However, the socks invented by Baird became so important that we still used them when I was in basic training . Kept our feet dry, but they still smelled!
John Logie Baird’s Socks
Photo via BBC
John Logie Baird is remembered prominently for his work on the television. Although many people had contributions that led to the TV as we know it today, Baird is usually considered the inventor of television for building and demonstrating the first working mechanical television system in 1926.
Most of his later career was spent working on improvements for the television. However, his earlier work was much more varied. Baird made several inventions, including a glass razor and pneumatic shoes for people with flat feet. These never really went anywhere, but Baird eventually found success with a new type of sock.
In 1915, Baird tried to enlist for World War I but was declared unfit for duty, so he instead worked for a munitions factory. During that time, he became aware of trench foot, a common problem for soldiers who had to wear wet socks for long periods of time. If left untreated, this resulted in infection and could even lead to amputation.
That’s how the Baird Undersock was born. It was simply another pair of socks (or “gents’ half-hose,” as it was called back then) that was worn under the regular pair to soak up moisture. It was also coated with borax, which acted as an antiseptic.
The Baird Undersock was very successful and allowed Baird to quit his job and start selling it full-time. It also benefited from a creative marketing campaign that included soldier testimonials and women walking the cities with sandwich boards promoting the undersock.
I always wondered why we had to wear two pairs of socks. I figured it was to prevent blisters. Oh well...you learn something new every day!
Coffee inside this morning. Rain is supposed to start again this weekend.