Search our collection
Early submarine cables and grapnel, 1858-1866.
Glazed case (no glass) containing specimens of submarine cables etc:- viz: (a) two specimens of shore end and two specimens of main cable of each of Atlantic cables, 1858, 1865 and 1866; (b) two specimens of grapnel rope used in recovery of 1865 cable; (c) two specimens of 1865 cable recovered; (d) model of grapnel used in recovery of 1865 cable
NER 0-6-0 '1001' class steam locomotive and tender, No 1275, 1874
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Steam locomotive and tender, No 1275, Class 1001 long boiler, 0-6-0, built for North Eastern Railway, designed by William Booch who developed Stephenson’s original ‘long boiler’ design, built at Dubs & Co. Glasgow in 1874, withdrawn in 1923. Length over buffers: 48' 6"; weight: 35 tons; driving wheels 5 feet, 6 inches.
Bullion box containing lead shot
Miscellanea & Curiosities
Bullion Box, South Eastern Railway, box containing lead shot from Great Gold Robbery from London - Paris via Folkestone train on 15 May 1855.
Bell telephone, mahogany case, 1878
Bell telephone receiver, mahogany case, made by the India Rubber, Gutta-Percha and Telegraph Works Company Limited, Silvertown, Newham, London, England, 1878. Handle stamped '7082' and the 'crossed telephones' trade mark. One of the earliest Bell telephones to be made in England.
Print, 'Interior Tanks', a scene on 'Great Eastern' during the laying of the first Atlantic cable, 1865-1867
Coloured print of Robert Charles Dudley's 'Interior Tanks' (scene on "Great Eastern" during laying of the first Atlantic cable), printed by Day and Son Limited, Camden, London, England, 1865-1867. Full title of the work is 'Interior of one of the tanks aboard the Great Eastern - cable passing out'.
scale with metal stand for Thompson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Scale on stand, for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Elliott Brothers, Strand, London, England, 1858
Model paddle wheel engines of the SS 'Great Eastern'
Model paddle wheel engines of the "Great Eastern" steamship, 1858.
Print, 'Searching Fault' scene on 'Great Eastern' during the laying of the first Atlantic cable, 1865-1867
Coloured print of Robert Charles Dudley's 'Searching Fault' (scene on "Great Eastern" during laying of the first Atlantic cable), printed by Day and Son Limited, Camden, London, England, 1865-1867. Full title of the print is 'Searching for a fault after recovery of the cable from the bed of the Atlantic July 31st'
stock exchange automatic telegraph, 1872-1880
Stock exchange automatic telegraph, made by Thomas Edison, Menlo Park, New Jersey, United States, 1872-1880
Specimen of Dover-Calais telegraph cable, 1851
Specimen of Dover to Calais telegraph cable showing corrosion, made by R S Newall and Company, Millwall, London, England, 1851
sample of deep-sea section of first transatlantic cable, 1857-1858
Sample of deep-sea section of first transatlantic cable mounted on wooden presentation block, made by Glass, Elliot and Company, Greenwich, London, England, 1857-1858.
Glass flask containing urine
Glass flask, containing urine, prepared by Lister, used in his experiments on putrefaction, from 1871-1877
William Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, 1850-1900
William Thomson's marine mirror galvanometer, made by Siemens and Halske, Berlin, Germany, 1850-1900.
Lancashire loom, made by J. & R. Shorrock, Darwen, c.1880, and used at Pennington Mill, Leigh.
Hand and Machine Tools
model of a Garrett saw bench with a safety guard designed by J. B. Lakeman, 1879, scale 1:4, constructed by R. Garrett, Leiston, Suffolk, 1879
Specimen of telegraph cable laid in Birmingham in 1856
Specimen of early telegraph cables laid in Birmingham in 1856, unearthed in 1898, unknown maker, British, 1856. 12 gutta-percha covered copper wires, each wire being around 1.67mm in diameter, making it most likely a No. 16 gauge wire of the period. The gutta-percha covering makes each wire 5.6mm in diameter
submarine cable laid across the River Medina, 1878
Submarine telegraph cable laid across the River Medina, Isle of Wight, 1878, recovered 1977. Believed used in A.G. Bell's telephone experiment between Cowes and Osborne House.
Pioneers of Electric Telegraphy at the British Association
Framed photograph of 'Pioneers of Electric Telegraphy at the British Association Birmingham 1865', unknown maker, British, 1865
Clockwork interruptor, once owned by David Hughes, 1875-1880
Clockwork interruptor made and used by David Edward Hughes (1831-1900), England, c. 1879
Silver thimble, used to pass a current through the 1866 Transatlantic cable, 1860-1866
Silver thimble, unknown maker, probably Ireland, 1860-1866. Originally owned by Miss Emily FitzGerald and by means of which an electric current was sent through the two Atlantic telegraph cables in 1866
Henley needle galvanometer, 1855-1860
Henley needle galvanometer used in receiving the first telegraphic message transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean, made by W T Henley, British, around 1858.
Writing machine for blind people, United Kingdom, 1862
Printing & Writing
Martin's writing machine for use by blind people, 1862. The carriage of the machine is moved one space at a time when the printing lever is operated by the engagement of a pawl with a rack. On the carriage is mounted a circular disc with raised letters and perforated punches sliding vertically in recesses. The desired letter is moved into line with a pointer by the sense of touch, the operating lever is then raised and depresses a plunger which enters the appropriate hole at the opposite side of the disc to the selected letter. The plunger forces down the punch which makes a perforated letter in the paper. The paper is fed by rollers and a spring indent and ratchet and passes over a springy leather pad beneath the punch. It is reversed for reading, the shape of the letter being determined by touch on the rough edges of the perforations forming the letter shape.
