The Fifteenth Museum Night on January 31, 2020, was again a great success with the public and filled the museums and other heritage institutions with a plethora of visitors looking for new and exciting cultural content. Around 250 locations in 110 cities and towns in Croatia hosted over 218,000 visitors. The Museum Night at our HT Museum was just as successful with almost a thousand visitors.
The HT Museum has this year offered a new thematic exhibition on the occasion of 170 years of Croatian telecommunications. Commemorating this anniversary, we are reminded that today's telecommunications go back to the 19th century when the first message was sent to the governor Josip Jelačić via electric telegram.
Visiting the new exhibition “The Beginnings of Telecommunications in the Book Treasury,” visitors were surprised by the plentiful of information they could read with exhibited museum items and on the accompanying posters. Namely, Zagreb was the 31st city included in the telegraph network of the Austrian Empire. As a connection to the previously constructed southern telegraph line Vienna-Graz-Celje-Ljubljana-Postojna-Trieste, the Zidani Most-Zagreb telegraph line was built. In 1850, Austria started training courses for telegraphists. The first books on telegraphy were theoretical and practical manuals to assist in the handling of telegraph devices.
The most significant contribution to the development of telecommunications literature in Croatia was made by the great expert, theorist, and inventor in the field of telegraphy Ferdinand Kovačević (1838-1913). In 1875, as a secretary of the Telegraph Directorate for Croatia and Slavonia, he published in Zagreb his first professional work in the German language titled Drive Interferences of Above-Ground Telegraph Cables, their Search and Removal. Although the author is almost unknown to the general public, it is the first book published by a Croatian author in our country in the field of telecommunications. His innovative work also makes him a pioneer of telecommunications. In 1876 he patented in Vienna the method of simultaneously sending two or four telegrams with one guide. It was the first Croatian patent in the field of telecommunications. In 1892 he wrote the electromagnetic telegram manual for the purposes of the Zagreb scientific course, especially with regard to the postal telegrams, which is considered to be the first professional book in the field of telecommunications and electrical engineering in the Croatian language.
The exhibition area of the HT Museum is designed to offer something for visitors of all generations. Although our younger visitors are always very interested in how it used to be when telephone calls were still connected by operators, they nevertheless spent most of their time at the mobile phone exhibition, taking photos with the first mobile phone weighing three kilograms or beneath a phone cloud hanging from the ceiling. Among the many comments in the book of impressions that praise the exposed items of older and recent telecommunications history, we bring the one that stood out the most: Sweetest museum, which is not a chocolate museum!