Odds and quads

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 6 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

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together