In 1907, while developing an alternative to shellac, a natural resin secreted from the East Asian lac bug and used to insulate electrical cables in the early 20th century, Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland invented the world’s first mouldable synthetic polymer, called Bakelite.
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In preparation for the display of this intriguing copper-and-silver nef, one of the Museum’s late 19th century Viennese ornaments, our conservators located previously hidden maker’s marks which prompted renewed attention to the object’s origin, design and function.
The Experimentations exhibition opened in 1988 and has proved popular with our younger visitors ever since. Aimed at children aged 5-12 years, their parents, teachers and carers, the exhibition is designed to be an informal learning space that inspires curiosity and questioning, and allows visitors to play and experiment with materials and processes.
Project Manager Kate Ford and Curator Glynis Jones recently installed Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) travelling exhibition Faith Fashion Fusion: Muslim Women’s Style in Australia at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in Kuala Lumpur.
This ordinary looking stamped-addressed envelope in the Museum's collection features two signatures, one is of the famous American aviator, Amelia Earhart, and the other F. (Fred) J. Noonan, her navigator during their pioneering world flight in 1937.
Chloe Appleby is a university student who has spent the last 4 months interning in the Curatorial department at MAAS. Below she reports on her experience and what parts of her internship she enjoyed the most.
In 2004, the Liberal government under John Howard rushed legislation into parliament which changed the definition of marriage in Australia. The 2004 amendments are: 5 (1) marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
The artworks of Melbourne-based artist and designer Kate Rohde are recognisable for their exuberant embrace of form and pattern. Baroque in style, highly ornate and vibrating with colour, the works claim a unique position in contemporary Australian design.
In early 1900, a sponge diver diving off the coast of Antikythera – a small Greek island between Crete and the Peloponnese – discovered the remains of an ancient, wrecked cargo ship. Dated to between 200 and 100 BCE, amongst the ship’s surviving contents of bronze and marble sculptures was a curious piece of rock with an embedded gear wheel.
Imagine life before smart phones, maybe you remember? What about before computers? Our computer technology looks a lot different today than it did in the past. It’s smaller, lighter, more powerful and a whole lot faster.
Australians are reeling with the announcement on 11 December, 2013, that Holden, an Australian icon, will stop building cars here in 2017. How has this happened? With some 66 makes available in Australia these days, twice the choice US drivers have, clearly we don't like football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars quite enough any more.
The year 2017 marks 200 years since the invention of the bicycle, a mode of transport that revolutionised personal travel. The Museum has an eclectic collection of bikes, some of which are currently exhibited in an impressive wall display at the Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill in north-western Sydney.