Category: Transport

The Story of Australia’s First Airmail-part 5

July 14, 2014

Despite his fame as a daring aviator, Maurice Guillaux was not the pilot originally intended to fly the first Australian airmail from Melbourne to Sydney. That honour should have gone to an American, Arthur Burr “Wizard” Stone, who had been presenting aerial shows around Australia and New Zealand since 1912.

The Story of Australia’s First Airmail-Part 4

July 10, 2014

Following his spectacular aerial exhibitions in Sydney and Newcastle, Guillaux’ fame quickly spread and after his pioneering seaplane flight on May 8, 1914, the French aviator began to make plans for a series of airshows around southern NSW and Victoria.

Mechanisation of agriculture – 1889 Fowler steam ploughing engine

June 23, 2014

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.

A Percy lookalike – 1911 saddle tank steam locomotive

May 26, 2014

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

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

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 .

The Story of Australia’s First Airmail-part 3

May 8, 2014

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.

Neville’s Pompidou

April 30, 2014

  During the late 1970s I was living in England researching a doctorate. I also enjoyed a lot of museums including during a visit to Paris the Centre Pompidou, which had only been open for a year or so.

The Story of Australia’s First Airmail-part 2

April 20, 2014

Flying in Cloudland! Looping the Loop! The World’s Most Daring Aviator! Aviation Extraordinary! Not long after his arrival in Sydney on April 8, Maurice Guillaux began to make headlines, as his promoters and newspaper reporters searched for superlatives to express the excitement of Guillaux’ aerial performances.

The Story of Australia’s first Airmail-part 1

April 8, 2014

Soaring above the Transport exhibition is one of the Powerhouse Museum’s treasures, a tiny Blériot XI monoplane. With fewer than 30 aircraft made before World War 1 still preserved around the world, this aircraft would be significant for its rarity alone.

Cockatoo Island: From industry to art

March 24, 2014

This image from the Museum's Kerry and Co collection shows Cockatoo Island in the late 1800s. Now one of the venues for the Sydney Biennale, the island has had a diverse past, as a home to convicts, ship builders and now artists.