Museum für Kommunikation
Last summer when in Frankfurt I visited the Museum für Kommunikation. I had written a reminder to myself very recently that I should write about my experience of visiting and was reminded again today when I read about the optical telegraph, or Semaphore, communication networks. I was familiar with semaphore, as shown in the boy scout manuals and used by lifeguards to signal to each other down the beach. I had not, until visiting the Museum für Kommunikation, known that there existed this very extensive network of towers, through out much of Europe, talking to each other in giant sign-language. At the Museum the exhibit showed examples of towers and the evolution of the tower’s signaling systems as well as the various symbol libraries, and had an interactive piece that one could use to spell out a short word using the virtual tower on a screen. In the context of the museum it fit right in, alongside an exhibit on the Thurn und Taxis mail monopoly (they have an original sealed leather mail bag that was found in a central post office after a few hundred years missing, with letters intact) and the evolution of the telephone. The entire museum is an ode to human communication, from cave paintings, to pencil and pen technology, to mail delivery systems, mechanical telephone switching, radio and television and up to and including the internet.
The amazing feeling I got here was the efforts surrounding these earlier communications. I won’t add to the continuing discourse of how communication now is easier (it is) or how we don’t appreciate this ease (we don’t) or that the magic is lost (not yet), but I will say that I do take less for granted, and can almost fantasize about the specialness of receiving a letter from a mail carrier arriving on horseback, or hearing the clicks of morse code through a wire from far away.tags:communication networks postal the past
Written by admin (contact).
It was written on December 27th, 2007 at 4:00 pm
Filed in the Category interesting