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Fanning, Shawn (born 1980)
Shawn Fanning created the website Napster in 1999. This was a controversial site that allowed people to people share music files over the Internet, instead of buying CDs. In 2001 the United States' music industry took legal action which forced Napster offline. The site returned as a paid service in 2002.
Faraday, Michael (1791-1867) : electricity at the flick of a switch
Michael Faraday's work laid the foundations for electrical technology, and he was the first man to create continuous artificial electricity.

Faraday became fascinated with science as a teenager and at the age of 22 was given a researcher job at the Royal Institution, then the home of science....
Fawcett, Henry (1833-1884) : political crusader
Henry Fawcett was a political reformer who became Postmaster-General in 1880.

As a student at Cambridge university he developed radical political ideas. Despite being accidentally blinded by a shot from his father's hunting gun aged 25, he became Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge in 1863....
Fessenden, Professor Reginald (1866-1932) : there's something in the air
Reginald Fessenden created the system for transmitting music and speech by radio, known as AM (amplitude modulation).

When Fessenden was the head of electrical engineering at Western University in 1893, he became inspired by the developments in radio made by Marconi....
Field, Cyrus W. (1815-1896) : connecting the continents
Cyrus Field was an entrepreneur who led the first transatlantic telegraph cable venture.

Field was never very interested in school and left when he was 15 with his sights firmly focused on business....
Fleming, Sir John Ambrose (1849-1945) : kicking-off the great electronics race
Although not one of the 'greats' of invention, John Fleming's creation of the thermionic valve (or vacuum tube) helped kick-start modern electronics.

Having studied at University College, London, and at Cambridge University, Fleming became a high flier working for both Edison's and Marconi's companies....
Tommy Flowers (1905-1998) : creating the colossus
Tommy Flowers built the first computer, as a codebreaking device during the Second World War.

Flowers was a Londoner with a passion for electronics....
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...