In Baltimore, Maryland, USA you can find a very interesting museum of electronics. The museum strives to encourage and foster studies in science and technique through the electronic legacy of the exhibitions. Everything that has been collected by the museum has been made available to students in different educations. It is an obligation to learn from history when building for the future. A lot of the material in the exhibition comes from the Military Industry. All the research that has led to the electronic- and security- systems of today have led to the creating of commercial systems that we use today. Visitors at the museum get to see the whole chain, from back then until today, where the emphasis lies on the evolutionary milestones leading to the advanced products used today. At the same time, they honour the accomplishments of the developers, the pioneers, and what they have done to bring technique forward to where it is today.
The starting point for the museum
The National Electronics Museum is sprung from a family day in Westinghouse in 1973. One of the key planners of this day, Robert Dwight, saw an opportunity to show to the community all the products manufactured at the Westinghouse Defence and electronics Systems Center. The day got the title “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” and showed three different types of airborne radars to represent each era. Dwight noticed that the family members and visitors were more than pleased with what they saw. He then decided to work actively to show the products at the WDESC. With help from a former colleague, Jack Sun, who had been employed in the US Air Force, he started working on the idea. There were different opinions on whether the museum could be classified as a non-profit-museum but with some legal help, and hard work, the National Electronics Museum was able to open its doors in 1980. Since then the museum has grown, got full time employees and become one of the most visited electronic museums in America. The latest permanent exhibition was opened in 2017 after almost a decade of development. The exhibition is called “Satellites Transforming Our Lives” and is about satellites and how they are used.
Exhibitions and events
Besides the regular exhibitions at the museum there are always at least two temporary exhibitions. These are renewed twice a year. Through their educational exchange with schools and associations there are also several events every year. One very popular event is “You Can Do the Cube” which is an event where the participants focus on different kinds of Rubik’s cube and other time challenges. Students all over the region are engaged in the “Young Engineers and Scientist Seminars” (YESS), a seminar for education and an exchange in knowledge and experience. The museum has four fulltime employees today but most of the time delivered at the facility is made by volunteers. Every season there are 50 volunteers that together deliver more than 5 000 hours in work.
The founders imagined the museum to be a centre for technical progress where the visitors would be put in an interactive environment. Today, the National Electronics Museum has developed into an institution for everybody. The concept ”Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow ” gives engineers and students as well as non-technical people a good view of the electronic industry.