Inside the Collection

Happy Lunar New Year – the year of the horse

January 31, 2014

Anni Turnbull
The Lunar New Year is the most significant annual celebration for Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. January 31, 2014 marks the start of the Lunar New Year better known as Chinese New Year, and begins 'The Year of the horse'.

Rolling map leads to 1906 Navman prototype

January 27, 2014

Debbie Rudder
Simple objects can take us on fascinating journeys into the past. This Roll-a Road caught my eye in our basement store because of its resonance with modern GPS navigation devices. It is about the same size as a Navman and served much the same purpose, but it was designed for manual operation, its format is portrait rather than landscape, and the user had to know where they were before they could start using it to guide them to their destination.

Utility and beauty through science

January 22, 2014

Deborah Turnbull
Do you know what a heliostat is? As with most scientific instruments, I had my educated guesses but didn’t know for sure. Luckily my colleagues are Matthew Connell and Nick Lomb and they can assist me in understanding my curiosities.

Gold Rush: the story of a steam engine

January 20, 2014

Debbie Rudder
When I first saw this engine, running quietly on steam in the Powerhouse Museum, and read that it powered a gold dredge on the Ovens River in Victoria, I imagined a fairly benign operation, sucking up part of the river bed, extracting gold from it, and replacing the material.

One armed bandits

January 15, 2014

Charles Pickett
I read some good news recently – the number of poker machines in NSW pubs has reduced by 2675 in the past two years. More pubs are giving pokies the flick. I’m interested in this for a couple of reasons: The Powerhouse holds what is probably the only collection of poker machines in a major Australian museum.

The art of skating-David Griggs

January 13, 2014

Anni Turnbull
Artist David Griggs reaches into the elements of popular and street culture, horror movies and the street sport of skate boarding. His art sources its inspiration from contemporary images and materials.

Summer cicadas

January 8, 2014

Lynne McNairn
Sydney is currently enjoying a bumper cicada season. To me, these insects are a potent sound of summer and I enjoy their strident chorus building to a crescendo and then tapering off; the volume increasing with the heat.

Hill’s Mini-Hoist rotary clothes line

January 6, 2014

Margaret Simpson
I've seen this little 60-cm high Hill's Hoist clothes line in our basement storage area for years and always assumed it was a model which reps might have taken around to secure sales. Clearly, lugging a full-size clothes line around with you was out of the question and this is a perfect model of the famous clothes line which sprouted up in backyards across the nation.

Bowled over-the changing world of lawn bowls

January 1, 2014

Anni Turnbull
Lawn bowls is one of Australia's most popular sports, It has seen several transformations in its history. Beginning as an occasional public house sport, it was a leisure activity for the male elite in the nineteenth century, then a mass sport for men and women after the Second World War and now appeals to a much younger age group.