Inside the Collection

Science

War Time Dress on the Australian Dress Register

September 1, 2014

Kate Chidlow
The Australian Dress Register (ADR) is a website that celebrates men’s, women’s and children’s dress that has an Australian provenance. Museums and private collectors are encouraged to research their garments and share the stories and photographs on the Register.

I F***king Love Science at the Powerhouse

August 26, 2013

Anni Turnbull
I F***king Love Science is a Facebook page that started in March 2012, posting quirky but accurate science news and ideas, with serious depth as well as humour. It grew phenomenally and now has more than 6.5 million followers.

Report from a Powerhouse Regional Internship program 2013

July 29, 2013

Anni Turnbull
Hi – We are – Beth Anastasiou and David Hampton. We currently work at Newcastle Museum. Beth works as the Business Support Assistant coordinating venue hire and assisting with museum administrative duties and David works as Public Programs Assistant and Senior Visitor Services Officer.

Powerhouse Museum Movable Heritage Fellow for 2013 -Leanne Wicks from Kandos

May 6, 2013

Anni Turnbull
Coming up with an idea for a research project was not difficult for me living on the edge of the Western coalfield of NSW.  Evidence of Kandos’ past reliance on the winning of coal doesn’t take much digging.  With superior Kandos cement from kilns heated with Kandos coal contributing to the concrete footings and pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, no wonder it stands strong after 80 years.  Evidence of the region’s present reliance on coal is also easy to find with many coal mines dotting the landscape.  Fascinated by the objects in the Kandos Bicentennial Industrial Museum that came from the Kandos Collieries located within a kilometre of the back door, I want to tell the story of the many men who have mined this black treasure from 1913 to 2001.  Having grown up with green coloured glasses, I’m enjoying the challenge of respecting the history of coal-mining, researching the facts about this industry and recoiling at what some mines are doing to the land.  In just the same way as you always see the same type of car that you’ve just purchased, but never really noticed that model before, I am finding coal everywhere.  From statues of miners in Lithgow to 1936 maps of NSW minerals in my late grandfather’s books.  Being a city girl, I have not grown up with any sort of wood heating and cannot share in people’s memories of the smell of coal, but I am a poet and there’s plenty of coal miner’s poetry to be found in Kandos.  There must be some time for musing underground.  And before you think that coal references can be boring, even Alfred, Lord Tennyson describes the amazing knight, Sir Lancelot: His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd; On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode; From underneath his helmet flow'd His coal-black curls as on he rode, As he rode down to Camelot.

Doing jigsaws at work, recapturing an 1880s image

March 20, 2013

Kate Chidlow
Most people don't have the patience to attempt what our recent intern, Amir Mogadam from the Universtiy of Newcastle has just finished – probably one of the most challenging jigsaws you’re ever likely to see.

Flappers, Frocks and Fashioning the Modern Woman, Tales from the Australian Dress Register

February 27, 2013

Anni Turnbull
The end of the First World War saw a tremendous change in society and the horrors of war prompted people to question the rigorous social and moral values of the preceding Edwardian Era. As with any time in fashion history, contemporary concerns and thought affected fashion and so, the nineteen twenties came to symbolise in dress everything that the end of the First World War had brought about –relaxed social attitudes, greater freedoms for women, an economic and creative boom, and most importantly the turn towards ‘modernity’.

Tales of a travelling platypus, supporting regional museums

October 31, 2012

Vanessa Pitt
Bright and early on a Monday morning in September, Conservators Carey Ward and Vanessa Pitt made the long and sometimes bumpy ride in the Powerhouse Museum (PHM) truck to Alstonville Plateau. Carey and Vanessa had been given the task of taking a very special A category object to the Crawford House Museum - a rare platypus skin rug made from the pelts of approximately 80 platypuses, and bordered in possum fur, backed by soft felt.

Gulgong Pioneers Museum Blog

June 27, 2012

Kate Chidlow
I was contacted late last year by Marie Gorie from the Gulgong Pioneers Museum about a project she was about to undertake. She wanted to re-order the textile store. Maintaining a collection store takes a lot of time and resources and obviously, as the collection grew, some of the maintenance had slipped.

The many uses of a black dress: Stories from the Australian Dress Register

October 5, 2011

Anni Turnbull
Black clothing has become a ubiquitous choice for the twentieth century adult. Yet in the nineteenth century black clothing had specific associations and uses. The black garments on the Australian Dress Register show both the versatility of black and how its use in fashion gradually changed during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.