Category Archive: Technology Gallery

Mar 20

Reclaiming Thalidomide Victims’ Lives: Post-war powered arm prosthesis

The 1960s witnessed ever-more complicated limb prosthetics, moving beyond the unrealistic, aesthetically unappealing wooden limbs of the early twentieth century, towards modernistic, beautifully functioning and natural-looking designs. This defined the transformation of post-war science. The pneumatically-powered prosthetic arms (pictured) were designed for Thalidomide victims, yet fit with and shaped trends in post-war science as it …

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Jan 23

Defiant Modernism and the NHS: The Newton Victor Gyromax Rotating Anode 120 X-ray tube (1953)

The Newton Victor Gyromax Rotating Anode 120 X-ray tube is a good example of how Britain’s post World War II ideals were reflected in the rapidly developing field of health and medicine in the 1950s. During the 1950s, science was celebrated as an essential tool for national development which could be used to the benefit …

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Jan 22

The Ferranti Pegasus Computer

On the Wings of White-Heat It may appear an unsightly cross between a Mark I Mini and a set of metallic wardrobes, but within its architecture the Ferranti Pegasus heralds the birth of something which continues to alter the lives of millions – this writer at this moment included – in the 21st century: desktop …

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Aug 24

Big Science and the Atomic Clock

Caesium Atomic Clock 1955 on display in the Science Museum, London, England.

Modern Times means Modern Time! Don’t trust the Earth, trust the Atom! This was the first successful atomic clock. In 1955, when it was developed, it proved more accurate than any other time keeper in the world. The use of stable vibrations of caesium atoms at a time standard was first proposed by the physicist …

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Aug 21

“‘The dentist will see you now’ – Dental unit fills hole in new health service”

The Dental Manufacturing Company Dental Unit, 1945-55 In July 1948, the NHS was opened by Labour health minister Bevan, making dental treatment available to the whole population, free of charge, for the first time. This sudden expansion of treatment meant that, at first, there was a shortage of specialist dental equipment. The Dental Manufacturing created, …

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Aug 10

Technology in Everyday Life c.1939-1968

From prams and washing machines to radios and vacuum cleaners, this display of items from the 1951 Festival of Britain is clearly domestically centred.  Here, science and technology appear to impinge on almost every aspect of day-to-day British life with items for entertainment (games, fireworks and broadcasting technologies), beauty (hair styling and clothes tailoring), cleaning …

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