We have put a link on the home page for you to find and join us on Facebook. The more people who get to see our on-line presence the better. On-line visitors often translate into visits in person and of course we are keen to see as many people as possible enjoy what we have to offer at Kapiti Coast Museum.
Today Kapiti Coast Museum was buzzing with the excitement of discovering new (but actually quite old) treasures as we hosted Amateur Radio operators from the Napier and Hastings Amateur Radio Clubs! Some of these folk had visited in the past but for many it was a new experience. For some it was a trip down memory lane as they became reacquainted with radio transmitters they had operated in the past on ocean going liners, for others the opportunity to identify WW2 equipment such as our transmitter and receiver from a Lancaster Bomber. We also put the museum radio station on the air and one of our visitors used our ZL6KCM callsign to make a contact. We also found that Peter, one of our busy committee members, is a dab hand at freshly baked scones – thanks Peter! The museum is always happy to host larger groups for visits such as this. Please contact us well in advance so we can be sure to make your visit both memorable and successful.
A short film: From Back Blocks To High Seas – the use of wireless telegraphy in the 1930s.
We have an extensive collection of the type of technology used to provide services such as featured in this 1930s documentary about communication to and from New Zealand. See the link to this You Tube clip just added to our ‘Communications” page on our website here.
This is a NZ Government film scanned to 2K from a 16mm combined B/W reduction print. Film clip courtesy Archives New Zealand.
If you have access to any other video clips that may be of interest to the museum please feel free to contact us.
I don’t imagine too many of our readers know where this was! The Bechuanaland Protectorate was established on 31 March 1885, by the United Kingdom in Southern Africa. It became the Republic of Botswana on 30 September 1966.
The museum radio collection includes a Marconi CR100 radio receiver which was purchased and used in Botswana for many years before it was bought back to New Zealand by its owner. It was originally owned by the Bechuanaland Protectorate Police and was used used by a senior officer on his travels around remote parts of the country.
The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company Ltd was then based in Chelmsford, UK. According to the manual, there are a number of variants to this venerable old set. The initial prototype was designated CR100. This was followed by variants designated CR100/1 through CR100/8. These specialised receivers were excellent performers considering the state of technology in the late 1930’s to 1940’s. We don’t know if our example is still serviceable, but armed with a copy of the excellent technical handbook we intend to find out!
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have this item in the museum together with a little of its history. If you are aware of museum pieces that have a history please contact us. You may be able to help us “fill in the gaps” and thereby make the museum exhibits that much more interesting.
One of the more fascinating items in the museum is The Needle Telegraph. You may well ask what is the connection between this and the cellphone?
The growth of the railways from 1825 onwards brought with it a need for a new form of communications that could work over large distances and in any weather. Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke were two Englishmen who on 25th July 1837 demonstrated a system for sending messages using electricity. A set of magnetic needles could be deflected by an electric current such that the needles would point to a particular letter on a grid. The demonstration in the video below shows how a 4 needle telegraph – a slightly later model of the July 1837 original – operates and how letters could be communicated. The needle telegraph started a telecommunications revolution based on electrical communication.
Find out more by viewing this You Tube video by Professor Nigel Linge, University of Salford, UK. Our museums example is a “Single Needle Telegraph” and contains the complete English alphabet.
You can now search our database and our Blog entries using a customised Google site search. Select this feature from the drop down “Collections” menu located at the top of the page. Please note that recently added exhibits, database amendments and new Blog entries may take up to 5 days before they are indexed and appear in search results.
As a result of the 2009 ‘Open Day’ a book is being planned in conjunction with the Kapiti Coast Museum. It will cover Reikorangi for the period 1850 – 1965. If you are interested in contributing a chapter about your family please contact Chrissy Clifton 027 2526384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of March.