Curators at the Powerhouse not only research information about the artefacts in our own collection, from time to time we assist external colleagues with their object research as well. Satellite propulsion engineer Alan Lawrie, author of histories of the Saturn V and Saturn I rockets, contacted the museum seeking information about the F-1 rocket motor in the Space exhibition.
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"This ninth of November is a historic day." East Germany "has announced that, starting immediately, its borders are open to everyone." Today marks 20 years that have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ‘Iron Curtain’ separating East and West Berlin, Germany.
Nowadays, watching tennis is as much of a sport as playing it! While there is the game itself, the on court fashion is equally a crowd pleaser. During the Hopman Cup in Perth earlier this year, tennis legend Margaret Court observed that players' outfits make them "look like they should be on the beach".
Horse racing and fashion have always been closely associated and with Melbourne Cup upon us I had a look for “Horse Racing Fashion” in our databaase. One item is this bright floral dress made by Gucci around 1970.
Yes, it’s that time of year again…Movember! This annual charity event is responsible for handlebar and Fu Manchu moustaches around Australia, and indeed the world, each November. Originating in Melbourne in 2003, Movember aims to promote awareness and raises much-needed funds for men’s health issues, with a focus on prostate cancer and depression.
Solar car racing is not new. The Powerhouse Museum has one of the cars that competed in the world’s first transcontinental solar car race, then called the Pentax World Solar Challenge, in 1987. Ours, dubbed Solar Resource, was designed and built by a small team of Sydney engineers headed by Ian Landon Smith in the garage of a North Shore home.
In the first contribution to Death in the Museum, Erika wrote: ‘coffins have traditionally been made to protect the body, and thus been made out of strong materials such as steel and hardwood’.
Registration staff are (among many other things) responsible for moving Museum objects from A to B, this could be from one shelf to the one below or from the collection store to the main gallery space or between one of the numerous departments who require them for whatever reason.
The 60th anniversary of the launch of the Snowy Mountains Scheme will be celebrated on 17 October 2009. Such grand engineering projects tend to generate tourism - and souvenirs to remind tourists of their visit.
Dust has been headline news recently with the dramatic dust storm over Sydney. This reminded me of an object in our collection literally made of dust! It is a necklace called Illusion Dust made by Japanese jewellery maker Teruo Akatsu in 1993.
With all the media attention focussed on the Apollo 11 Moon landing 40th anniversary, another space anniversary of particular interest to Australia passed un-noticed in July. Thirty years ago, in the early hours of July 12, 1979, the United States’ first space station, Skylab, re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and broke up scattering debris across the southern Indian Ocean and the south-eastern part of Western Australia.
Collecting and tinkering with engines is still a popular hobby today. Although fewer young people are getting involved than in the past, some are discovering the fascination of these objects and the skills to be developed by working with them.