Futures Exhibition
Visions of the future from the 1830's, 1880's, 1940's and today
Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester
Saturday 23 May to Sunday 3 September

THE FUTURES EXHIBITION at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, is now the permanent home of the restored Baby computer, rebuilt by Chris Burton and his team. On certain days, it will be switched on for demonstrations. Contact the Museum for more details.

The "Baby", its various parts now labelled with green signs, stands behind a protective barrier made of large-size one's and noughts. Some of the 1's have duplicate cathode ray screens to show visitors the Baby's dot-pattern read-out.

Next door, there is a Digital Access Centre, with a suite of brand new computers loaded up with a selection of the very latest software for you to try out. The Centre can be used by museum visitors and pre-booked groups to gain experience and confidence with today's software packages and the Internet. Digital imaging and Desk Top Publishing can be done on a Power Macintosh G3, flatbed scanner and printer. Another high powered machine with a large screen can be used to access an exciting map-based information resource on Manchester.

The bare bricks, wooden pillars and floorboards of this wonderful 168 year old building make a superb counterpoint with the ground-breaking digital technology of today and fifty years ago.

This exhibition is a powerful symbol of Manchester's leading position in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, the electronic revolution of the post-war years and the Post-Industrial one of today...

Other parts of the exhibition feature visions of the future from various times in history. Sit at an exchange terminal and listen in to imaginary telephone conversations from the1880's. You can also watch a high speed video recording of the return train journey from Manchester to Liverpool, one of the first passenger railway routes in the world. The exhibition is housed in the recently-restored 1830 warehouse, built at the same time the railway line was opened, and next to the 1830 station, the oldest passenger railway terminal in the world.

Words, pictures & QTVR's by Aidan O'Rourke