History of technologies that have changed our lives.
Gareth Mitchell tells the remarkable stories of some of the technologies and devices that touch our lives every day. Melissa Hogenboom picks six technologies and finds out how they developed with the help of objects and curators at the Science Museum in London. Tilly Blyth, keeper of Technologies and Engineering at the Science Museum, talks to Gareth about the process of technological innovation.
Selina Hurley, associate curator of Medicine, tells the story of how we’ve worked out how to get drugs in and blood out of our bodies. The story goes from the eight century, via lancets and the origins of immunisation to the modern syringe.
In front of the Science Museum’s collection, Helen Peavitt, curator of Consumer Technology, talks about the development of the fridge from American ice boxes to modern fridge freezers.
Once a gyroscope starts spinning it stays upright. David Rooney, curator of Navigation, explains how the gyroscope is behind the navigation of ships and spacecraft, although the gyrocar, the brain child of inventor Louis Brennan at the start of the 20th Century did not take off.
Seeing inside the brain with scanners has helped to diagnose injuries and disease. In front of the first CAT scanner, Katie Dabin, curator of Medicine, explains how it was invented by Godfrey Hounsfield, then an engineer at the electrical company EMI, better known for putting out The Beatles records.
Tilly Blyth traces the history of computers from Charles Babbage’s difference engine, through the Pilot Ace of the 1950s to the BBC Micro in the 1980s.
James Watt is known for his work on the steam engine but in his old age he built machines to reproduce busts and other objects. In front of Watt’s workshop, which has been recreated in the Science Museum, Curator of Mechanical Engineering, Ben Russell, discusses this forerunner of 3D printing with Melissa Hogenboom.
The Science Hour is presented by Gareth Mitchell with comments from Melissa Hogenboom.