Inside the Collection

Category: Science

National Archaeology Week

May 21, 2015

It was both poignant and fitting that National Archaeology Week coincides with the dreadful news that Palmyra (Tadmor) in Syria - the ancient oasis city of the desert that nearly two thousand years ago was the western fulcrum of the Silk Road - is under threat of destruction.

Steam locomotive 3642 celebrates 125 years of Sydney’s North Shore railway

March 10, 2015

Last Sunday, 8 March 2015, the leafy tranquility of Sydney's Upper North Shore was pierced regularly throughout the day by a shrill steam whistle. Steam had returned to this commuter line to the city with the historic steam locomotive 3642 providing steam train rides between Hornsby and Gordon stations to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the opening of the line.

Surviving in Antarctica – Cas and Jonesy’ contemporary equipment

March 4, 2015

"… all kinds of schemes were in progress for adapting our sledging-gear and instruments to the severe conditions. Nobody was idle during the day, for, when there was nothing else to be done; there always remained the manufacture and alteration of garments and crampons."

Australia and the Industrial Revolution – driving the first trains

February 13, 2015

We've known for a long time that William Sixsmith drove the first train in New South Wales but we didn't know that much about him other than his important role during the construction, testing and operation of the first line from Sydney to Parramatta in 1855.

The Compressed Air washing machine

January 30, 2015

This space age looking piece of domestic technology, reminiscent of Mr Squiggle's rocket, is a manually operated washing machine made in Melbourne by Echberg, Wolter and Company in about 1879 and marketed as the 'compressed air' machine.

The Astrographic Telescope: Part Two

January 5, 2015

The Conservation staff undertook the initial sorting out of the various telescope parts at the Castle Hill store. Earlier in the year, Tim Morris, a metals and engineering conservator at MAAS, had begun the restoration of the Astrograph.

World AIDS Day 2014

December 1, 2014

“Unless we tell their stories, they are not there.”* Since it began on 1 December 1988, World AIDS Day has put strong focus on the global fight to remove the threat of HIV and AIDS. First diagnosed in 1981, the HIV and  AIDS epidemic remains one of the most significant public health issues, particularly in less affluent countries.

Mechanisation of road building – 1923 steam road-roller

November 10, 2014

Were you one of the many Australian children who played on old steamrollers set up in municipal parks after they were no longer required by local councils? Steamrollers, more correctly called road-rollers, were the last type of steam vehicles used on roads.

Ice Bird – the unsinkable boat

October 27, 2014

Restoration of the sailing boat that made the first single handed voyage to Antarctica Dr David Lewis was a courageous sailor, an extra-ordinary navigator and an adventurer with big dreams. He was the first navigator in modern times to cross the Pacific Ocean without using instruments, following a legendary Maori course from Tahiti to New Zealand.