an H2S airborne radar system then under development, when all on board the Halifax bomber in which he was flying were killed when it crashed at Welsh Bicknor in Herefordshire.


Alan Dower Blumlein was born on 29 June 1903 in Hampstead, London.


Alan Blumlein's father, Semmy Blumlein, was a German-born naturalised British subject.


Alan Blumlein's mother, Jessie Dower, was Scottish, daughter of William Dower was born on 1837 and who went to South Africa for the London Missionary Society.


Alan Blumlein was christened as a Presbyterian; he later married in a Church of England parish church.


Alan Blumlein's sister claimed that he could not read proficiently until he was 12.


Alan Blumlein won a Governors' scholarship and joined the second year of the course.


Alan Blumlein graduated with a First-Class Honours BSc two years later.


In mid-1930, Alan Blumlein met Doreen Lane, a preparatory school teacher five years his junior.


In 1924 Alan Blumlein started his first job at International Western Electric, a division of the Western Electric Company.


Alan Blumlein subsequently became International Standard Electric Corporation and then, later on, Standard Telephones and Cables.


In 1929 Alan Blumlein resigned from STC and joined the Columbia Graphophone Company, where he reported directly to general manager Isaac Shoenberg.


Alan Blumlein invented the moving-coil disc cutting head, which not only got around the patent but offered greatly improved sound quality.


Alan Blumlein led a small team which developed the concept into a practical cutter.


In June 1937, Alan Blumlein patented what is known as the Ultra-Linear amplifier.


In 1931, Alan Blumlein invented what he called "binaural sound", now known as stereophonic sound.


Alan Blumlein declared to his wife that he had found a way to make the sound follow the actor.


Alan Blumlein explained his ideas to Isaac Shoenberg in the late summer of 1931.


In 1934, Alan Blumlein recorded Mozart's Jupiter Symphony conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham at Abbey Road Studios in London using his vertical-lateral technique.


Alan Blumlein was so central to the development of the H2S airborne radar system, that after his death in June 1942, many believed that the project would fail.


Alan Blumlein's role in the project was a closely guarded secret at the time and consequently only a brief announcement of his death was made some two years later, to avoid providing solace to Hitler.


Alan Blumlein's invention of the line type pulse modulator was a major contribution to high-powered pulse radars, not just the H2S's system, and continues to be used today.


Alan Blumlein was killed in the crash of an H2S-equipped Handley Page Halifax test aircraft while making a test flight for the Telecommunications Research Establishment on 7 June 1942.


Alan Blumlein had two sons, Simon Blumlein and David Blumlein.


Outside his work Alan Blumlein was a lover of music and he attempted to learn to play the piano, but gave it up.


Alan Blumlein enjoyed horse riding and occasionally went cub hunting with his father-in-law.


Alan Blumlein was interested in many forms of engineering, including aviation, motor engineering and railway engineering.


Alan Blumlein obtained a pilot's licence and flew Tiger Moth aircraft of the London Aerodrome Club at Stag Lane Aerodrome.