Bernard S. Finn, Robert Bud, Helmuth Trischler
Science Museum, 2000 - Electronic apparatus and appliances - 199 pages
This is a book for museum professionals and museology students: for serious historians who want to look beyond their usual documentary sources. It is also for anyone who is intrigued by the electronic devices that are woven into our culture (such as J A Fleming's valve, Earl Bakken's pacemaker or the supercomputers of Seymour Cray) and who sense that they have something to say about their own history. Whilst it is clear that all artefacts have the power to provoke thought, inspire action and arouse passions (as the ability of museum exhibitions to stimulate controversy shows), less well recognised or understood is the value of objects for historical research. In this volume, curators and other historians examine electronic artefacts preserved in collections around the world, demonstrating the manifold ways in which they can be employed in the study of the history of science and technology -- for example by motivating a line of research or by providing hard evidence toward the resolution of a hitherto insoluble problem. In addition, there is a section devoted to the process by which electrical items are collected and the museums in which many of them are preserved. The 'Artefacts' series is sponsored by the Science Museum in London, UK, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, USA, with help from professional historians in other museums and elsewhere.
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