London's Science Museum links tech history

London's Science Museum links tech history

Summary: The Science Museum in London contains an array of fascinating and famous tech, and ZDNet UK looks inside the museum's collection

SHARE:
TOPICS: After Hours
0

 |  Image 6 of 8

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Phillips Economic Computer

    Phillips Economic Computer
    The Phillips Economic Computer (also known as 'Moniac') was invented by New Zealand-born engineer and London School of Economics student Bill Phillips in 1949. Legend has it the first of the 2m-high devices was built in Phillips's landlady's garage in Croydon: between 12 and 14 were created and used worldwide.

    The machine illustrated the flow of a country's economy in a literal fashion by using coloured fluid, which moved from one tank to another. Each tank symbolised a different sector of the economy, and different economic factors (such as taxation) could be altered by changing the valves that regulated the flow of the fluid. The results could be accurate to better than four percent, and the Moniacs saw use throughout the 1950s until electronic computers became commonplace.

    Photo credit: Science Museum


    See more tech photos on ZDNet UK.

  • Sinclair calculator

    Sinclair calculator
    The Sinclair Executive electronic pocket calculator was the first slimline pocket calculator. The brainchild of designer Clive Sinclair, the device caused quite a stir on its release in 1972. At 56 by 138 by 9mm, it was a good deal thinner than its competitors.

    The Executive used a Texas Instruments GLS 1802 chip and achieved its miniaturisation by using small mercury batteries. The device saved power by switching off power to the chip many times a second, relying on its undocumented ability to remember its state in the absence of voltage. This was discovered by Sinclair's chief engineer Jim Westwood, who made similar unorthodox contributions to many Sinclair products.

    Photo credit: Science Museum


    See more tech photos on ZDNet UK.

  • Spacelab telescope

    Spacelab 2 telescope
    This X-ray telescope was created by a team at the University of Birmingham and was flown into orbit on the space shuttle in 1985. The 3.5m-high telescope conducted observations of X-rays at the centre of the Milky Way and was used on board the Spacelab 2 orbital laboratory.

    Photo credit: Science Museum


    See more tech photos on ZDNet UK.

Topic: After Hours

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

Talkback

0 comments
Log in or register to start the discussion