Information & Communication Collection

Grid of lights on CSIRAC

Image: Grid of lights on CSIRAC

Source: Museum Victoria

Soon after its creation in 1870, the Industrial & Technological Museum began to conduct classes in telegraphy, to train young men and women for jobs in the rapidly expanding industry. Ever since, the presentation of contemporary and historical examples of communication technologies has been a priority of the museum.

Close relationships with government agencies, universities and local industries have resulted in the development of a collection that reflects many of the major changes in information and communication technology throughout the 20th century.

With key items such as the CSIRAC computer and Alexander Graham Bell's experimental telephone, this collection is of both national and international significance. It includes items of phonography, television, computing, radio, telephony, telegraphy, electronics, photography and cinematography.

Significant items

  • CSIRAC (1949-64): the first automatic electronic stored-program computer in Australia and one of the first in the world. It is the only first-generation computer still in existence.
  • Mainframe computers, including IBM CDC3200 (1960s), Cray Supercomputer X-MP (early 1980s).
  • Microcomputers and microprocessor chips, from the 1970s to present.
  • Noughts and Crosses machine: an early example of an interactive display using diodes, relays and uniselectors.
  • Early calculating devices, from Napier's rods to arithmometers and totalisators.
  • Domestic communication technologies: telephones, phonographs, radios, televisions, including items of considerable historic interest, including one of the first Edison phonographs in Australia.
  • Pioneering items in the history of radio in Australia: Jenvey Coherer (1901), Max Howden receiver, Flying Doctor equipment, ABC station 3LO's Studio 303 (1939-86).
  • 19th century telegraphic equipment and early telephonic equipment, including Alexander Graham Bell's experimental telephone equipment (1876), early Melbourne telephone exchange switchboard.
  • Baird Mirror Television (1937), probably the first cathode-ray tube television in the Southern Hemisphere; experimental spinning disc television relics developed by Gil Miles in the 1920s.
  • Fawkner Press, used to print the first newspaper in Victoria in 1838.
  • Printing presses from the Victorian Government Printer, mid-19th century to the 1960s.
  • Paris Universal Exposition, 1867, Reports of the United States Commissioners, Examination of the Telegraphic Apparatus and the Processes in Telegraphy by Samuel Morse. The title page carries the underlined handwritten inscription 'With the author's compliments', presumably in Morse's handwriting.
  • Comprehensive set of technical and office items and images collected from the Melbourne Radio Coastal Station, (opened 1912, closed 2003), including an audio copy of the last official morse code radio transmission in Australia, sent 1 February 1999.

Items per page: 10 50 (showing 11 - 20) 1355 items

  • Magazine - Southdown Press, TV-Radio Week, December 1957 Document

    Magazine - Southdown Press, TV-Radio Week, December 1957

    A5 Size magazine with 27 double sided printed paper pages stapled inside a glossy printed cover. It was published by Southdown Press for distribution in Melbourne during the first week ...

    Images: 3
  • Booklet - `Introducing the Barclay Theatre', 1956 Document

    Booklet - `Introducing the Barclay Theatre', 1956

    Thin paper booklet, consisting of two double sided pages folded in half. It was printed and published in Melbourne in 1956 to promote the opening of the Barclay Theatre (Cinema) in Rus ...

    Images: 3
  • Booklet - Keith Winser, `The Melbourne TV Book, No. 1', 1958 Document

    Booklet - Keith Winser, `The Melbourne TV Book, No. 1', 1958

    Rectangular booklet with 49 doubled sided printed pages stapled inside printed card covers. It was written and published in Melbourne in 1958 by prolific instructional book author Keit ...

    Images: 3
  • Drawings - DEC, PDP 8 Central Processor, 1967 Document

    Drawings - DEC, PDP 8 Central Processor, 1967

    Master Drawing List and 32 sheets of drawings (electrical diagrams, flow diagrams, layouts) related to components of the PDP-8 Central Processor. The drawings were issued 18 January 19 ...

    Images: 2
  • Drawings - DEC, PC01 Reader & Punch, 1967 Document

    Drawings - DEC, PC01 Reader & Punch, 1967

    Master Drawing List, Parts Lists, Layout Assembly diagrams, electrical diagrams and copied photographic images related to the PC01 Reader and Punch, part of a PDP-8 computer system. Th ...

    Images: 2
  • Drawings - DEC, PDP 8 Memory, 1967 Document

    Drawings - DEC, PDP 8 Memory, 1967

    Master Drawing List and 25 sheets of drawings (electrical diagrams, flow diagrams, layouts) related to components of the PDP-8 Memory. The drawings were issued 29 November 1967. The P ...

    Images: 2
  • Drawings - DEC, Analog to Digital Converter, 1968 Document

    Drawings - DEC, Analog to Digital Converter, 1968

    Master Drawing List, parts list, engineering specifications, test procedure and electrical diagrams for a DEC type AD08 A analog to digital converter, which is an input/output device us ...

    Images: 1
  • Drawings - DEC, Oscilloscope Display Type 34D, 1968 Document

    Drawings - DEC, Oscilloscope Display Type 34D, 1968

    Master Drawing List, Parts List, layout diagrams and electrical diagrams for a DEC type 34D oscilloscope display unit, used with a PDP-8 computer. The drawings were issued 5 August 1968 ...

    Images: 2
  • Drawings - DEC, Perforated Tape Reader Type 750C, 1968 Document

    Drawings - DEC, Perforated Tape Reader Type 750C, 1968

    Master Drawing List, Parts List, layout diagrams and electrical diagrams for a DEC type 750C perforated tape reader, used with a PDP-8 computer. The drawings were issued 21 August 1968. ...

    Images: 2
  • Drawings - Intellec 8 MOD 80, 1974 Document

    Drawings - Intellec 8 MOD 80, 1974

    Folio of reference schematic drawings (electrical diagrams, flow diagrams, wiring diagrams, layouts) for the Intel "Intellec 8 MOD 80" microcomputer.

    Images: 9
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