Inside the Collection

A private tour of the post WWII chair collection with Dr Paul Donnelly

November 25, 2013

Lynne McNairn
The image above shows a few of the chairs in storage at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre: the museum's off site storage and collection care facility at Castle Hill.  The collection stores are generally not open to the public but behind-the-scenes tours and open days are programmed throughout the year. Please be seated was one such tour conducted for Sydney Design 2013.

Fifty Years in the TARDIS: the golden anniversary of Doctor Who

November 23, 2013

Kerrie Dougherty
The weekend of November 23/24, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the first screening of the iconic British science fiction television series Doctor Who First screened in the UK on November 23, 1963, the adventures of the nameless wandering time traveller and his British police-box-shaped time machine, the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space, if you’ve always wondered what that acronym meant), have been shown in countries around the world and become firmly embedded in global popular culture.

Taronga Park Zoo monkey bike

November 20, 2013

Margaret Simpson
Do you remember the monkeys riding tiny bicycles at Sydney's Taronga Park Zoo? This miniature tandem bicycle was made for the Zoo's monkey circus and used between 1936 and 1940. It's one of the most unusual bicycles produced by the Sydney firm, Edworthy Cycle & Motor Works.

The Nota Fang – an Australian-made sports car

November 15, 2013

Margaret Simpson
This Australian-designed and built sports racing car is the prototype for the Nota Type IV 'Fang' in the RT (Road Track) Series. It was manufactured in 1971 by a small Sydney-based automobile manufacturer, Nota Engineering, of 40 Smith Street, Parramatta, probably the oldest specialist manufacturer of sports cars in Australia.

Poppies, symbols of remembrance for World War I

November 11, 2013

Anni Turnbull
The Red Poppy has special significance for Australians. Worn on Remembrance Day (formerly know as Armistice Day), on November 11 each year, the red poppies were among the first to flower in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium in the First World War.

These petrol pumps are history, but what’s the future?

November 6, 2013

Debbie Rudder
  Young Sydney engineer Frank Hammond invented the 'visible volumetric' petrol pump around 1920 and licensed his patent rights to manufacturers in Australia and the UK. Garages purchased visible pumps to ensure that they were supplying an accurately measured volume of petrol, or ‘motor spirit’, to each customer.

Casinos and stadiums: Philip Cox

November 4, 2013

Charles Pickett
The architect Philip Cox recently told us what we already knew:  Star casino in Pyrmont is by far his worst building. Needless to say a Star flack was immediately reassuring the media that almost none of Cox’s 1997 design had survived the casino’s recent renovations.

Marea Gazzard, AO, CBA (1928- 2013)

October 30, 2013

Anni Turnbull
The Powerhouse Museum, along with many others in the fields of visual arts and crafts, was sad to hear of the death of Marea Gazzard, on 28th October, 2013. Marea Gazzard was an important figure in the chronology of Australian postwar ceramics, both as a significant and influential innovator in her own work and also in her support of the Australian crafts movement.

Vintage Farm Machinery – a Museum volunteer’s experience

October 28, 2013

Margaret Simpson
Before my recent role as a volunteer, any semblance of interest towards farm machinery and equipment came from when I was as a small child, diligently preparing the family vegie garden by raking the soil with all the exuberance that a young child could muster.

A Kookaburra for Bird Week 2013

October 23, 2013

Lynne McNairn
This week is Bird Week which celebrates Australia's beautiful native birds. It seems the perfect excuse to feature this charming table mat from the Ian Rumsey Australian Textiles Collection. The motif is one of Australia's best known and easily seen birds, the Laughing Kookaburra.