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Telecommunications Museums Opens Friday


One Of World’s Best Telecommunications Museums Opens Friday

A New Zealand telecommunications museum, rated one of the best of its type in the world, will open at Ferrymead Heritage Park in Christchurch this Friday. The Telecom Museum is the best of its kind outside Europe, where the world’s three top-rated similar museums – in Sweden, Germany and Holland - operate.

“The Telecom Museum is not just a collection of old phones”, says Paul Deavoll Telecom’s Regional Manager, “but a fantastic collection of New Zealand’s national history from the past 140 years.

“It is timely that the Telecom Museum opens during Christchurch’s Carter Group Heritage Week providing the opportunity for many thousands of people to enjoy and learn from a significant piece of New Zealand’s cultural heritage.”

With more than 2,000 pieces of equipment, the Telecom Museum shows the development of telegraph, telephone and radio equipment in New Zealand since the first commercial telegraph system was installed between Christchurch and Lyttleton in 1862. It also has the first telephone made in New Zealand in 1877 and features a representative collection of telephones to the present as well as many obscure ‘specials’.

“In their day, the items in the Telecom Museum represented leading-edge technology, all paving the way for the technology that enhances our lives today,” says Mr Deavoll.

Its submarine cable collection is possibly the best in the world and the museum’s huge photographic collection, dating back to 1860, features thousands of photographs of the first undersea cables being installed as well as the massive underground cabling linking towns and cities in the 50s and 60s.

There are great stories associated with the Telecom Museum. For instance - the early model phone switch board which was pulled out of retirement and thrust into action to help in the aftermath of the Napier earthquake.

Christchurch councillor, Anna Crighton will open the Telecom Museum at 12 noon at Ferrymead Historic Park tomorrow. The Telecom Museum will be open to the public on Friday, 25 October.

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