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About the collection at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

Front entrance of the Musuem of Science and Industry, Manchester

The museum is on the site of the world's oldest surviving passenger railway station. With objects and archives that cover Manchester's development as Britain's first industrial city, the museum takes visitors through many subject areas such as textiles, power supply, engineering, computing and aviation.

Its 'Connecting Manchester' gallery is situated in the historic 1830 Warehouse. Here the communications and display artefacts transferred to the museum from BT's distributed heritage collection can be explored. These include a range of telegraphic equipment, telephones and switchboards. Printing and paper-making equipment, radios and TVs, and computers in the Museum's own collection are also included in the displays, along with interactive exhibits.

The Gallery tells the story of communications in the Manchester region, and how new communication technologies assisted the city's commercial and industrial development.

News from the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

3D objects from The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

Place the mouse over the Flash image. Left-click and drag either left or right to rotate the animation.
   
Telephone transmitter with induction coil, made by Charles Moseley & Sons, Manchester, c. 1885

Charles Moseley & Son were one of the first Manchester companies to make and install telephone equipment.

   
Reed-type telephone receiver, made by Charles Moseley & Sons, Manchester, c. 1885

Charles Moseley & Son were one of the first Manchester companies to make and install telephone equipment.

   
Marr hand-held telephone transmitter by Charles Moseley & Sons, Manchester, c. 1885

It was designed by Alexander Marr who joined the company as head of the construction department. He used a diaphragm of thin pine wood, with a carbon disc or button fixed to the centre, to form the front electrode.

   
Hand-held granular carbon telephone transmitter, made by Charles Moseley & Sons, c. 1885

It was designed by Charles Moseley who used a diaphragm of ebonite. This type of transmitter was used by the Post Office before the general introduction of the Deckert transmitter in the late 1880s.

   
Granular carbon type telephone transmitter, made by Charles Moseley & Sons, c. 1890

Charles Moseley & Son were one of the first Manchester companies to make and install telephone equipment.

   
GPO Wheatstone telegraph paper tape transmitter, c1860, maker unknown

This transmitter enabled high speed transmission of signals by mechanical means at much faster rates than could be obtained by manually operated key. It was used with a perforator to prepare the tape, or 'slip', and a receiver.

   
Gower-Bell wall telephone made by Charles Moseley & Sons, Manchester, c. 1885

Charles Moseley & Son were one of the first Manchester companies to make and install telephone equipment and designed the transmitter on this telephone.

   
Flip-phone, made by Ferranti GTE Ltd, c1981

Ferranti began making telephones with the privatisation of telephone services. This phone was available in three other colours and had what was then a novel redial function.

   
Double-needle telegraph by W. Reid & Co., 1846

It was used on the Preston and Wyre Railway and later kept as a 'curio' at the Manchester School of Signalling based at Victoria Station.

   
A selection of linemans working equipment, most unsigned

You can see: a 'Bass' tool bag, a leather safety belt probably from the 1960s, telephone pole climbing iron, 40-lb overhead line wire-tensioning clamp by Bradbury of 1939 and a jointers headphone set with earpieces.

Visitor information

Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester location map

Telephone: +44 (0) 161 832 1830
Email: education@mosi.org.uk
Website: http://www.mosi.org.uk

Postal Address:
The Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester,
Liverpool Road,
Castlefield,
Manchester
M3 4FP

Directions

The Museum is on Liverpool Road in Castlefield, minutes from the City Centre. It is clearly signposted from all main routes to the City Centre. Simply follow the brown tourist signs.

By Train:
Nearest railway station - Deansgate.

By Tram:
Nearest Metrolink (tram) station - G-Mex.

By Bus:
Bus No 33 from Piccadilly Gardens stops outside the Museum on Liverpool Road.

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...