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Wind-Up Radio Inventor Dies

Britain's Prince Harry is shown a wind up radio by UNICEF personnel Alison Tilbe (C) and Hilde Johnson at UNICEF offices during his visit to New York June 26, 2010.

British inventor Trevor Baylis, the creator of the wind-up radio, died Monday at the age of 80.

Acquaintances say Baylis died of natural causes after a lengthy illness.

Baylis developed the BayGen radio in the early 1990s after seeing a television program about the spread of AIDS in Africa and the need to get lifesaving information to people who did not have electricity and could not afford batteries.

Inspired by old-fashioned gramophones, the wind-up radio functioned with an internal generator, doing away with the need for batteries or access to electricity. The invention won Baylis international acclaim.

The earliest version ran for 14 minutes at a time, and production facilities were located in South Africa.

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