With the increase in preservation of 20th-century historic sites has come a parallel rise in preservation efforts for buildings and places that played host to some of the greatest innovations in science & technology. As a former digital content manager, married to a computer programmer who’s nuts about science, I’ve been following with interest the efforts to preserve Nikola Tesla’s 1902 Lab on Long Island and the Eero Saarinen-designed Bell Labs in New Jersey, the site of significant research leading to the computer and cellphone.
Now tech history buffs have a new guidebook, The Geek Atlas. A BBC News story, “Follow in the footsteps of geeks,” features this new travel guide that highlights important science & tech history sites across the globe. Although heavy on places in the UK, the guide includes sites such as the White Sands missile testing range in New Mexico and the Jacquard Museum in Roubaix, France, with exhibits on punched-card weaving technology, predecessor to the modern computer. Each entry in the book includes background info and precise GPS coordinates, natch.
BBC journalist Bill Thompson says, “It’s our geek heritage, and the more we make people aware of it the more likely it is to be preserved in some way.”