Year: 2011

Building a better rechargeable battery

September 29, 2011

This blog was written by intern Brett Szmajda, who is researching the vital topic of energy storage. I'm sure that many of you have heard of the Toyota Prius, the Tesla Roadster or the Chevy Volt. Hybrid and fully electric cars are making a big splash at the moment, promising quieter travel with fewer tailpipe emissions.

Changing gender distinctions in dress: Stories from the Australian Dress Register

September 28, 2011

Most cultures differentiate between male and female dress - in fabric, colour, style and accessories. In western culture, gender differentiation in dress has gradually changed. Many entries on the Australian Dress Register reflect the evolution of distinctions between men, women and children’s dress in the 19th century and into the 20th century.

The Eureka Flag; 150 year mystery solved?

September 23, 2011

While working on a story relating to the Eureka Stockade I came upon some interesting information which may clarify a nearly 150 year old mystery relating to who designed the famous Eureka flag. Some accounts credit a Canadian miner, "Captain" Henry Ross, as being the designer of the flag.

The Australian Dress Register launch: collecting Australian costume

September 21, 2011

The Museum has been working with regional organsiations and communities to create the Australian Dress Register, a collaborative, online project about dress in New South Wales pre 1945. This includes men's, women's and children's clothing ranging from the special occasion to the everyday.

Transylvanian blood-suckers

September 16, 2011

Last week I started work on a collection of objects relating the period of the Australian Gold Rush and one of the objects was a porcelain medical jar made by S. Maws and Sons between 1860 and 1870.

Where exhibitions go to die: Reverse Garbage

September 15, 2011

The Museum is always on the lookout for ways to reduce the amount of waste created when we take an exhibition down. What we can’t recycle or use in another space sometimes gets given to ‘Reverse Garbage’ , which is an amazing facility in Sydney.

History Week: Picnics

September 10, 2011

The history of picnics goes back to medieval times in England and Europe when elaborate outdoor feasts were enjoyed by the wealthy. Medieval hunting feasts and Renaissance era country banquets were the forerunners of the casual outdoor picnics we enjoy today.

Technology and 9/11: aircraft vs skyscrapers

September 8, 2011

Sunday 11 September is the tenth anniversary of that horrendous and highly symbolic event, the ramming of two aircraft into skyscrapers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington DC. This portion of a girder cut from one of the World Trade Center buildings, distorted and blackened by fire, serves as a poignant, physical reminder of the event.

History Week: Rice bowls – food, memory and tradition

September 8, 2011

Memories and food are often wrapped up together, a well known example is that of Marcel Proust, his Aunt Léonie and her lime blossom madeleines. Rather than madeleines, Joungmee Do, a Korean-Australian artist, uses the concept of the rice bowl to explore her own personal memories and meanings associated with food and tableware, in the context of Korean culture and tradition.

History week: science delivers our daily bread

September 6, 2011

It’s International Year of Chemistry and History Week, which this year has food as its theme: a perfect time to meet Frederick Bickel Guthrie, the chemist on this medal. Guthrie worked with a better-known Australian scientist, William Farrer, to develop strains of wheat that were resistant to both drought and rust, a fungus that damages grain and reduces yields.

History Week: the etiquette of food

September 3, 2011

The books on manners and etiquette. For those who are etiquette unacquainted, here’s a brief run down of some of the dos and don’t of the past… 'Cheese' must be eaten with a fork....Never bite wine ...