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Oersted, Hans Christian (1777-1851) : a wobble of a compass needle
Hans Oersted discovered that an electric current creates a magnetic field, making electromagnetism the key to modern communication.

Oersted spent little time at school as a child, but managed to gain a degree in pharmacy at Copenhagen University. He began working as a pharmacist, but his true passion was physics....
Oikarinen, Jarkko (born 1967)
Jarkko Oikarinen developed the first Internet chat network, known as Internet relay chat (IRC) in 1988. He was working at the University of Oulu in Finland. This is the forerunner to today’s internet chat movement.
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...