Anne-Sophie at UEA

An International Student of Literature in England.

London and the Science Museum

I spent a day in London with a friend of mine and my boyfriend, and it was great! We got return tickets for £12 each with Megabus, that’s a really good price. We got the bus early in the morning on campus (that’s so convenient) so that we arrived in London fairly early. The bus dropped us off at Victoria Coach station: it is right in the centre of London which is, once again, really convenient.

We headed to the Science Museum, definitely one of my favourite museums! I’d been there already but this time they had a new exhibition about the “evolution” of computers and mobiles. It felt really strange to see our life in museums. I can hardly describe how it felt, but it was weird. My childhood is now in a museum, with those old and big Windows 98-type computers, mobiles that are not that old, phones that were revolutionary when I was a kid and look completely obsolete now… I felt like an old woman telling her great-grand-children “When I was your age things were better”. But wait, no, they were not! We didn’t have wifi or unlimited internet when I was a young kid! 

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I bet you all remember those “compact” computers that took an entire desk just to fit the screen.

Retro mobiles

Retro and not-so-retro mobiles.

They obviously had the very first computers which literally occupied entire rooms and couldn’t do much.  I saw the first prototype of computer mouse, it is hilarious! It’s basically a massive chunk of wood with one knob. It is bigger in real than it seems on the photograph, but you have to see this. How was anybody supposed to hold it in their hand? Apparently they didn’t know the concept of “design” at the time…

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"Computers" that just look like keyboards or type-machines.

“Computers” that just look like keyboards or type-machines. Not sure what you did with them…

All these things were part of the exhibition about the “Information Age”, so they had a lot about the telegraph, telephones and television on display. 

I thought we wouldn’t stay in the Science Museum for long but there is just so much there, so we spent about 3 or 4 hours there. What I love is that everything is so accessible, and the explanations are really easy to understand – but not in a childish way. I actually don’t think that this museum is aimed at kids, there is just too much for them to understand anything. However, the “Spacial” part of the museum is amazing : they have huge missiles, spacecrafts, a lot about astronomy… It is hard to believe, but the following machine went in space and worked, even though it seems to come straight from an old sci-fi movie from the 70s. 

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As a musician, I was really glad to see a few music-related objets, such as really old and rare synths that make weird noises. I think it was part of the “Electric Music Age” thing, and they also had children toys turned into proper instruments! This synth was impressive, it’s got more knobs and effects than keys. Just think of all the sounds you could get from such an instrument. You can also imagine how you’d be ruined after buying one of those…

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There are many more things to see there, and at this point I’m just advertising for it… But it truly is amazing! We wanted to go to the National History Museum as well but it was overcrowded; and we ran out of time to go to the National Gallery. However I’ve been to all those museums before and I could not recommend them enough. We are planning another trip to London after the Christmas break to visit more places in London. 

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3 comments on “London and the Science Museum

  1. Pingback: First Blogiversary | Anne-Sophie at UEA

  2. Pingback: Computing History Museum, Cambridge! | Anne-Sophie at UEA

  3. Pingback: Christmas is coming! | Anne-Sophie at UEA

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