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  1. by , , on - Object focus

    A reflection on reconstructing Zygalski sheets, a manual grid-based system used by the Polish Cipher Bureau and Bletchley Park to decrypt German Enigma cipher messages, for the Top Secret exhibition at the Science Museum Group from 2019 to 2022.

  2. by on - Research

    This article describes the process and outcomes of a research project that involved reconstructing Alexander Graham Bell and Clarence J Blake’s ear phonautograph, an 1874 curiosity that used an excised human middle ear to visually inscribe sound waves.

  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 - 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.

  5. by on - Research

    In addition to uncovering the life and work of a relatively unknown immigrant engineer, this paper indicates how a detailed study of a small ephemeral museum object can unlock wider historical horizons.

  6. by on - Object focus

    An introduction to one of the star objects in Mathematics: The Winton Gallery, an electronic storm surge modelling machine.

  7. by on - Research

    Drawing upon experience of being a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) student at the Science Museum, this article reflects on the value of collections with limited cataloguing in historical research and offers ways to overcome the problems of interpretation.

  8. by on - Research

    This essay analyses representations of the ammoniaphone across nineteenth century advertising and the medical and musical press, and situates these representations within the broader Victorian fascination with the supremacy of Italian opera singers and the emergent corporeal anxieties of late nineteenth century consumer culture.

  9. by on - Research

    This article discusses the provision of spectacles under the NHS scheme in Britain from 1946-86. It reveals there was no explicit consideration of consumer choice or fashion and argues that this limited design across the British optical industry.

  10. by on - Object focus

    In 1946 the Giustiniani Medicine Chest came into the Science Museum Collection having originally been bought in Italy in 1924 by an agent of Sir Henry Wellcome, for his medical collection. This article assesses its provenance and history.

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