Inside the Collection

Tag: toys

These petrol pumps are history, but what’s the future?

November 6, 2013

Debbie Rudder
  Young Sydney engineer Frank Hammond invented the 'visible volumetric' petrol pump around 1920 and licensed his patent rights to manufacturers in Australia and the UK. Garages purchased visible pumps to ensure that they were supplying an accurately measured volume of petrol, or ‘motor spirit’, to each customer.

Bionic body parts – Cochlear in the collection

October 21, 2013

Angelique Hutchison
Recent news of a bionic eye prototype being tested by Bionic Vision Australia is exciting for medical device research in Australia. There’s a number of other ‘retinal prosthesis’ devices being developed in Australia and overseas.

Navy ships in Sydney Harbour, 1940s

October 4, 2013

Anni Turnbull
In recent years the sight of Sydney Harbour filled with navy ships is not a very common sight, particularly war ships. On Friday 4th October, 2013 the harbour will again be filled with war ships, this time from 20 nations to mark the centenary of the arrival of Australia's first fleet of seven warships in 1913.

The Australian Navy’s centenary, October 2013

September 30, 2013

Debbie Rudder
To mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy, I’ve chosen to feature this naval phone, one of several that were crucial to the operation of the navy’s first flagship, HMAS Australia. I have a particular interest in that ship because my grandfather served on it for much of the First World War. The ‘loud-speaking’ hands-free voice-activated phone was used to communicate between the bridge and engine room.

Goodbye to Sydney’s giant hammerhead crane – an icon in Meccano

August 19, 2013

Margaret Simpson
Meccano model builders, industrial archaeologists and lovers of Sydney's history were bitterly disappointed recently when the Navy announced on 8 August 2013 that the giant hammerhead crane towering over the Garden Island Naval Depot on Sydney Harbour will be demolished.

What a whiz: Innovative designs that changed work in the home – washing

August 1, 2013

Anni Turnbull
The life of women changed significantly with domestic design innovations of the 1950s and 60s, with access to time- saving devices like washing machines. With the advent of washing machines, fridges, kitchen whiz's and hills hoist to name a few, the lives of housewives of the 60s was vastly different to their mothers.

The automaton, early robot or über-puppet?

July 22, 2013

Deborah Turnbull
As one of the three ISEA2013 exhibitions closes this week, I found myself reflecting on the artworks and wondering at the possible connections to our collection.  One of the most unusual works to experience in Synapse | a selection was Kirsty Boyle’s video Ningyo.

Technologies that changed our mind

July 10, 2013

Sandra McEwen
If you could nominate just one technology that's changed your life, what would it be? There are plenty that we wouldn't want to live without, but some technologies have affected us so profoundly that they've changed the way we think.

Feeling the vibe with a Frahm tachometer

July 8, 2013

Debbie Rudder
This rugged hand-held precision instrument is unlike any tachometer I’ve ever seen. It’s more musical than mechanical, and it needs no power source other than the piece of machinery whose speed the user wants to check.