The Historical Museum of Serbia in Belgrade is a significant cultural establishment, devoted to the preservation of the Serbian historical and cultural legacy. Presently, until September 2016, the museum’s visitors can become familiarized with the extraordinary destiny of a prominent Serb, whose scientific engagement influenced significant advancements in telephony and telegraphy, as well as breakthroughs in some other scientific areas.
Mihajlo Pupin temporary exhibition (until September 2016)
The exhibition (in English and Serbian languages) about the celebrated Serbian scientist Mihajlo (Michael) Pupin leads you through his entire life. The storyline traces the transformation of a curious boy from a small Serbian village named Idvor (during the times of Austrian Empire) to one of the most prominent personalities in the first half of the 20th century.
Mihajlo Pupin was born in 1854, and as you advance through the exhibition you’ll get familiarized with how the sheepherder’s games, played with his friends throughout country fields, induced curiosity and later aided significant scientific discoveries that enabled long-distance communications. You’ll also get to know Mihajlo Pupin as a brilliant and hardworking student, political activist, professor whose students were winners of the prestigious Nobel Prize and, above all, a great person whose company was appreciated everywhere.
Mihajlo Pupin’s most important inventions
The invention of loading coils, known as Pupin coils, is regarded as Pupin’s most significant discovery. Pupin coils enabled unobstructed telephone communication between distant participants, which was hindered by loud hums before his brilliant invention. Pupin also found a way to increase the range of such communication. Through the exhibition, you’ll have an opportunity to examine these simple, yet highly efficient items, and how their careful placement along the communication lines led to such a tremendous outcome.
Another significant discovery by Pupin is related to X-rays. Namely, he found a way to reduce the exposure time from around an hour to a couple of minutes. Such an achievement made him the first person who used fluorescent screens in medical examination.
Don’t forget to take a look into Pupin’s other inventions and discoveries including the sound generator, electric wave transmission and wireless electrical signaling.
Take part in interactive displays and demonstrations
Before you enter the exhibition area, you can download a free application that makes each part of the display interactive. Don’t be troubled, though, if your phone doesn’t support the application; printed materials follow the storyline equally well.
To make the exhibition more entertaining, especially for young visitors, various interactive displays and live demonstrations are included. For example, you can place yourselves in front of a screen in a dark chamber (refer to the related photo) and examine your skeleton. Or pay a visit to a classroom where Pupin is a professor, pat his back and hear what he has to say.
Enjoy the rest of the exhibition
The exhibition is set in the chronological order, following Pupin’s scholarship in the Austrian Empire and the U.S.A., his public and private life, and his contributions to the American and Serbian war efforts in the First World War (1914 – 1918). He was one of the founders of the NACA (today’s NASA) organization. You’ll also have an opportunity to examine his study and learn how a moon crater was named after him.
Thanks to his immeasurable contributions to the Serbian state and the unification of the southern Slavs into former Yugoslavia, his name is included in the list of the 100 most prominent Serbs. There, he is accompanied with another brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla, national heroes Milos Obilic and Karadjordje (Black George), novelist Ivo Andric, painter Nadezda Petrovic, etc.
Plan your visit
The Serbian Historical Museum is located next to the National Parliament building, at Nikola Pasic Square 11. The museum operates from 12:00 pm to 07:00 pm (except on Monday), and the admission fee is 1.50 EUR (1.65 USD) in the local currency – 200 RSD. Up to three hours would be more than enough for a thorough visit.