Skip to main content

Watch these kids visit London’s Science Museum – in 1959

In 1959, exciting technology of the future included tape recorders and self-opening doors, at least according to archival footage shared this week by the BBC.

The black-and-white video (below) shows the corporation’s then science correspondent C.L. Boltz exploring the Science Museum in London, U.K., more than 60 years ago.

1959: Children visit the SCIENCE MUSEUM | BBC News | Retro Tech | BBC Archive

“Gallery after gallery contains apparatus and machines of incalculable value because so many are originals and exist only here,” a besuited Boltz tells viewers in a clipped British accent.

The science correspondent then asks a Mr. Wilson, described as “the man in charge,” which gadget visiting children get most excited about.

Wilson is quick to point out the nearby tape recorder, a large, clunky contraption featuring a microphone larger than the face of some of the kids who speak into it.

The BBC’s footage shows a young boy approaching the then cutting-edge recording equipment and calling out, “Hello, my darling.” He then waits. And waits a bit longer. Finally, the machine’s speaker bellows back a recording of what he just said and … er … that’s it.

Next we see a long line of children waiting patiently to use the aforementioned self-opening door, something that today we might call an “automatic door,” or simply a “door.”

To be clear, the Science Museum’s special door does not act as an entrance to another exhibition room or even as an exit to the streets of London. Sadly, nor is it a portal into the 21st century where visitors would’ve been able to look with utter bewilderment at everything from circular smartphones and air-purifier headphones to heart-rate-monitoring light bulbs and robotic nibbler Amagami Ham Ham. Instead, the self-opening door merely acts as a demonstration of what was then a new and exciting technology.

The BBC’s video also features other Science Museum attractions at the time, among them ship propulsion technology, a 1905 Rolls-Royce, the first jet-propelled motor car, and an atomic physics exhibit.

The footage ends with Boltz staring at a crude model of a camel working a water wheel, a sight that may leave you wishing you could somehow reach into the video to tell the science correspondent that technology will definitely get more impressive in the decades to come.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
AMD is giving up on Windows 10
AMD's CEO delivering the Computex 2024 presentation.

It's official: AMD's Ryzen AI processors will not support Windows 10. With a neural processing unit (NPU) that reaches up to 50 trillion operations per second (TOPS), the Ryzen AI lineup is more than ready for the future -- so it makes sense that it'd also leave the past in the rearview mirror. As a result, today's findings are just a confirmation of previous rumors. But is this decision a big deal, and will it stretch toward other Zen 5 processors?

Microsoft's Copilot+ sparked a revolution that left AMD and Intel scrambling to release new CPUs that are capable of meeting the 40 TOPS requirement, so it's really no surprise that the laptops built around the AMD Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 and the Ryzen AI 9 365 will not support Windows 10. The chips were built for AI, and all of the latest developments in that area are in Windows 11. In fact, the Ryzen AI 300 series only supports Windows 11 64-bit and Ubuntu. This information comes straight from the source, as can be seen on the AMD product page.

Read more
Another big tech company is working on a smart ring
A person holding the Ultrahuman Air ring.

Fitbit smart ring patent filing USPTO/Fitbit

Samsung’s upcoming and heavily leaked Galaxy Ring may be getting all the attention right now, especially with Samsung Galaxy Unpacked around the corner in July. However, it looks like Samsung may have an additional competitor soon. According to a report by Gadgets & Wearables, a patent was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and it reveals that a new Fitbit smart ring is in the pipeline.

Read more
It’s official: AMD Ryzen AI 300 is up to 40% faster
AMD announcing its Ryzen AI CPUs at Computex 2024.

AMD's upcoming Ryzen AI APUs stole the show at Computex 2024, but we haven't seen them in action -- until now. Three Geekbench tests have just leaked, showcasing the performance of AMD's flagship APU, and it's safe to say that it did an excellent job. It's not just the highest number of TOPS in an NPU that AMD can now brag about -- it's also competitive, desktop-worthy CPU performance and a vastly improved GPU. Let's dig in.

The Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 appeared in two Geekbench tests and one OpenCL test, meaning that we get some insight into both CPU and GPU performance. Before we get into comparing test scores, it's worth noting that in these tests, the APU appears under the name of AMD Ryzen AI 9 HX 170 with a Radeon 880M GPU. In reality, as Wccftech points out, AMD appears to have changed its naming scheme at the last minute, and the HX 170 is now the HX 370. The GPU in that model should also be the 890M, so there are some discrepancies.

Read more