The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum will launch an international tour Saturday of an exhibit exploring the unique role of China’s technologically sophisticated typewriters.
It might seem impossible to type a language with no alphabet and more than 70,000 characters, yet China developed the technology, and it foreshadowed predictive text on today’s smartphones.
“These are fascinating and irresistible engineering puzzles,” said Stanford historian Dr. Thomas S. Mullaney, who curated the exhibition. “I look forward to intriguing local and global audiences with these machines that inspired modern Chinese technology and transformed the way we approach information technology today.”
On display at the museum downtown will be:
- A pair of rare Chinese and Japanese typewriters
- A rare 1980’s era Chinese word processor/computer
- A selection of Chinese telegraph code books from the 1910s through the 1980s
- Historic photographs and film from the world of Chinese and East Asian information technology
The exhibition at 328 J Street is open 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 and children 12 and under are free.
“Radical Machines: Chinese in the Information Age” continues through April 16 at the museum, after which it will move to the SFO Airport Museum and then to New York and Hong Kong.
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