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Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester

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The entrance Manchester's Museum of Science & Industry is housed in the station and warehouse buildings of the former Liverpool Road Station. Founded in 1969 as the North Western Museum of Science and Industry, the Museum moved and opened as MOSI at Liverpool Road Station on 15 September 1983.

The Connecting Manchester gallery is in the historic 1830 Warehouse at the far end of the site. It has the distinction of being the world's first railway warehouse.

1830 Warehouse

Phone display

Although it covers most aspects of telecommunications, the emphasis is on products made by local firms and items used in Manchester.

For instance, this Gower-Bell type telephone was manufactured by local firm, David Moseley & Sons. They started as agents for supply of phones, but later moved into manufacturing.

Gower Bell Telephone

Ringing machine

This early ringing machine is something I've not seen in any of the other museums.

This early switchboard must be unique. The top row is evidently calling indicators for each line. It would appear that a connection was made using the six rows of jacks as connecting circuits by inserting plugs to make the connection.


More switchboards

The display contains more switchboards, a small private automatic exchange and a power distribution rack.

The left hand display contains more locally made telephone parts. However the right hand display refers to a pneumatic telegraph system installed in the former Refuge Assurance Company offices in London Road, Manchester. This system used air pressure to convey carriers with documents along narrow tubes between departments.

Pneumatic telegraph

Telegraph Telegraphy is not forgotten. This display shows items from early needle telegraphs up to a modern FAX machine.

This novelty 'Telegraph Alphabet' was found in the Manchester office of the Great Eastern Telegraph Company.


Two needle railway telegraph

The two needle railway telepgraph, made by Cooke & Wheatstone, is marked for local stations.

Here are some tools used by the line plant installers along with a pair of finials from the top of poles.

Line plant tools

ON Digital Monkey

The Connecting Manchester gallery also deals with other aspects such as radio and television. Here's the knitted Monkey (often pronounced "Munkeh") that advertised ITV Digital's paid-for TV service. [Watch one of the TV Commercials]

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Collection: Museum of Science & Industry, Pictures © 2013, text © 2014 Sam Hallas.

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