How a Hand-Cranked Radio Battled AIDS in Africa
A prolific inventor dreamed up everything from the self-weighing suitcase to electricity-generating shoes. But his ultimate invention was a simple device with the power to spread knowledge to the most remote corners the world.
Trevor Baylis is the inventor of the wind-up radio, which helped spread the knowledge of AIDS to remote villages in Africa. He talks about his fascinating life and his most successful invention.
Narratively spoke with David Beazley about his process for the film. How did you first hear about Trevor Baylis? I first came across Trevor through a newspaper article on him and the house he made on Eel Pie Island. I’ve been putting together a series of short documentary pieces on unique people with interesting jobs, and I thought he’d be perfect for it. How did you decide what to focus on in the documentary? Trevor’s led many interesting lives. He’s got tons of great stories, so it was extremely difficult to narrow it down. We filmed him talking about his life through from being a swimmer in his youth, to a stuntman and then an inventor. I was unable to work some of the stories in as I knew I needed to concentrate on one area. To me, his wind-up radio was the by far the most interesting and …