You've heard of steam trains, steam fire engines, steam trams and maybe even steam wagons but what about steam cars. Not many people realise it but up until 1908 there were more steam cars being produced than internal combustion engine cars.
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Save for sparse and sporadic failed convict rebellions and escapees who stole arms and turned them on their British overlords, prisoners and Aborigines had been the foremost human recipients of firearm discharges prior to the Australian gold rush.
One of the most visually impressive objects in the Museum's collection is this fabulous steam ploughing engine. It's an example of the world's first successful method of powered cultivation, developed by John Fowler of Leeds, England, in 1863 and was part of the mechanisation and industrialisation of agriculture during the nineteenth century.
It's 160 years ago this year (2014) since the first railway was opened in Australia in 1854. The railways were a vast improvement on the Cobb and Co. coaches, which carried people, and the drays and wagons, which carried goods, over the rough bush tracks.
The Venice Architecture Biennale launched on the weekend. As the new Australian pavilion is under construction the Australian exhibition for Venice uses augmented reality apps to create Augmented Australia, a virtual, mobile exhibition.
With design historian Michael Bogle I recently completed a heritage report and a visitors’ guide called Monterey Moderne. Commissioned by Rockdale City Council the report and guide are about a group of 1930s houses in the streamlined Moderne style in the small suburb of Monterey on the western shore of Botany Bay.
3D printing is the buzz word of the moment. Some say we will all soon be printing out nifty little plastic things on our home 3D printers. It is already possible to replicate body parts for implantation in the human body.
As the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in Sydney undertakes a restructure, downsizing staff numbers as it endeavours to become more nimble and sustainable, curators will soon be re-applying for their jobs.