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Deutsches Technikmuseum - November

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:

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The donation contains six locations:

Exhibit of the Month November 2014

Photo: The panel is surrounded by a wooden rectangular frame and shows ten small windows. Some of them are activated, for example the ones with the inscription "Salon" ("drawing room") or "Schlafz." ("bedroom").

This shutter drop annunciator panel ran by electricity and was probably used in a high-ranking household with domestics © SDTB / C. Kirchner

Shutter drop annunciator panel for home telegraphy, around 1900

The discovery of electricity brought with it numerous breakthroughs and inventions, including many in the field of communication. While telephones and telegraphs were used for communicating across long distances, house telegraphic systems served the communication needs within a building. Electricity in this case was used to transmit acoustic and visual signals.

Such devices were used, for example, in hotels where they served as the means for summoning members of the staff. Every hotel room had a corresponding call button. All the signal lines came together at the concierge station. In order to enable the concierge to establish the location of a signal´s source, a so-called shutter drop annunciator panel was installed. Through the emergence of a labelled shutter in the annunciator window, the person being signalled was able to tell from whence the signal came.

An object for our new exhibition "Das Netz" / "The Network" - manufactured in Berlin-Kreuzberg

The inscriptions on the panel displayed here suggest that it came from a large residence with service personnel. The address printed on the panel´s cover, "Berlin S. Camphausenstr. 18.", corresponds today to Körtestraße No. 34 in Berlin-Kreuzberg. From 1896 to 1911 this was the location of the Franz Kayser Telegrafenbauanstalt (Telegraph construction company) where in fact this annunciator was manufactured.

Since 9 September 2015 the panel is on view in the new permanent exhibition "The Network, People, Cables, Data Streams" located in the Deutsches Technikmuseum´s Ladestraße complex. For the exhibition it was completely restored in our restoration workshops.

Inventory number: 1/2002/0207