Inside the Collection

Category: Transport

Design Nation: When Australian Design Moulded the World

March 1, 2018

Colonised Australia felt it had grown into an independent, and quite sexy young adult by the 1980s. The 1988 bicentenary was a celebration of all that Europeans had acheived in Australia in 200 years.  It was also a year which benefited from the optimism of the Wran NSW Labor Government - which commissioned, among other public institutions and spaces, the ingeniously designed converted power station as the new home for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Ultimo, Sydney.

The International Auto Buggy – a real “horseless carriage”

January 23, 2018

On Australia Day, 26 January 2018, the CARnivale classic day display will be held in Parramatta Park in Western Sydney. The car I’ve chosen from the Museum’s eclectic automobile collection to exhibit at the event is a 20 hp International Auto Buggy made in 1910.

Amelia Earhart’s last contact

November 29, 2017

This ordinary looking stamped-addressed envelope in the Museum's collection features two signatures, one is of the famous American aviator, Amelia Earhart, and the other F. (Fred) J. Noonan, her navigator during their pioneering world flight in 1937.

Behind the Scenes Interning

November 21, 2017

Chloe Appleby is a university student who has spent the last 4 months interning in the Curatorial department at MAAS. Below she reports on her experience and what parts of her internship she enjoyed the most.

Holden is history

October 20, 2017

Australians are reeling with the announcement on 11 December, 2013, that Holden, an Australian icon, will stop building cars here in 2017. How has this happened? With some 66 makes available in Australia these days, twice the choice US drivers have, clearly we don't like football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars quite enough any more.

200th Anniversary of the Bicycle – Highlights from our Collection

October 18, 2017

The year 2017 marks 200 years since the invention of the bicycle, a mode of transport that revolutionised personal travel. The Museum has an eclectic collection of bikes, some of which are currently exhibited in an impressive wall display at the Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill in north-western Sydney.

Love affair with a 1965 BMW motorcycle

September 20, 2017

I recently acquired a classic 1965 BMW R50 model 500cc touring and sports motorcycle. It's in wonderful condition and has been lovingly owned and maintained by the donors, Charis and George Schwarz, in Sydney for over 50 years.

Remembering Australia’s Drive-ins

February 9, 2016

Open-air cinemas are popping up all around Sydney as our famed summer weather rolls on. An earlier form of open-air cinema, the drive-in theatre, originally became popular in the 1950s as car ownership in Australia soared.

Guy Buckingham and Australian Motor Racing

December 1, 2015

Last month saw the passing of Guy Buckingham (1921-2015), the man who introduced low-cost motor sport into Australia with the Formula Vee. This was an inexpensive open-wheeled racing car for beginners using a VW engine, suspension and transmission, devised in 1959.

Happy 160th Birthday Sydney Trains

September 26, 2015

Today marks 160 years since the first railway officially opened in New South Wales on 26 September 1855 between Sydney and Parramatta. As the North West Rail Link (now called Sydney Metro Northwest) continues to be constructed by the NSW Government in 2015, providing much-needed public transport, NSW's first railway to Parramatta wasn't for commuters but the first step in a line destined for Bathurst and Goulburn.