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A genuine miracle
Our perspective on technology is constantly shifting. What was seen as a 'miracle' by parents becomes taken for granted by their children.

As devices evolve they tend to become easier and simpler to operate and yet provide more functions.

In the end, users stop thinking about the technology altogether - only what they can do with it.
Fulfilling real needs
It's easy to be carried away by technology for its own sake - the gee-whiz factor. Technology alone is all but useless. How much would you pay for a telephone with no connections?

It's the application - what you can do with it - that matters.

Here we examine how people learned to apply the new telecommunications technologies over the decades.
Using the technology
Techno fear is not a myth - getting to grips with new technology can be a struggle. Many highly intelligent people have difficulty programming a video recorder - because their logic is more advanced than a machine's.

Using a normal telephone or fax seems straightforward enough but many people are less confident when it comes to unravelling the mysteries of stored contact lists, text messaging and other functions on highly featured mobiles.

Through the history of telecommunications, from the telegraph onwards, design has focused on making the machine easy to use.
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...