Odds and quads - 1 August 2013

This poster from 1935 (left), designed by graphic artist MacDonald Gill, was used to promote the commercial telephone service between London and New York introduced by the Post Office in 1927

August 1, 2013

The photographs show the first GPO mobile telegraph office at the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in 1872; postmaster general Sir Kingsley Wood at the Young People’s Own Telephone Exhibition in London (1932); and a special 1939 respirator fitted with an earpiece, intended to allow telephone operators to continue to provide essential services in the event of a gas attack.

Meanwhile, wartime instructions (right) tell Post Office staff to “avoid careless talk” and stop information “passing into enemy hands”.

These items all feature in BT’s extensive collection of photos and documents, dating back to 1846, which highlights Britain’s pioneering role in the development of telecommunications.

Almost half a million photographs in the BTcollection have been digitised by Coventry University, with funding from Jisc, and have now been made freely available under a Creative Commons licence.

Coventry also joined forces with BT to create the explanatory website.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands