Last October the Majesty the Queen sent her first tweet to officially open the new Information Age gallery which occupy the largest exhibition space in the science museum. Featuring hundreds of unique and never been seen before objects donated by BT and from the Science Museum’s collection.
The Information Age gallery celebrates the remarkable invention in communication and information technology that have transformed our world over the last 200 years. We felt truly honoured when Kensington Mums were invited by BT, the lead sponsor of the Information Art gallery for a private tour guided by David Hay, BT Head of Heritage & Archives and John Liffen, Curator of communication at the Science Museum.
Divided into six zones, each representing a different technology network: The Cable, The Telephone Exchange, Broadcast, The Constellation, The Cell and The Web. The gallery explores the important events that shaped the development of these networks, from the growth of the worldwide telegraph network in the 19th century, to the influence of mobile phones on our lives today.
One of the most spectacular and the centrepiece in the gallery is the monumental Rugby Radio Station tuning coil donated by BT. This huge coil was once part of the most powerful radio transmitter in the world.
Another highlight in the gallery is a model of the 1964 BT Tower. Looming over London, the Post Office Tower became a British telecommunications icon. Built as part of the microwave communication network, it provided more capacity for transmitting television and telephone data. As microwave communication declined from the 1980s the tower became a hub for London’s underground fibre optic network, crucial for television and internet services.
The gallery is a great place for families with school age children to come and discover the remarkable history of information and communication technologies. It is also free to visit.