Author: Geoff Barker

TR-1 The World’s First Transistor Radio

May 27, 2013

This Regency TR-1 transistor radio was one of the earliest portable radios imported into Australia. It is significant for the way it combines science, design, and culture: the solid state physics that led to the development of the transistor; the aesthetics and functionality of the plastic radio body; and the portability that took radio out of the home and made listening to it more often an individual experience rather than a group activity.

Discovery of 400 World War One Photographic Portraits

April 24, 2013

Sometimes museum work can take a long time to bear fruit and this collection of World War One portraits is a case-in-point. For most of the twentieth century they were buried within the huge collection acquired by James Tyrrell, the Sydney bookstore owner.

Portable Writing Desk of David Lennox – Colonial Bridge Builder

April 22, 2013

This writing desk is linked to an important figure in Australia’s early colonial history. It is thought to have been owned by David Lennox who arrived in Australia, in 1832, seeking his fortune. An artisan by trade Lennox's road to success was initially linked to  Major Thomas Mitchell.

Edward Hanlan – world champion rower

April 17, 2013

This Commemorative mug celebrates the achievements of Edward Hanlan who first came into prominence as a sculler in 1880, when he defeated the Australian Edward Trickett for the world's sculling championship. Trickett had earlier won the title in 1876 by defeating J.

Trial by Fire – the formation of the Powerhouse Museum’s collections from the ashes of the Garden Palace

March 4, 2013

The story of the creation of the Powerhouse museum starts with the project to host an international exhibition in the grounds of the Sydney Domain in 1879. Based on similar displays in London and Paris it drew from around the world all manner of objects relating to the industrial and applied arts.These were all to be housed in the ‘Garden Palace’ exhibition building, which was designed in a week and built in less than a year.

Aboriginal Breast Plates

February 25, 2013

Aboriginal breastplates, like this one, are rare reminders of the relationships that once existed between the Indigenous population of Australia and the European colonists. These breastplates were similar in design to the gorgets worn by Officers in British Regiments and were tailor-made for the recipient  As a result the inscriptions and motifs are significant records from the early colonial period right up to the 1930s when they appear to have stopped making breastplates.

Ben Hall, Australian Bushranger

February 20, 2013

 In the years following the 1850s gold rush a new breed of entrepreneur, the Australian bush ranger, took center stage. And even though they held up gold and mail coaches, killed travellers, and in some instances took entire town’s hostage many have been described favourably by historians.

Expedition to establish first Meteorological Observatory Kosciuszko, 1897

February 11, 2013

There are numerous ways in which information is added to our collection. One of the most obvious is a result of the work done by staff to update our records but another important source of information comes as a result of the continual enquiries and suggestions from the general public.

Henry Parkes, Father of Australian Federation

January 23, 2013

Sir Henry Parkes was one of Australia's more significant politicians and journalists and the Museum's collection of objects relating to him is a varied one. It includes objects representative of his years as a manufacturer of domesticware, toys and turned wood and ivory articles.

The Water Pipeline to the Broken Hill Mines

October 1, 2012

These sections of pipe originally connected the outback mining town of Broken Hill with its the water supply at Unberumberka Creek. They remain significant reminders of just how difficult it has been for the town to find water for both its townsfolk and the silver, lead and zinc mining for which it is famous.

THE PICTURE POSTCARD – ITS EARLY HISTORY

September 28, 2012

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.