It's been an exciting week at the Science Museum. Hot on the Hadronic heels of revealing the look of a recreation of a groundbreaking Swiss laboratory, organisers have now elucidated upon plans for a new communications gallery, Information Age, which will become the largest display space at the London venue when it opens in September 2014.
The 2,500 square metres of space will accommodate the BBC’s first radio transmitter, the hypersensitive instruments responsible for detecting the first Translatlantic telegraph messages, in 1858, and the towering Rugby Radio Station turning coil, donated to the museum by BT having formed part of the most powerful radio transmitter in the world.
Six zones, costing £15.6 million in total, will zip from the 19th century to mobile phones. A BESM-6 – the only Russian supercomputer in a western museum collection – represents an exotic contrast to the tales of the female operators behind the last manual telephone exchange, in Enfield, whose stories have been collected by curators. Cameroonian communities have also played their part.
“This is a landmark project for the Science Museum,” said its Director, Ian Blatchford.
“Breakthroughs in communication and information technology have dramatically transformed the way we live and connect.
“Information Age will bring these innovations to life through the eyes of those who invented, operated and were affected by each new wave of technology.”