Have you sent a letter lately? Or do you use pneumatic tubes to send messages? Do you still use an encyclopedia? Do you actually call all your friends to envite them to your birthday party?
Times change, methods change, our behaviour changes and so do musea. Once Comm was the PTT museum, after which it became the Telecommunications museum and now it has become Comm. It started as a number of rooms with nice glass display cases accompanied with neat written description, today it is something quite different!
On the 29th of december 2018 me, my wife and kids visited Comm. It had been too long since my last visit, especially since Comm opened in november 2017 after a huge make over. The Christmas holidays provided a great opportunity for this long overdue trip.
Not every telecom museum I visit is a suitable venue to visit with kids, by the way. In this case, Comm is: it has many interactive elements that are fun for the young and the not so young.
Museums change. They are no longer collections of straight rows of exhibits with various signs.
Today it is about the comprehensive experience of image, sound and sometimes even smell and taste. But mainly it is about the experience, about the visitor doing, making something and learning.
With this the subjectmatter of the museums is taken to another level, often accompanied with the name changing to something more abstract. So the museum of natural history in Leiden became Naturalis, the Dutch institute for manufacture and technique became NEMO, the Dutch film museum bacame EYE and so the PTT museum at one time became the museum for Communaction.
Often the scope of the subject matter becomes bigger and a museum can lose itself in it. Such a museum covers everything and nothing and leaves the visitor not quite understanding what it is about. Enigma, the museum in transition in Kopenhagen, about which I blogged before but also the former museum for communication, now Comm, gave me that feeling.
The new Comm
Seeing, but also hearing, feeling and especially doing: modern museums give you a complete experience and that is certainly the case with Comm.
Comm not only has exhibits, but also audiotours, regular tours, and interactive installations. They have a varied programme of activities, like a congress on robotics, demonstrations and when we visited workshops on vlogging.
During school holidays they organise extra activities especially for children and teens. Our kids did a scavenger hunt and a puzzle tour, for example.
So Comm places various communication techniques from the past and the present next to each other. Back when we used to send a post card, now we send an text message.
By comparing now and then, you get a good idea of the chaning times with regards to communication, but also a good idea of how things have remained the same.
In this way Comm has created a very enjoyable learning experience for all ages.
So, what is there to see with regards to telephony? There is of course a dedication section on telecommunications, where the various kinds of telecommunication are shown: from semaphore to smartphone.
Part of this is a big display with a nice overview of the history of telephony. In it, for example, is a very rare Hildesheim phone, a wall telephone used on the very first automatic public network in Europe, in Hildesheim, Germany.
Throughout the museum you will find all kinds of T65’s, of course. The T65 was the classic Dutch plastic telephone from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Noteworthy is the exhibit on privacy, which has a special section on encryption, where an early Enigma, the notorious coding machine, is displayed.
Shop & Restaurant
When entering the museum you will find yourself in the museum shop. The shop has various nick-nacks on offer, that tie in with the subject matter of the museum: stationary, books, jewelery, toys, novelty items, et cetera. Of course there you can buy entrance tickets as well and there is a post office. Not everything seems to be directly relevant to the msueum, as my son chose a light sabre as his souvenir.
The restaurant has a nice contemporary range of snacks and small dishes, and of course various hot and cold drinks. It is a nice modern menu, for every age. We had a late lunch, so unfortunately there was no more soup of the day.
We enjoyed our visit to comm tremendously. It was a good combination of doing and seeing. The kids had a lovely time and consequently so did we, the parent.
The kids liked the scavenger hunt and puzzle tour very much.
I even had my hands free to look at the things I wanted to see and take various photo’s in preparation for this blog.
Of course it helps that there are computer screens, to keep the kids busy. 🙂
2518 AD Den Haag
|Dinsdag||10:00 – 17:00|
|Woensdag||10:00 – 17:00|
|Donderdag||10:00 – 17:00|
|Vrijdag||10:00 – 17:00|
|Zaterdag||10:00 – 17:00|
|Zondag||10:00 – 17:00|