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

The royal train of Tsar Nicholas I

The royal train of Tsar Nicholas I gives us a unique insight into how the Romanovs travelled, taking their ...


Make merry in the month of May

This May Day, village greens up and down the country will be given over to fairs and festivities. Caroline ...


Village WW1 project remembers a lost generation

Discover a new village project to remember and honour 61 of its menfolk who died in the First World War, to ...


Tracing circus ancestors: Q&A with genealogist & book author Steve Ward

As we mark 250 years of the modern circus, learn about the life of the British man credited with 'inventing' ...


Other News

New project will see contemporary artworks installed among the ancient ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii

Over the next year, two Roman houses - the House of the Beautiful Courtyard at Herculaneum and the House of ...


In the Footsteps of Malins

Ross Barnwell tells us about his upcoming short film entitled 'Beaumont-Hamel' out this July ...


Regent's Park to host pop-up World War I sorting office

Visitors are invited to make a free trip to an ‘interactive’ pop-up WW1 mail sorting office in London's ...


Volunteer opportunities at the Society of Genealogists

The Society of Genealogists has released details of a number of volunteer roles, based either at the ...