The Telephone Museum, Milton Keynes

The Telephone Museum at Milton Keynes has long been associated with the Telecoms Heritage Group.The Telephone Museum is part of the Milton Keynes Museum at Wolverton. It was a recipient of funds from BT's Connected Earth programme but it took some time to find matching funding to enable work to start on the new display area.

I have visited the Museum on a number of occasions when the THG has held an event either at the museum or close by. These are just a few of the images I've taken over the years.

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Main Building The main collection is housed in this large barn and is reached by passing through the historic farming display area in the main barn. Outside you can see the Roadphone and the mobile exchange trailers - more on those later.

Some of the earliest type of communications are shown at the start of your tour. Here a shimmering flame-like display symbolises smoke signals.

Main Building

Talking drum

The next object is a replica talking drum. I did manage to get two different notes out of it by hitting it on opposite sides. Note the bugle beside it.


One of the younger visitors obliged me by having a blow.

Bugle

Canon

The little canon is cunningly arranged to go BANG when the fuse is touched into the firing hole.


Moving a bit nearer the present day there is this recreation of a miltary shutter telegraph. Such systems were in use from late 18th to early 19th century. This model was made by the volunteers at the museum. The picture shows a young visitor studying the code.

Military telegraph

5 Needle telegraph

Out in the main display area there's more telegraph equipment. Here you can send a message from one 5-needle telegraph machine to the other - and back again. Some work is still needed on the labelling of displays as evidenced by these informative, but temporary, notices.


There's more telegraph equipment. Here a visitor tries his hand at sending Morse code. In the background is the Wheatstone ABC telegraph which can be worked by visitors.

Morse telegraph


Old telephones The wall display shows a selection of early telephone instruments.

And there's even the earliest type of phone - the tin can with string.

Tin can telephone

Speaking tube And another simple device - the speaking tube, complete with whistling stopper.

More pictures on the next page



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Collection: The Telephone Museum, Pictures © 2013/ 2014, text © 2014 Sam Hallas.


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