Living Museum of the Manual Switchboard

Vila do Conde
Description

The first fifty years of telecommunications in Portugal were marked by the central telephone manual switchboard and by one of the fundamental vectors of such technology: the operator. Until the advent of automatic telephone switching, the “telephone girl”, as would be known, was the link between the Telephone Company and the subscriber. 
The Living Museum of the Manual Switchboard is a space that Portugal Telecom maintains open to the public since 1983, and was created within the International Year of Telecommunications. 
The museum recreates the period of Telephone implementation in the country until the advent of automatic switching.
In this peculiar environment, one of its kind in Europe, introduces an innovative pedagogical dimension, i.e. in the traditional museum the objects are displayed in shop windows or cabinets, without anyone even being able to touch them, in the living museum it is the exact opposite: the public is allowed to touch the exposed objects, and even handle them for a better analysis or direct understanding about their respective operation.

Location: Vila do Conde
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