Inside the Collection

Carbon monoxide alert: take care when burning fuel

May 28, 2014

Debbie Rudder
Coal miners are very aware of the risks posed by fuels. Whenever they go underground they carry self-rescuers like this one, which turns toxic carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide. News that a Sydney family was rushed to hospital recently suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning demonstrates that the rest of us should be just as aware of the dangers.

A Percy lookalike – 1911 saddle tank steam locomotive

May 26, 2014

Margaret Simpson
This little green steam locomotive, which looks remarkably like Percy from Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, is in the Museum's collection. Percy is the Small Engine and Thomas’ best friend. He's quite happy puffing around the yard with no particular desire "for adventure in the world outside".

Fire fighting with an 1895 steam fire engine

May 21, 2014

Margaret Simpson
Steam has been used to power engines used in industry, agriculture, mining and even for fighting fires. The Museum has a horse-drawn steam fire engine built by the English firm of Merryweather and Sons of Greenwich, in 1895.

Farewell Sir Jack Brabham (1926-2014)

May 19, 2014

Anni Turnbull
It was sad  to awaken to the news of the passing of one of Australia's great sporting heroes, Sir Jack Brabham at his Queensland home this morning.  The Powerhouse Museum had a fruitful relationship with Sir Jack and his wife Lady Margaret in the late 1990s during the development of the exhibition Cars and Culture : our driving passion .

International Museum Day – where museum collections make connections

May 14, 2014

Paul Donnelly
Each year since 1977 International Museums Day (18 May) has celebrated and explored an aspect of Museum work. The multiple connections inherent in these figures make them ideal ambassadors for this year’s theme – ‘Museum collections make connections!

Albert Arnold’s 26-function combination tool

May 12, 2014

Debbie Rudder
  You can have your Swiss army knife or Leatherman. I’m impressed by this beautiful tool designed, patented and made by blacksmith Albert Arnold in Sydney in 1898. It is packed with functionality: ten spanners, a glass-cutter, cork screw, wire-cutter, screwdriver, bicycle repair kit, hammer and tack raiser.

The Story of Australia’s First Airmail-part 3

May 8, 2014

Kerrie Dougherty
Not content with dazzling crowds in Sydney and Newcastle with his aerial acrobatics, on May 8, 1914, French stunt pilot Maurice Guillaux also made the first seaplane flight in Australia, test flying a Farman “hydro-aeroplane” imported into the country by Lebbeus Hordern (1891-1928), a member of the wealthy and influential Sydney merchant family.

Inspired by the Museum’s collection- creating a gold rush dress

May 7, 2014

Nicole Balmer
  It was gold rush day at my daughter’s school. One of the most exciting days of her year – damper making, tent building and gold panning – all without even leaving the playground.  The most exciting part though was the chance to dress up.

Treasure from the collection: the wonderfull world of massagers

May 5, 2014

Anni Turnbull
The Museum's collection is a treasure trove of the beautiful,  innovative, important and unusual. The vibratory massagers definitely fall into the latter category, as part of the health and medicine and social history collections.