York – National Railway Museum (Interactive Display)

Another item from the National Railway Museum’s store.

This is a broken machine, or at least it is no longer switched on, but I am delighted that the museum has kept it. That’s proper curatorship, because this type of item could easily be discarded by an idiot.

The machine was on display in the Main Hall at the museum between 1975 and 1988. It would have engaged and delighted a generation (and I’m fairly sure I visited the museum during this time, so I would have likely seen it), a few of whom might remember it today. The above photo isn’t very clear, but it’s a map of the UK which lit up to show the growth of the network between 1830 and 1860. This is the type of exhibit that it would be easy to throw out, but it is in itself part of the museum’s history.