Pye History Museum

The Pye History Trust collection of Pye objects and memorabilia is now housed in the Pye Building of the Cambridge Museum of Technology. Support from the Lottery Heritage Fund and the Pye Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

Museum Opening

The all new and permanent Pye Exhibition opened on 7th June 2019 at the Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane, Cambridge CB5 8LD. 

It is housed in a dedicated building - the Pye Building - and shares space with a similar collection from the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company.

The Preview Opening Event on Tuesday 21st May 2019, with Professor Sir Michael Gregory

Pye Collection News

The Cambridge Museum of Technology, including the Pye Building, is open from 10.30am to 4pm (last entry 3pm) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Cambridge Museum of Technology is the home of our industrial heritage. Learn about the story of sewage and waste disposal in the Victorian Pumping Station. Discover Cambridge’s forgotten industries in the Top Bay. Marvel at the town’s early high-tech companies in the Pye Building. Explore our industrial heritage around the site. Enjoy great coffee from Kerb Kollective, our on-site partner.

Make sure you take in the new Radio Enters the Home exhibition located in the Pye building.

Further details from the museum's website at 

Guided Tours of the Pye and Radio Enters the Home Exhibitions

Join a former Pye employee for a tour of the exhibitions. Learn about Pye’s iconic radios and hear stories of the people behind the Company and the local sites at which they worked.

The Museum hosts a guided tour of the Pye exhibition at 2pm on the second Sunday of each month (except December and January). They are given by one of the former Pye employees who researched the fascinating history of the company and curated the exhibition. Each tour will focus on a different aspect of Pye’s activities, depending on the tour guide. 

 The 45 minute tour is included with your regular Museum ticket. Please meet at the Pye Building.



BBC 100th Anniversary Exhibition - "Radio Enters the Home"

 An exhibition of Pye radios, together with an array of information panels depicting the history of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will go on show at the Cambridge Museum of Technology (CMT) from Saturday 4 February 2023 to Sunday 17th December 2023.

Guided tours will be made at 2pm on the second Sunday of the month. 

The exhibition, called ‘Radio Enters the Home’ is located in the Pye Building at CMT. It celebrates 100 Years of the BBC bringing radio into the home and the first radios made by Cambridge company Pye. Some 25 of the earliest Pye radios made between 1922 and 1932 are on display, together with panels outlining the history of the BBC and how radio helped Pye grow to become the largest company in Cambridge.

John Little, Chairman of CMT said “We are delighted to be able to share with our visitors this wonderful collection of Pye radios, combined with the fascinating story of how the BBC began and evolved to reach this impressive 100 Year milestone.” 

The radios for the exhibition have kindly been provided from a collection of Mike Kemp, a local radio and Pye historian. 

The exhibition is included in the normal Museum entrance fee.

In addition to the temporary exhibition, the Pye Building houses a superb permanent exhibition of Pye products from the 1910s to the 1980s, covering scientific instruments, domestic radio, two-way radio, record players, televisions and TV broadcasting.

Tony Barnfield of Cambridge Talking News visited the new exhibition prior to its opening in order to interview Mike Kemp, Bob Bates and Jim Smith regarding their roles in setting up this tribute exhibition to the BBC's centenary. In addition they discuss the role played by the Pye company in enabling "Radio to Enter the Home". 

The discussion follows both the BBC and Pye's history in leading to this landmark, particularly during the formative 1922 to 1932 period.

The interview is available on this player - courtesy of Tony Barnfield.

Cambridge Talking News, February 2023 

Below are some of the panel displays from the exhibition, outlining the early days as "Radio Enters the Home" courtesy of the BBC and Pye.

(Hover over the display and use the right and left arrows to scan through the panels)

The Pye Company Heraldic Badges

Recent Acquisitions

World’s First Electronic PBX Telephone Exchange returns to Pye

Don Delanoy with the original Pye PBX

Richard Howes (l) and Roger Crabtree (r) receiving the prototype PBX from James Delanoy at the museum

 The world’s first electronic private branch telephone exchange (PBX), designed by Don Delanoy at Pye Telecommunications in 1956, has been donated to the Pye History Trust.

This prototype 10-line telephone exchange, thought to be one of the five original field trial models, will shortly be exhibited in the Pye Group exhibition, located in the Pye building at the Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cambridge.

This fascinating exhibit was kindly donated by James Delanoy, nephew of Don Delanoy, who said “My Uncle Don was a telecommunications pioneer with many patents to his name.  I am therefore delighted that a world first in the ground-breaking telephone exchange that he invented has found its rightful place as an exhibit forming part of the Pye collection at the Cambridge Museum of Technology”.

The technology employed in this equipment was ingenious in that it used existing cold cathode switching valves and transistors rather than electro-mechanical components, and it paved the way for a family of telephone exchanges with 20-line and 100-line capability.  This new electronic design replaced both manual and mechanical PBX exchange equipment.  It had no moving parts and was therefore silent in its operation and far more reliable.

Don Delanoy was a genius in the communications field and highly respected in both the UK and wider international communications industry.  He held 17 of the 32 Pye Telecommunications patents.

How Things Work

Ever wondered how radio actually works? 

How a valve or transistor function and what their differences are?

Three new and easily understood videos provide some of these answers. 

They can be found on the Consumer Products page - follow the link.

Or indeed, ever wondered how two of the most common chemical analysis techniques work?

Several new videos provide examples of spectrometers and chromatographs in action.

They can be found within the Pye Unicam pages - follow the link

Following the popularity of the series of videos on how radio works, Bob Bates has now started a similar series on how television works.

The first, describes how a moving scene is converted by a TV camera into an electrical signal, transmitted by radio, then received and converted back into an image by the TV receiver

The second video explains how colour is perceived by the eye and how colour television has been enabled as a consequence. 

The third video explains how the signal coding and decoding works in a colour television, and compares the different systems. Inevitably this one is quite technical in content.

All three can be viewed by following the link 

Focus on some exhibits from the museum ... (to learn more, click on the links)

Pye 'Chief Executive' UHF Radiotelephone



Pye ‘Chief Executive’, UHF transportable radiotelephone

This equipment was made in small quantities for UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who objected to obvious or overt security precautions around him.


In 1956 Pye launched the Record Maker. This was a record player that could play conventional records but could also record onto magnetic disks using a special magnetic record head. It came complete with a microphone and a magnet which could be used to erase the disk in order to re-record. 

Pye Record Maker


The iconic Pye 25 Portable Wireless with "Rising Sun" fretwork.

A demonstration of this product was used to impress the manager of Barclays Bank to loan money to CO Stanley to buy the Pye company from WG Pye.

Pye 25 Wireless

CAMBRIDGE DAILY NEWS - Saturday, October 4th, 1913

Pye Works Opening 3.pdf