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News: Visit Connecting Manchester

The new Connecting Manchester gallery displays artefacts from the COnnected Earth collection such as the K8 kiosk

Connecting Manchester, a permanent Connected Earth gallery at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, reveals the story of Manchester’s pivotal role in British and international communications. It charts the history of communications, from the spoken and written word, the linotype machines which revolutionised printing, through photography, radio and TV to opportunities offered by today’s digital communications.

Pauline Webb, Collections Manager of MOSI, said, 'The gallery gives visitors the opportunity to see objects spanning the full spectrum of our communications collections for the first time. It will remind visitors how much has changed in the way we communicate in the last 10 years, let alone the last two centuries!'

The gallery includes a fascinating range of telecommunications equipment including artefacts from the dispersed Connected Earth collection such as a two needle telegraph made in 1846 used on the Preston and Wyre Railway, a red emergency signal lamp which, along with a loud horn, alerted switchboard operators to an incoming 999 call, and a 1980s K8 kiosk (pictured being delivered to MOSI). Alongside historic items Connecting Manchester will showcase new technology, including a state-of-the-art handheld guide developed with the University of Salford and contemporary items such as the BT Fusion phone which enables users to move seamlessly between fixed line and mobile networks and an interactive photo which reacts when people look at it.

Opening Connecting Manchester with Culture Secretary James Purnell on 19 October 2007, BT’s Chief Science Officer Mike Carr said, 'BT has a long history of innovation in communications technology and the people of Manchester - and visitors to the city - now have an opportunity to see some of the icons and gain an insight into how we might communicate in the future.'

Connecting Manchester is housed in the Museum’s 1830 Warehouse, one of the original buildings of the world’s first passenger railway, and a grade one listed building. The railways marked a turning point in the history of communications as the telegraph system that developed with the railways helped to revolutionise trade and industry. Innovative communications from the earliest days of the technology to the present day have transformed Manchester from a regional into a world city, and this is reflected in MOSI’s Connecting Manchester gallery.

Admission to Connecting Manchester is free. For other visitor information see Partner museums.

Manchester is the fourth Connected Earth gallery, joining those at Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre, Avoncroft Museum and National Museum of Scotland.

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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