Science museum

Watch these children visit the Science Museum in London – in 1959

In 1959, exciting technology of the future included tape recorders and self-opening doors, at least according to archival footage shared this week by the BBC.

The black-and-white video (below) shows CL Boltz, then the society’s science correspondent, exploring the Science Museum in London, UK, more than 60 years ago.

1959: Children visit the SCIENCE MUSEUM | BBC News | Retro technology | BBC Archive

“Gallery after gallery there are devices and machines of incalculable value because many are originals and only exist here,” says a Boltz in a suit with a clipped British accent.

The Science Correspondent then asks Mr Wilson, described as “the man in charge”, which gadget makes the visiting children the most excited.

Wilson is quick to point out the nearby tape recorder, a big, clumsy contraption with a microphone bigger than the faces of some of the kids talking on it.

BBC footage shows a young boy approaching state-of-the-art recording equipment and shouting: “Hello, darling”. He then waits. And wait a little longer. Finally, the machine’s speaker plays a recording of what he just said and… er… that’s it.

Next, we see a long line of children patiently waiting to use the aforementioned self-opening door, something we might today call an “automatic door” or simply a “door”.

To be clear, the Science Museum‘s special gate does not act as an entrance to another exhibition hall or even an exit to the streets of London. Sadly, it’s also not a portal to the 21st century where visitors could have stared in utter bewilderment at everything from circular smartphones and air-purifying headphones to heart rate monitoring bulbs and the Amagami robotic nibbler. Ham Ham. Instead, the self-opening door simply acts as a demonstration of what was then new and exciting technology.

The BBC video also showcases other Science Museum attractions at the time, including ship propulsion technology, a 1905 Rolls-Royce, the first jet-powered car and an atomic physics exhibit .

The footage ends with Boltz looking at a crude model of a camel operating a water wheel, a view that may leave you wishing you could somehow reach into the video to tell the science correspondent that the technology is sure to get more impressive in the near future. decades to come.

Editors’ Recommendations