Celebrating 200 years of communication technologies

31 October 2013
IET Communications team
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Nigel Fine and Ian Blatchford

IET chief executive Nigel Fine with director of the Science Museum Ian Blatchford.

The IET is proudly supporting the Science Museum’s new Information Age gallery.

The IET is proudly supporting the Science Museum’s new Information Age gallery, which will showcase key developments in communication technologies over the past 200 years.

The £15.6m permanent gallery will open in September 2014, featuring hundreds of objects from the Museum’s world-class collections, many of which have never been seen before.

Exhibits will include the instruments which detected the first transatlantic telegraph message in 1858, the BBC’s first radio transmitter 2LO and a BESM-6 Russian supercomputer, the only one available in a museum collection in the West.

One of the most spectacular objects on display will be the monumental Rugby Radio Station tuning coil, once part of the most powerful radio transmitter in the world.

A display of the original Lyons Electronic Office (LEO I), the world’s first business computer, is also being planned. Created by the J Lyons and Co catering company and used in Lyons tea shops in the 1950s, LEO I played a crucial role in the development of a new computer age.

Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum, said: “Breakthroughs in communication and information technology have dramatically transformed the way we live and connect.  Information Age will bring these innovations to life through the eyes of those who invented, operated and were affected by each new wave of technology. This is a landmark project for the Science Museum and we are grateful to all our funders for making it possible.”

Information Age is being sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund, BT, ARM and Google. Major funders include The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation and Motorola Solutions Foundation. Joining the IET in providing additional support are Accenture and Cambridge Wireless.