10/02/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

British engineer Alan Dower Blumlein to be posthumously honoured with a Grammy Award

d870c515-44b3-45b1-ae3a-4aa1d0bb3df1

Alan Dower Blumlein, the inventor of stereo sound recording, is to be posthumously granted a Technical Grammy Award at a special ceremony later this year. 

Born in Hampstead on 29 June 1903, Alan Dower Blumlein was one of the most prolific inventors of the twentieth century who transformed the worlds of audio and recording technology, television and airborne radar. 

Join the Family Tree community  
Follow us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Sign up for our free e-newsletter
Discover Family Tree magazine

On 14 December 1931, Blumlein filed a patent for a two-channel audio system (or stereo as we would now know it). The invention included a “shuffling” circuit to preserve directional sound, an orthogonal “Blumlein Pair” of velocity microphones, the recording of two orthogonal channels in a single groove, stereo disc-cutting head, and hybrid transformer to mix directional signals. Blumlein brought his equipment to Abbey Road Studios in 1934 and recorded the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

On 7 June, 1942 during World War II, at the age of 38, Blumlein died in an aircraft accident, whilst testing the H2S airborne radar system which the team he was leading had developed and which was soon deployed throughout the RAF’s fleet. Given the top secret nature of H2S his death was never officially acknowledged and so despite this major contribution to the Allied war effort, as well as his ground breaking work in sound recording and television, his accomplishments are not widely known. 

Simon Blumlein, Alan Dower Blumlein’s son, said of the award: “It is a great honour for my father and the Blumlein family to be recognised with such a prestigious award. 

"We’re so immensely proud of him and how his work transformed sound recording. He’s always been held in the highest esteem by recording engineers and so to now receive this acknowledgement from the wider music industry is simply wonderful.”

Back to News

10/02/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Tips on using the National Railway Museum archive to search for railway worker ancestors

The National Railway Museum (NRM) can help to bring your ancestor’s work on the railway to life. NRM ...


Rise & fall of East India Company revealed in new online archive

A newly digitised archive, available to researchers at the British Library and academic libraries and ...


Last surviving fireman to be reunited with World War II engine

The last surviving fireman to have worked during the Sheffield Blitz is to be reunited with the fire engine ...


Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail exhibition opens at Museum of London Docklands - video report

A new exhibition showcasing fascinating finds unearthed by the Crossrail Project has opened today (10 ...


Other News

Family history timeline Twile has announced its service is now free of charge

Twile, the interactive timeline service, has today announced that its service is now free of charge for all ...


March issue subscriber club offers

The March issue subscriber club is packed full of new and exciting offers ...


Lace in Fashion exhibition explores fashion history over the centuries

A new exhibition at the Fashion Museum in Bath explores how lace has been used in fashion from the time of ...


RootsTech announces free online streaming from RootsTech 2017 conference in Utah

The organisers of the Roots Tech 2017 conference have announced they will be offering free online streaming ...