In 2009 we took part in the national 'Homecoming Scotland' event, with a fabulous exhibition of Great Scots who Changed the World, as inventors and innovators in the field of communication.
We found so many Great Scots, that in 2010, we simply added to the list! The amazing Mary Somerville (1780 - 1872), spent all her formative years in Burntisland .... Somerville College Oxford is named in her honour, as are an island within the Arctic Circle, a Lunar crater and an asteroid!
In 2011, with our 'Great Scots' back into storage, we produced Words, Wires, Waves - and the World Wide Web which traced some of the major developments in communications over the last few hundred years.
The WORDS section displayed several elderly 'hands-on' typewriters and told the story of how the introduction of this machine and the invention of Pitman shorthand revolutionised commercial practice across the world. WIRES came next, with examples of early Electric Telegraphy, including the beautiful diamond-shaped Cooke & Wheatstone electric telegraph (1839) that was used on the Great Western Railway. We illustrated WAVES with a few 'milestone' examples drawn from the history of radio and television. The exhibition ended with sections devoted to computers, tracing developments from the 1940s up to the WORLD WIDE WEB....
Our 2012 Exhibition Attention All Shipping told the story of some of the major developments in maritime communications over the last 200 years. It started with the role played by the Stevenson family of Lighthouse Builders. There was a section about shipwrecks in which, with valuable input from Burntisland Heritage Trust, we were able to detail the biggest wreck in the Forth - HMS Campania - that lies just outside Burntisland. The Morse key from the German battleship Grosser Kurfurst - one of the Museum’s most prized artefacts - made a prominent appearance. We also displayed ‘State of the Art’ multi beam sonar images, reproduced with permission from Advanced Underwater Surveys Ltd (ADUS). We unravelled the mysteries of the shipping forecast and recalled the Pirate Radio stations of the 1960s. We were also grateful to the RNLI for their very significant input into the exhibition and asked our visitors to support their good work.
Finally we devoted one section to the Titanic tragedy, in its centenary year. On display were artefacts of the period – including Spelterware figurines, magic lantern, typewriter, telephones and gramophones – and we drew a chilling comparison between Titanic and the foundering of the cruise ship Costa Concordia.