It’s National Science Week! Tune in each day to meet MAAS’ science curators, discover objects from our wonderful science collection and find out what a science curator actually does in a day. Australia is no stranger to great inventions: from WiFi to Ultrasound scanners, solar cell technology to pacemakers, Australian scientists have been responsible for countless scientific advances that have changed the world for the better.
Inside the Collection
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.
You can have your Swiss army knife or Leatherman. I’m impressed by this beautiful tool designed, patented and made by blacksmith Albert Arnold in Sydney in 1898. It is packed with functionality: ten spanners, a glass-cutter, cork screw, wire-cutter, screwdriver, bicycle repair kit, hammer and tack raiser.
After walking up the garden path, visitors to this exhibition will enter Wallace & Gromit's front room and discover three showcases filled with inventions. One traces the history of the telephone, from an early wall-mounted wooden box with hand-wound dynamo to the first mobile phone designed and made in Australia.
Why is this lawnmower being checked out and spruced up in the Powerhouse Museum’s conservation lab? The answer is it’s one a diverse group of objects I’ve selected to add to the whacky mix of stories, ideas and activities in the upcoming exhibition Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention.
Our small (but beautiful) bicycle display has proved so popular that its run has been extended to 5 November 2012. Not surprisingly, the bicycle that attracts the most attention is the penny farthing.
This early pedal bicycle is a good example of a velocipede or boneshaker. It is on display in the Powerhouse Museum during August 2012 as part of a small exhibition titled 'Bicycle: simple idea, complex evolution' that I curated for the Ultimo Science Festival.
When I decided to feature our rare Whittle aircraft engine in a recent blog post, I entered the term 'Whittle' in our database. Data on the engine appeared, along with a photo. Another object also popped up, with little data and no image.