Telephone exchange for use by blind operators, 1977

Made:
1977 in United Kingdom
maker:
Imperial College London

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Standard PABX7 switchboard, used with specially designed interface for blind operators, made by Post Office
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Special interface unit for blind telephone switchboard operators, made by the RNIB, NRDC and Imperial College, London,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Telephone exchange for use by blind operators, made by Imperial College and the RNIB, London,1977. Consisting of standard PABX7 switchboard plus special interface unit giving the operator guidance as to the state of the switchboard by means of synthesised speech, plus receiver and metal connector.

Telephone exchange for use by blind operators, made by Imperial College and the RNIB, London,1977. Consisting of standard PABX7 switchboard plus special interface unit giving the operator guidance as to the state of the switchboard by means of synthesised speech, plus receiver and metal connector.

In 1977, a project was begun at Imperial College, in partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Blind, to develop an interface unit that would allow blind telephone operators to use modern telephone exchanges. Previously, blind operators had relied on touch, with the standard flashing lights of a telephone exchange unit being replaced with pins that would protrude to indicate different functions. However, this was proving inadequate for the levels of information being made available by telephone exchanges. A new interface unit was designed by Graeme Wood, a post-graduate student at Imperial College, which instead gave basic audio instructions to blind operators. This set was the pioneer equipment that was installed at the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Details

Category:
Telecommunications
Object Number:
1989-816
Materials:
copper (alloy), metal (unknown), plastic (unidentified), wood (unidentified)
Measurements:
connecting leads: 9 mm x 3 mm x 44 mm, .11 kg
handset: 75 mm x 188 mm x 48 mm, .16 kg
PABX7 switchboard: 175 mm x 500 mm x 260 mm, 9.31 kg
Interface unit: 170 mm x 500 mm x 355 mm, 12.26 kg
type:
telephone exchange
taxonomy:
  • component - object
credit:
Donated by The Tana Trust

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.