Inside the Collection

Things to do in the dark, ideas for Earth Hour

1946 Christmas card. small child with candles
2007/30/1-29/21 Christmas card, Phoebe, Wilfrid and Charlotte Rolfe to Dahl and Geoffrey Collings and family, paper/ink, Dahl and Geoffrey Collings, Killcare Heights, New South Wales, Australia, 1946

Saturday 31st March, 8:30-9:30 is Earth hour and it gives us a chance to turn off the lights and do things we may not normally do. More than 2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses in Sydney took part in the First Earth hour in 2007. Earth Hour has grown to millions of people in over 5000 cities across 135 countries.

1/ Look at the stars; make a trip to the Sydney Observatory where you can look at the stars more closely and the viewing is even better when the lights go off around Sydney at 8:30. They will be running the ‘The Night sky as the Eora saw it’ program.

H9886 Telescope, 11 1/2" Equatorial Refractor
H9886 Telescope, 11 1/2″ Equatorial Refractor, Sydney Observatory, Sth Dome, Germany 1877

2/Light candles around the house, maybe in beautiful candle holders like this one by Australian sculptor Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal (1863-1931 or in makeshift candle holder like a glass jar with blue tack or plasticine to hold the candle.

Bronze candle holder 1893
Candle holder, original, `Leda & the Swan’, bronze, designed by Bertram Mackennal, made in France, 1891-1893 Collection: Powerhouse Museum

3/ Sing or play music ( much to the delight of the neighbors) this porcelain piece is from the Royal Doulton studios and features a blond haired youth wearing blue trousers & a white & dark blue patterned shirt, playing a guitar, & leaning against a green tree; and was modeled by Eric J. Griffiths (head of ceramic sculpture at Royal Doulton).

Royal Doultan Folksinger figure
A6132 Folksinger, Gift of Royal Doulton Tableware Ltd, 1972. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

4/ Tell ghosts stories maybe with glove puppets or just in the candle light. The puppet is the the work of a leading Sydney artist/designer Bim Hilder. Made in 1940s the costumes were repaired and replaced by his wife over four decades. Hilder worked predominantly as a sculptor, and had a particular interest in architecture, having worked as a builder with Walter Burley Griffin and Marian Mahoney on the development of the Sydney suburb of Castlecrag. Hilder studied etching with Sydney Long in 1928, and showed with the Australian Painter- Etchers’ Society in the late 1920s and 1930s.

'The Ghost' Glove puppet 1940
93/157/8 Glove puppet, `The Ghost’, wood/cloth, Vernon Arthur (Bim) Hilder, Castlecrag, Australia, c. 1940

5/ Have a barbie and toast marshmallows. In the time honored tradition of camping or backyard barbecues. This is a hand made toasting fork in the style of ‘making do’ from the materials around.

Wire toasting fork 1900-1925
K1344 Toasting fork, wire, maker unknown, Australia, 1900-1925. Collection:Powerhouse Museum

6/ Listen to the night. This remarkable looking device is one form of an ear trumpet, they were developed in the 17th century.

Hearing Aid ear trumpet 1860
85/2552 Hearing Aid, ear trumpet, copper, Mayer, England, c 1860. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

7/ Venture out to park or the wilds of your backyard and look for animals in the night, like frogs or possums.

Stoneware frogs 1910-1950
89/1178, 91/663/91/698 stoneware, frogs, South Australia, 1910-1950. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

8/ Empty our your money box and count your money by feel.

Pig shaped money box 1925-1955
85/717 Money box in the shape of a pig, Bakelite, manufactured by IPL, Australia, 1925-1955

9/ Get the Ouija board out, regarded as a harmless party game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I. Its popularity has waned.

Quija Board 1987
87/1344 Quija Board, GPG Products Corp (Parker Brothers), USA, 1987. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

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