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Wireless and tv

Lady listening to radio in 1920s

The first radio broadcast (1910) : 'Tosca' - live from the Met

Over two nights in January 1910, the American pioneer Lee de Forest arranged what is claimed by some as the world's first radio broadcast to the public, a performance of Puccini's Tosca directly from the Metropolitan Opera to several listeners in New York. He used two microphones and a 500-watt transmitter.

Few possessed the wireless receivers to hear the transmission. Fewer still could make out what was going on, because the sound quality was so poor. Nevertheless, it was an early indication of radio's potential as an entertainment medium.

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.

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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...