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December 9, 2002
The current museum has metamorphosized from the Federal Postal Museum, which was opened in 1958. The current museum tries to present the developing history of communications, with different displays for mail, radio, phone, etc. There are some interesting displays of old German mail delivery wagons, mailboxes, lumbering computers. The interactive displays are fun for youngsters and adults alike. There is also an art collection with works by Dali, Beuys and Ernst.
There are actually a few computers in the basement level where you can surf the web and write e-mails for free. Of course you are expected to spend only a few minutes on a terminal as a courtesy to other users. The basement also has lavatories and storage lockers for visitors. There is a little cafe and shop on the entrance level.
There is no admission fee for the museum, and you can also pick up an audio tour phone (in English) at no cost. The museum is closed on Mondays and is open late until 7PM on weekends.
From journal Bill in Germany - FRANKFURT
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
August 14, 2002
The museum has three floors. The bottom (basement) is a permanent display devoted to the history of communication, which includes the postal service, radio, computing and more. The ground floor has the café. The first floor is devoted to kids and has a bunch of interactive areas. These include changing displays and workshops on writing and printing and other aspects of communication. The second floor is for temporary exhibitions.
Armed with my little leaflet, I climbed the stairs to the second floor. The exhibition here looked pretty interesting, but all of the panels were in German only so I could understand nothing. The theme seemed to be ‘networks’. This was interpreted quite liberally, as there were displays of everything from spiderwebs to a huge model of the brain. All the Germans seemed to be enjoying themselves, but I gave up after a while and went downstairs.
I skipped the kids’ floor and went straight to the basement. Here I got in trouble for having my backpack, which I was supposed to have put in the lockers on this floor, so I realized I was probably supposed to start in the basement, rather than the top floor. Oops.
The basement was pretty interesting, as I have an interest in many aspects of communication (but especially those involving electronics…). There was an interactive section to help you learn about how electricity works. I’m a total sucker for this kind of thing, and spent longer than someone my age probably should have spent there. There were also nice displays on radio and television, telephony and telegraphy. And then of course there were the postal service displays: some old mail delivery vans, bikes and carriages. Off in another corner were several computers hooked to the internet (with a sign requesting that you limit your time on them). To the side of these was a tiny display showing the evolution of personal computers and modems. I just loved this—I bought my first modem in 1992, a 2400 baud thing that was top-of-the-line at the time, but they had a couple that were even older. One was circa 1982, and was about 12-inches by 12-inches (!). You actually had to put the phone handset on one of the modems.
On my way out, I decided to ask at the desk how much the audio guides cost. They were available in several languages, but I figured they probably cost several euro, and I didn’t want to spend it. It turns out they were free, which would have been nice information to have had when I had asked if they had any information in English!
From journal Sampling Frankfurt in 3 Short Days