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Selling the telegraph
The telegraph started with a captive audience - the railway companies. Once the railway companies' needs were met, the telegraph entrepreneurs started looking for new markets to conquer.
Promoting the telephone
The market for telephones was very different. Who actually needed to be able to talk over distances?

The idea of using a telephone for anything so frivolous as a chat was quite unthinkable in the 1870s. Besides, early telephones were priced to discourage casual use.

In the end, sweeping changes were needed in society before the telephone could really become universal.
Marketing wireless
Wireless virtually sold itself. The spectacular and astonishing feats of radio - from saving lives on sinking liners to tracking down criminals at sea - made the marketing of wireless functional - if you needed it, you bought it.

The way radio broadcasting was 'sold' was rather different. Nobody actually needed to listen to the radio - but people soon found they wanted to, as the quality of programmes improved. Once again, wireless sold itself - this time on the strength of its content.
fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

featured story

100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...