It won’t surprise you to know that there is a museum of business technology. It has a website that doesn’t say where the museum is. It is in Wilmington, Del. There is also a youtube with a tour led by the museum's founder.
I understand the motivation for such a museum. I have a few slide rules, a 95 key electric calculator from the 1950’s and the first hand-held Texas Instrument computer. I also have a few early Radio Shack portable computers…. somewhere.
I love the museum and the execution. I’m glad someone has collected this display of human ingenuity.
What it has to do with business history is a different matter. You could move the entire collection and make the contents available to an entire city in Gambia or Chiang Mai, and you wouldn’t get anything. No new businesses, no semblance of modern commerce. Technology is the byproduct of human needs and desires. Not the source.
Modern commerce is the result of the items listed in the headline of this blog: meritocracy, openness and diversity. All attributes of human interaction. All the sources of modern commerce in the very few parts of the world where it thrives.