Sir Clive Sinclair
1 portrait by Simon Lewis
Sir Clive Sinclair
by Simon Lewis
bromide print, 1985
16 1/8 in. x 11 in. (410 mm x 280 mm)
Linked publicationsback to top
- Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 309 Read entry
Latest in the line of great British inventors, Sir Clive Sinclair is a retiring mathematical genius, whose creations – the pocket calculator, the low-cost digital watch, the miniature television set, and the cheap home computer – have revolutionized popular attitudes to technology, and changed the lives of millions. The son of a mechanical engineer, he worked first as a technical journalist, and in 1962 founded his own company selling build-your-own-radio kits by mail order. He is now chairman of Sinclair Research Ltd, with a multi-million-pound turnover, and also Chairman of MENSA. Only his electric car, the Sinclair C5, has so far proved a failure, and Sir Clive has quickly moved on, to the problems of improving the silicon chip.
The London-based Simon Lewis first studied graphic design, before becoming a freelance photographer in 1983. He photographed Sir Clive for his series The Essential Britain, on which he is working with the writer Tadgh O’Seaghdha. In a portrait of steely brilliance Sir Clive holds his favourite circular slide rule – hardly high technology – but used here emblematically as the index of a numerate mind.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 566
Events of 1985back to top
Current affairs55 people die in the Manchester air disaster when a British Airtours Boeing 737 bursts into flames after an aborted takeoff at Manchester International Airport.
Art and scienceBob Geldof and Midge Ure organise Live Aid, a rock concert in London and Philadelphia, to raise funds for famine relief. The biggest names in popular music, including Paul McCartney, Queen, Status Quo, The Police, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, U2, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, performed to a TV audience of 1.5 billion.
The British Antarctic Survey discovers a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica.
InternationalReformer Mikhail Gorbachev comes to power as first secretary of the Soviet Communist party. He calls for 'glasnost' (openness) in Soviet life, and pursues a policy of 'perestroika' (reconstruction).
French intelligence operatives sabotage Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace vessel. The ship was leading a protest against French nuclear testing in New Zealand when it was bombed and sunk, killing one of the twelve on board.
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