Mail and telecommunications history department

Mail history workshop

The exhibits collected in the section include signboards and letterboxes, letter scales, writing utensils, inkwells, post stamps boxes, trunks, travel bouquets etc. Among the monuments of this group can be distinguished: a stagecoach clock in a silver envelope and a leather case from the 1st quarter of the eighteenth century, a traveler a brass pencil case with an inkwell from the 18th century, fragments of a stone post postage stamp set up in Zgorzelec in 1725, a signboard of a post station in Słonim from the reign of the last Polish king Stanisław August Poniatowski and the first Polish automatic mailbox so-called A mermaid from around 1924.

Horse-drawn postal vehicles are primarily two original stagecoaches from the late nineteenth century to transport 9 and 23 passengers and a postal van from 1925, arousing a keen interest in visitors to the Museum. Postal Uniforms from the 19th-21st centuries and related accessories, such as postal emblems, postcards or postmen’s bags, constitute the next group of museum exhibits. These include, among others, the tailor of the postal office of the Kingdom of Poland from around 1816, the headgear of Prussian, Austrian and Russian post office from the 19th century and the first postal uniform in 1923 in independent Poland. The banners form a collection of 66 banners of local circles trade unions of Polish postal workers, telegraphs and telephones from 1919-1996. They present, along with state emblems and religious motifs, postal and telecommunications symbols. The pre-war banners avoided destruction during World War II thanks to the efforts of many people who hid them, exposing themselves to the repression of the occupant. The oldest monuments of this group are: the banner of Towarzystwo Pocztowców in Tczew from 1919 and the banner of the Union of Postal Workers, Telegraph and Telephone in Krakow. Iconography in the Postal Department is represented by painting, graphics and ex-librises on postal, telecommunications and philatelic subjects.

An important historical source of high cognitive value are woodcuts posted as illustrations in nineteenth-century magazines. They present genre scenes related to writing and sending letters, traveling in stagecoach and communication using the newly invented telegraph and telephone.
Among the various iconographic exhibits, the oil painting by Hans Täger should be distinguished: a carriage post in Jagniątków from 1890, a woodcut by Edward Gorazdowski according to a drawing by Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski. A postal station in the province from 1875, designs of Polish postal uniforms from 1919, and Julian Bohdanowicz’s ex-librarian, made by Konstanty Sopoćko in 1934. Medals, Polish and foreign plaques and badges, issued on the occasion of philatelic as well as postal exhibitions and jubilee anniversaries, constitute a fairly homogeneous group of museum exhibits. Noteworthy are especially the works of outstanding medallion artists, including Bronisław Chromy, Edward Gorol, Zbigniew Stasik, Józef Stasiński, and Stanisława Wątróbska.

The oldest philatelic medal in the collection of the Museum comes from the All-Polish Philatelic Exhibition in Warsaw in 1928.

The archives collected in the department create a rich supraregional resource, consisting of documents, maps, designs of starting buildings, job prints, photographs and memories, relations and chronicles. The basic core of this resource are archives from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of them concern the organization and operations of the post office of the Kingdom of Poland.

Among them are historical sources such as: post office invitations, service books and certificates of postal service, letter lists, passenger and coach timetables, as well as stagecoach tickets, and even a list of dishes served to travelers at post offices. Particularly noteworthy are documents that bear witness to the patriotic attitude of postal officers during the November and January Uprisings, for example, the pledge of oaths on the National Government by the postal officer in Tuszyna on July 11, 1831, a compulsory order to remove postal workers from Turku for having “revolutions and exceptions from newspapers with Rokoszan disputes” (September 14, 1834), a report on the arrest by the Russian military authorities of a Brzeźnica expedition for “political activity” (September 6, 1863), and especially the order of the governor Of the Kingdom of Poland of July 11, 1863 on the requisition of all postal trumpets because of their use by maillions to give insurgents information about the movement of troops of the tsarist army.

In the archive’s stock, photographs are a significant collection. A large group of them comes from the interwar period. They present various scenes from the life of post and postal service, as well as document postal buildings, means of transport, equipment and postal objects as well as teletechnical devices.
The archive contains interesting documents, among others, because of the autographs of well-known historical figures, such as Tadeusz Kościuszko, Ignace Joseph Guillotin, Józef Zajączek, Jan Michał Henryk Dąbrowski, Maurycy Hauke, Wojciech Korfanty, Władysław Sikorski and Józef Piłsudski. and many other.
The pride of the collection is the nomination act for Jan Arciszewski for the office of the General Commissioner of Lithuanian and Lithuanian Postage, authenticated by the signature and seal of Tadeusz Koœciuszuszko, of May 8, 1794, and a document confirming the exemption of beggars’ orders from postal fees, bearing the seal of the General Postal Prefecture Korona and Litewska, dated in Warsaw on June 12, 1765, regulations of the connection of the bishops of Wrocław from 1635 and the first postal map of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Poznań from 1817 described in Polish.

The archives collected in the Museum do not only reflect the functioning of the post as an institution, but are also a rich source of information about the everyday life of the society. The materials that transfer the researcher into the unique atmosphere of the stagecoach period are an extremely colorful message.

History of telecommunications laboratory

The laboratory collects exhibits that are a testimony to the progress in methods of sending messages at a distance via mainly electric signals. They form a rich collection of telegraph, telephone, radio and television devices produced in the last quarter of the 19th century and in the twentieth century. The most numerous is a set of telephone sets, consisting of models made mainly in Swedish, German and Polish telecommunication equipment factories. Among the most valuable are the oldest telephones in the collection: the American wall type Bella, one of the first installed Warsaw in 1881, the Russian desk brand Ericsson from 1898 and the Polish construction of a desk device from around 1928.

The telegraph devices stored in the museum mostly come from the first half of the twentieth century. The oldest ones include a Danish hand-made hole saw for the Wheatston telegraph invented in 1875, the Hughes telegraph from Simens-Halske from Berlin and the Russian Morse apparatus from 1914.

The radio and TV equipment in the stock’s resources was used in Poland mainly in the years 1930-1959. It consists, among others, of radio-frequency amplifiers, stands for radio-broadcasting panels, control units, microphones, and above all, radio and television receivers. Noteworthy is a large group of radios, among which the most interesting are pre-war cameras: a battery made in Polish Phillips plants around 1930; network – in the Vilnius Elektrit company around 1929, as well as detector receivers from the 1930s called dethrones.

An important exhibit is the control panel of the Warsaw II radio station, which played a huge role during the defense of the besieged Warsaw in September 1939.

Among the exhibits there is also a television prototype from 1947, developed at the State Telecommunications Institute in Warsaw.