Let's Connect! Exploring Communication Technology Opens at the Museum of Innovation and Science (miSci) September 23, 2022
Schenectady, NY (September 13, 2022) – Let's Connect! Exploring Communication Technology, a new miSci exhibition that tells the story of how people connect with innovative communication devices will open to the public at the Museum of Innovation and Science (miSci) on Friday, September 23, 2022. The exhibition will be on view through Sunday, May 14, 2023.
As technology has evolved - from carved writings, paper letters and radio broadcasting to instantaneous messaging from almost anywhere on Earth - it has altered the ways in which we interact. This dynamic exhibition explores the efforts of human beings to move an ever-growing quantity of information faster and more broadly than ever before. It is presented in five sections and features multiple interactive components and artifacts from miSci's collections.
SECTION 1 - Finding Our Voice
This section highlights man’s early efforts to standardize communication in ancient times and explores the first attempts to send information faster than humans could travel. Topics include coded signal flags and torch systems, how the invention of the printing press led to the first mass distribution of information and the spread of scientific knowledge, and how the first newspapers allowed for the dissemination of news and business advertising both within and between communities.
SECTION 2 - Getting Wired
Transportation systems introduced in the early 19th century allowed people and information to move faster and farther. Samuel Morse’s coded telegraph system of dots and dashes used electricity to create the first instantaneous long-distance communication system. Shortly after Morse sent his electrical impulses, Alexander Graham Bell became the first person to successfully transmit the human voice between two wired phones in 1876.
SECTION 3 - A Wireless World
As dots and dashes turned to voice and large corporations gained control of this new technology, college students and rogue engineers helped shape the medium. The young staff of the New York Capital Region’s WGY foresaw the use of radio for entertainment, creating the first radio drama, innovating the use of sound effects, and experimenting with a variety of programming. The creation of national radio networks brought similar programming to a wide audience and strengthened the national culture. The development of television gave broadcasting a visual element and superseded traditional radio entertainment programming.
SECTION 4 - Radio at Work
Radio waves are used for applications beyond broadcasting and the original maker culture lives on in amateur radio. Today, the federal government allocates sections of the electromagnetic spectrum to amateur radio operators, corporations, and various government agencies.
SECTION 5 - The Computer Age
Computers have transformed the way people communicate. Satellites make it possible to communicate with astronauts and relay information around the world. The miniaturization of electronics led to the creation of mobile smartphones, a single device that holds the power of the telephone, radio, television, and the Internet and allows us to communicate with people around the world instantly.
Located in Schenectady, New York, miSci presents exhibitions, programs, and events designed with its mission in mind: to inspire people to celebrate and explore science and technology – past, present, and future. Home to the Challenger Learning Center and the Suits-Bueche Planetarium, the Museum's holdings include an archive of more than 1.6 million prints, negatives, and historic materials from the General Electric Photographic Collection, and more than 15,000 objects relating to the history of science and technology. Visit www.miSci.org for hours and admission information.
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