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  1. by on - Discussion

    This paper explores the material culture, electrical standards, and romance of early cable telegraphy as described in renowned physicist James Clerk Maxwell’s slightly tongue-in-cheek 1860 poem 'Valentine from A Telegraph Clerk ♂ to a Telegraph Clerk ♀'.

  2. by on - Object focus

    This paper proposes the analogy of ventriloquism as a way of extending the discussion about how objects speak and are used to tell different stories to audiences in museums as ‘material polyglots’. It explores how the Science Museum has changed the voices, stories, and physical and instrumental functions of a particular object – the ‘Trainbox’ version of the Douglas Hartree’s Differential Analyser – since it was collected in 1949.

  3. by , on - Research

    A 3D chart of electricity demand in Manchester, 1951–54, is a tangible record of past practice, both of the electricity supply industry and its consumers. We offer a close inspection of the object, and generate ideas about the chart’s use and users.

  4. by on - Research

    A close examination of James’ Watt’s workshop, preserved in the Science Museum’s collections since 1924 and redisplayed in 2012, suggests a richer, more nuanced interpretation of his contribution to Britain’s Industrial Enlightenment as both philosopher and practical maker.

  5. by on - Reflections on research

    Calling on the Science Museum’s First World War exhibition Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care, this article outlines the challenges of curating a coherent display within such a vast context. It also explores how the narrative and interpretive approaches taken were influenced by an earlier, unrealised proposal – one whose bold concept was reflected in the rewarding and sometimes unexpected qualities that emerged in the final exhibition.

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