Inside the Collection


September 28, 2012

Geoff Barker
While doing research on the Bullard postcard collection held by the Museum I came across the following wonderful piece on the impact of the Picture Postcard as a cultural and technological innovation.

The Museum’s fotoplayer comes to life again

September 24, 2012

Kate Chidlow
The Powerhouse Museum’s Style 20 Fotoplayer is a wonderful instrument on display in the Kings Cinema within the Museum. It was made to provide music and sound effects to accompany silent movies and is an upright player piano, with an effects box.

The penny farthing bicycle

September 19, 2012

Debbie Rudder
Our small (but beautiful) bicycle display has proved so popular that its run has been extended to 5 November 2012. Not surprisingly, the bicycle that attracts the most attention is the penny farthing.

Steam powered horses

September 17, 2012

Anni Turnbull
To generate horsepower for most of the nineteenth century, you turned to steam. At a fairground carousel, it was the way to give real gallop to a wooden horse. This reproduction ‘galloper’ is part of an exhibit copied by the Museum from a 19th Century carousel.

History Week 2012 Threads – Dressed for Space

September 15, 2012

Kerrie Dougherty
Previously, my colleague Margaret Simpson wrote about clothing worn during Douglas Mawson’s 1911-1914 expedition in the extreme environment of Antarctica. Space is also an extreme environment that requires its explorers to wear a specialised garment for survival: the spacesuit.

History Week 2012 Threads – Ted Docker – Enemy of the State?

September 13, 2012

Einar Docker
One of the more recent entries to the Australian Dress Register website has been a typical 1930’s mans’ suit from the Powerhouse Museums’ own collection. The suit belonged to Ted Docker and was acquired in 1994 by donation from his son John Docker.

History Week 2012 Threads – what Mawson wore in Antarctica

September 8, 2012

Margaret Simpson
In earlier blogs I have written with great enthusiasm about the sledges and food taken on Dr Douglas Mawson's 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE). Now I find myself similarly excited about some of the clothing from this expedition in our collection.

Indigenous art as part of the Paralympic Games in Sydney

September 5, 2012

Anni Turnbull
Indigenous artist, Gavin Flick, his son, Jai Rose,and wife Alanna Rose, created traditional Aboriginal coolamons for the medal presentation ceremonies at the Sydney Paralympic Games. One hundred and fifty larger coolamons were used to carry bouquets and team medals while 150 smaller coolamons, including this example, were used to carry medals for individual athletes.

Sydney’s double deck buses are back

September 3, 2012

Margaret Simpson
The NSW Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, announced on 23 August 2012 that double deck buses are back on Sydney's street for a trial. How did this all begin? The first private motor omnibus licence was issued on 21 April 1907 by Warringah Council to John Williams for his motor bus service from Manly to Pittwater.