Crossley telephone receiver, 1880
Telephone receiver, Crossley's patent 1880, unknown maker, British, 1880.
Robert Dudgeon’s sphygmograph
Sphygmograph which belonged to Dudgeon, by J. Ganter, 19 Crawford Street, London, England, 1876.
Carbolic steam spray used by Joseph Lister
Carbolic steam spray used by Lister by D. Marr, English, c. 1867
polarized 'guillotine' relay, 1862-1866
Polarized 'guillotine' relay, designed by W Andrews, England, 1862-1866.
Wax portrait of Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780 – 1854)
Wax portrait of Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780-1854) by Richard Cockle Lucas 1851
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, English civil engineer, mid-19th century.
Plaster bust of Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Model of the ‘Optimus’ water closet, England
Model of the 'Optimus' patent water closet, invented by Stevens Hellyer and made by Dent & Hellyer Limited, British, 1870
Tobacco box - made from a piece of roman lead pipe
Miscellanea & Curiosities
Tobacco box, made from a piece of lead pipe found in Roman remains in Old Broad Street, North London Railway. Presented to H. Jones by his friend Jn Johnson in October 1854. Brass inscription on lid.
Royal footwarmer, Great Western Railway
Footwarmer, brass, Great Western Railway, footwarmer from Royal Saloon 1856-1901 as inscribed.
letter written by William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), 1858
Letter written by William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) relating to the machinery for laying the Atlantic Telegraph Cable, Glasgow, Scotland, 2nd March 1858
Oil lamp base for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, 1858
Oil lamp base for Thomson mirror speaking galvanometer, made by Dietz and Company, City of London, England, 1858
Reis telephone transmitter, 1863
Reis telephone transmitter, made by J W Arnold, Frankfurt, Germany, 1863
Thomson's Mirror Galvanometer, 1858
(Lord Kelvin) Thomson's mirror galvanometer (land type) used at Valentia Island end of the original Atlantic cable, made by White and Barr, Glasgow, Scotland, 1858.
Geometrical Groin Vault, string surface model
Groin; oblique intersection of two splayed vaults of the same spring
The Atlantic Telegraph, broadsheet, 1866
Broadsheet, printed, hand-coloured engravings, 'The Atlantic Telegraph', describing the laying of the first successful transatlantic telegraph cables, published by Bacon & Co, 48 Paternoster Row, London, England, 1866. In glazed frame, 91 x 65.7 cm.
Wine glass possibly used as a culture glass by Joseph Lister
Wine glass, possibly used as a culture glass by Joseph Lister
Glass pharmacy storage bottle
Glass bottle, painted with the scene of the birth of Saint, from the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital in Florence
Gooch centrepiece, 1872
Miscellanea & Curiosities
Centrepiece, silver, commissioned and purchased by Sir Daniel Gooch, 1872, engraved with the arms of the Gooch family and of the Great Western Railway Company. At the top is a figure of a woman, representing the Arts, at the base are three seated figures; Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Joseph Locke and George Stephenson. Design also features one of Gooch's Great Western Railway locomotives, a railway viaduct, and a scene showing the laying of a transatlantic cable.
Gold lever watch by George Blackie
Lever escapement watch by George Blackie in a gold engine-turned case. White enamel dial with a subsidiary seconds dial and up-and-down indicator. Helical balance-spring. Signed ‘Geoe. Blackie fecit 392, Strand, London No. 742’. Engraved on the back plate ‘Nelthropp prize winner 1873’. Hallmarked for 1873.
Edison telephone peg switchboard and pegs, 1879
Edison telephone peg switchboard with six pegs, made by the Edison Telegraph Company of London Limited, London, England, 1879
Copy of the receiver and alarm call of Schilling's electric telegraph, 1870-1877
Copy of the receiver and alarm call of Schilling's electric telegraph, made by the British Telegraph Manufactory, London, England, 1870-1877. The original was made 1825-1830 by Baron P Schilling and was exhibited in the Loan Collection of Scientific Apparatus in 1876, lent by the Imperial Academy of Science St Petersburg, E.15 a to c - 1878. Vol.6 p.276, S.L.R.
Babbage's Analytical Engine, 1834-1871. (Trial model)
Computing & Data Processing
Portion of the mill of the Analytical Engine with printing mechanism, designed by Charles Babbage and under construction at the time of his death, London, 1834-1871.
'Thunder pump' magneto-electric device, 1856
'Thunder pump' magneto-electric device, made by W T Henley's Telegraph Works Company Limited, London, England, 1856
replica of Bell's 1876 'iron-box' receiver, 1959
Replica of Bell's 1876 'iron box' receiver, made by Science Museum Workshops, South Kensington, London, England, 1959
Print, 'Large Buoy' scene on 'Great Eastern' during the laying of the first Atlantic cable, 1865-1867
Coloured print of Robert Charles Dudley's 'Large Buoy' (scene on "Great Eastern" during laying of the first Atlantic cable), printed by Day and Son Limited, Camden, London, England, 1865-1867. Full title of the print is 'Getting out one of the large buoys for launching August 2nd'
Print, 'Launching Buoy' scene on "Great Eastern" during the laying of the first Atlantic cable, 1865-1867
Coloured print of Robert Charles Dudley's 'Launching Buoy' (scene on "Great Eastern" during laying of the first Atlantic cable), printed by Day and Son Limited, Camden, London, England, 1865-1867. Full title of the print is 'Launching buoy on August 8th in Lat 51 25 30, Long 38 56, marking spot where cable has been grappled'