Inside the Collection

The Paralympic Games from Sydney to London

August 31, 2012

Anni Turnbull
The Paralympic Games (‘para’ meaning alongside) were fantastic in Sydney and the London Paralympics have started well with a clever advertising campaign by Chanel 4 to promote their coverage. With posters stating “Thanks for the warm-up” spread throughout England and on the billboard immediately outside the Olympic Park, in London.

The Man who took that One Small Step-Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

August 28, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
In July, just after the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, I wrote a blog post about the passing of first US woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride. Little did I imagine at the time that a month later I would find myself writing another blog to commemorate the passing of the commander of that mission, Neil Armstrong.

On the Path to Curiosity

August 27, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
At 3.32pm on Monday August 6, over a hundred people in the Museum’s Coles Theatre erupted in cheers as word came through on the live feed that we were watching from the mission control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California that NASA’s latest Mars explorer, the Curiosity rover, had landed safely.

Penicillin mould from Howard Florey’s laboratory

August 24, 2012

Debbie Rudder
These two historic petri dishes are on display at the Powerhouse Museum during Ultimo Science Festival as part of the Science Snaps activity. The sample of green penicillin-producing mould on the left grew for one day and the one on the right for four days.

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Proven in Australia, 1922

August 22, 2012

Geoff Barker
In late August 1922 a group of astronomers, naval men, and Aboriginal stockmen began the arduous task of unloading their complicated scientific equipment and stores from boats onto a deserted beach on the coast of Western Australia.

Dick Smith’s Variety Club Bash Car

August 21, 2012

Margaret Simpson
Last Sunday the 2012 Variety Club of NSW Bash participants left the inner-Sydney suburb of Balmain for their annual trip. The unusual Australian term, 'Bashing' probably short for bush-bashing was used in 1985 by businessman, adventurer and philanthropist, Dick Smith, when he invited a few mates on a drive to the outback.

Guns and public opinion

August 20, 2012

Damian McDonald
Firearms are a polarizing issue. The middle ground is a stripped no-man’s-land. The argument against prevalent gun ownership is of course more than ever legitimate. And honest gun ownership, confined to sportspeople, professional shooters and primary producers is provisional; and reasonable.

The first pedal bicycle

August 17, 2012

Debbie Rudder
This early pedal bicycle is a good example of a velocipede or boneshaker. It is on display in the Powerhouse Museum during August 2012 as part of a small exhibition titled 'Bicycle: simple idea, complex evolution' that I curated for the Ultimo Science Festival.

The Bradbury motorcycle and sidecar – respectable transport

August 16, 2012

Lynne McNairn
Motorcycles or motorbikes can have unsavoury connotations in current times with the phrase 'outlaw motorcycle gang' rarely out the headlines but in 1914 when the Bradbury motorcycle and sidecar were built they were the height of middle class respectability.

Fans of the Powerhouse Collection

August 13, 2012

Suzanne Chee
Looking at ways to house our rich and diverse collection of dress accessories have always been a constant challenge. When an area of the basement store was set aside for the storage of dress and accessories in the early 1980s, we were at the forefront.

Olympic efforts – ancient Greek athletes

August 8, 2012

Paul Donnelly
In addition to being beautiful, decorated ancient Greek pots are ‘windows to the past'. Their painted designs could vary from everyday scenes of people at work and play, to gods and heroes playing out the myths that provided lessons on how to conduct a righteous life .

Olympic Superbike

August 3, 2012

Margaret Simpson
With the 2012 London Olympics currently enthralling the world, it’s timely to have a look at the Powerhouse Museum’s Olympic bike. It was designed and made in Australia and similar ones were used in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.