The telecommunications installations at Sorvagen greatly increased the prosperity of the Lofoten Islands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and represented advances in technology that were of international significance. The islanders depended for their living on fishing, and improved communications enabling the exchange of information about the movements of shoals and the threat of storms were of great benefit to fishermen. In 1861 a 170 km line was completed, parts of which ran under the sea and parts overland, linking nine fishing communities. Initially it operated only during the fishing season between January and April, but in 1868 was linked to the national network. From 1873 the principal station at Sorvagen was open throughout the year. The network greatly increased the productivity of the Lofoten fishery. In 1903 experiment were made, using masts constructed from fir logs, with wireless telegraphy, and a wireless link was opened between Sorvagen and Rost in 1906. Two years later a ship telegraph service was introduced, and radio telephones in 1928. The station was automated in 1976-77. Four wooden buildings erected for the telegraph service in 1861 remain, together with a 70 m radio mast. The museum was opened in 1996, and has displays relating to every aspect of the developments in telegraphs and radio at Sorvagen.